Finland: Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress is spread over 8 islands about 4km outside of Helsinki in the city’s harbor. It was built by Sweden in 1748 as Sveaborg (Castle of the Swedes), as the cornerstone of the containment strategy against the Russian military expansion. The fortress was built on the Vauvan military engineering theory of star-shaped fortresses, adapted for the reality of 8 sea islands. In 1808, Sweden surrendered the fortress to Russia, who occupied and annexed Finland for the next 110 years until 1918, when, in the disarray of WWI and Bolshevik revolution, Finland proclaimed its independence and renamed the fortress Suomenlinna (Castle of Finland).