September 29, 2012


Olavinlinna (Swedish: "Olofsborg") or St. Olaf's Castle is a 15th century castle located on a rocky island between the lakes Haapavesi and Pihlajavesi connected to the Bay of Lake Saimaa in northern Finland in Savonlinna Provincial Cham.
Attribution: MiracetiLicense
 Construction of the castle was begun in 1475 by the Danish Knight Erik Axelsson Tott, who had engaged in strengthening the Vyborg Castle. Erik Axelsson Tott decided that the powerful fortification should be build to protect the strategically important Savo region. The castle was supposed to repel Russian attacks from the east and to guarantee the control of the Savo region for the Swedish Crown. Initially, the castle was named  Nyslott (Swedish: New Castle), then it was named Olavinlinna, Castle of St. Olaf, in honor of the Catholic saint of the 11th century, especially in Scandinavia revered as the patron saint of the Knights.
The first castle was built of wood, but two years later it was demolished and construction began on a new, stone castle. Resistance of the local population to the construction of Swedish castle in this region was so great that the construction was carried out under the strong Swedish convoy. One of Tott's letters from 1477 includes a passing mention of foreign builders invited to Olofsborg, probably from Reval, where the city fortifications were being extended. Construction of the castle continued until the end of the 15th century. It was the first Swedish castle provided with a set of thickset circular towers that could withstand cannon fire. The castle was built on a lake, in the middle of the intricate network of reservoirs and canals that would seriously impede siege and offensive.

Name:  Olavinlinna
Location:  Savonlinna  

Region:  Southern Savonia
Country:   Finland

Material: Brick
Construction: 15th century

Condition:  opened to the public 
In the 15th century, the castle was garrisoned at least 200 people, making it the most formidable outpost of Swedish rule in the east, along with the Vyborg Castle. Olavinlinna castle was built on the border between Sweden and Russia, established in 1323 by Orekhovets peace treaty. But Russian believed that it was built on their territory (Swedes invaded in Russia about 5 km) and constantly attempted to repel the Swedes. Olafsborg proudly withstood several sieges of the Russian troops in the the First Russian-Swedish war (1495-97) and Second Russian-Swedish war (1554-57).
After the release of the Swedish Kalmar Union fortress remained in the hands of the Swedes. Over time, the settlement grew around the castle, which was called Savonlinna. A brisk trade developed under the umbrella of the castle was good, and in 1639, the settlement became a town.
During the Northern War Olavinlinna Castle was one of the main obstacles to the Russian troops deep into Sweden. Despite this, 28 July 1714 Olavinlinna garrison capitulated to the invading Russians. In 1721, under the terms of the Nishtadt peace treaty  castle was returned to Sweden. The border of the newly was passed at the same distance from Olavinlinna as it was before Stolbovski peace treaty in 1617.
During a regular Russian-Swedish War (1741-1743) Russian troops August, 6, 1742 again approached Olavinlinna. Garrison of the castle consisted of only a hundred people and within two days to surrender. In 1743 was signed Treaty of Åbo, which awarded Olavinlinna along with the entire region Savonlinna to Empress Elizabeth of Russia and it remained in her possession until 1917. At that time, the castle was named by the Russian name Olafsborg.
In the end of 18th century, the castle was the formidable fortifications in northern Finland. When relations between Russian and Sweden became strained, Fieldmarshal Alexander Suvorov came to the castle. Under his leadership, was carried further strengthen the fortifications of the castle. Were built new bastions and demolished several buildings, which crumbled of time and war.
In the 19th century the castle lost its military purpose, when in 1809 the whole Finland became part of the Russian Empire. In 1847, the garrison left Olafsborg. For a while there was a prison in the castle, but in 1859 it was closed and the castle was abandoned. In the 1860's the castle was two fires, in 1870, it was renovated with funds from the treasury of the city, after which it was opened to tourists. The castle was stronger reconstructed in 1961-1975 years.

Attribution:Lauri Kosonen MiracetiLicense  
Today, the castle has three towers connected by walls. Bell tower got its name from the church bells and the castle clock, which had been installed on it. On the third floor of the second tower Church was located a church. In a small house near the tower, is located the entrance to the castle dungeon. Here, during the Swedish government were kept state criminals. The third tower is the tower Keel. It got its name from the name of the owner of the castle Keel, under leadership of which it was erected. Later, after moving the fortress to the Russian was built in the south-east corner of the fortress bastion Dick. It has three floors, on two of which were located iron cannons.
Currently, the castle is available for visitors all year round. It hosts several small exhibitions, including the Castle Museum which displays artifacts found in the castle or related to it, and the Orthodox Museum which displays icons and other religious artifacts both from Finland and Russia. The castle forms a spectacular stage for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, held annually in the summer since 1912.

 In the preparation of this article, were mainly used materials of websites:, and


  1. nice.. Id like to visit there..
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  2. Great place, I would like to walk in my brand new Nike Trainers i got from

  3. Very nice castle

  4. nice and visit:

  5. nice and visit: