Svartholm Fortress        

Loviisa, Finland              
Construction on Svartholm Fortress was begun in 1749 by Swedish General Augustin Ehrensvard (1710-1772) at the mouth of the Bay of Loviisa, in an effort to prevent Russia from using this southern route to invade into Swedish-held territory. The initial plan included another land fortification at Loviisa, but neither this nor all of the bastions at Svartholm Fortress were ready for action when Sweden went to war with Prussia in 1757, an event that interrupted further construction, as resources were needed elsewhere.

Apparently those resources were still being used at those other places in 1808, when the Finnish War (1809-1809) broke out betwixt Sweden and Russia. Without bothering to declare war, Russian troops stormed into Swedish-held Finland on February 21 1808, rapidly rolling over whatever the Swedes could throw in their way. Russian forces surrounded Svartholm and began peppering the fortress with somewhat inaccurate artillery fire. Despite very little damage being done to Svartholm, the Swedish officers in charge opted to surrender the fortress anyway. Modern Finland was born as a result of this war: The Grand Duchy of Finland was established, although it operated under Russian domination.

The Russian Army occupied Svartholm Fortress in this period, using it both as a military base and a prison for Finnish troublemakers. The Crimean War (1853-1856) brought a British Fleet to the fortress on July 7 1855: The ensuing British naval attack pretty much rendered Svartholm useless as a military installation, but it still retained a good harbor, and was a popular destination for "weekend picnics."

The Finnish National Board of Antiquities began restoring Svartholm Fortress in the 1960's, and completed its task in 1998. Today, Svartholm Fortress is reachable by boat for your weekend picnic.

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Svartholm Fortress?
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Thanks to Google Maps for the image!