Exhibition catalogue (Rauhankatu)

Näkymä Suomenlinnaan Helsingin puolelta, etualalla miehiä lastaamassa laivaa (maalaus).

Augustin Ehrensvärd: Näkymä Viaporiin, 1760-luvun alku. Nationalmuseum, Tukholma.

Suomenlinna – Fortress of three nations
1748 – 2021

The National Archives 12.5.2021–30.9.2022

On the Wall

Map of the Swedish Empire from 1747. Printed in Stockholm 1801. Privately owned.

Vitrine 1

Map of Viapori 1854. Atlas of the fortress of Viapori. St.Petersburg 1854. Russian State Historical Archive (RGIA).

On the Wall

View to Viapori by Augustin Ehrensvärd. Swedish National Museum.

Vitrine 2: Looking for a Location for the Fortress

  1. Yearbook 1740 of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Augustin Ehrensvärd worked as a secretary of the Academy of Sciences.
  2. Description by Augustin Ehrensvärd of the journey to Viapori 1747.
  3. Medal commemorating Henrik af Trolle 1790. Privately Owned.
  4. Fredrik Cygnaues Stycken ur en Teckning af Finska Kriget åren 1741 och 1742. Helsingfors 1743.
  5. Original picture by Augustin Ehrensvärd from his trip to Finland 1747. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  6. Elias Martin’s sketchbook and its case. The Ehrensvärd Society.

On the Wall

Copies of Elias Martin’s drawings of Viapori and the south coast of Finland.

On the wall

Map of St.Petersburg from the beginning of the 1700s. Privately owned.

Vitrine 3: Gustav III’s War 1788-1790

  1. Situation map of Gustav III’s War from 1788. Privately owned.
  2. Situation map of Gustav III’s War from 1789. Privately owned.
  3. The copper drawing of captain Jean Jaq Bilang in honour of the victory of the battle of Svensksund 1790. Privately owned.
  4. Picture of the Battle of Svensksund 1790.
  5. The autobiography of King Gustav III’s major adjutant August Filip Armfelt. Description of the events 1790. Privately owned.
  6. Tableware given to Admiral Cronstedt in honour of the Battle of Svensksund. Herttoniemi Manor Museum.
  7. Naval cutlass from the 1700s. The John Nurminen Foundation.

Vitrine 4: Cronstedt and von Stedingk in the United States War of Independence

  1. The English logbook on the United States War of Independece of the naval commander Carl Olof Cronstedt. The National Archives.
  2. The Diary of Cronstedt from the United States War of Independence. The National Archives.
  3. English naval gun of the 1770s. The John Nurminen Foundation.
  4. Mandate given by the King of France Ludvig XVI to Curt von Stedingk in 1786 to work as a commander of the Regiment Royal Suedois. The National Archives.
  1. The certificate of the French war minister that Curt von Stedingk has worked for France. The National Archives.
  2. Picture of the decoration of the member in the Society of the Cincinnati given to Curt von Stedingk by George Washington
  3. Mandate to Curt von Stedingk to act as colonel in the squadron which the king of France sent to America. The National Archives.

On the Wall

Map of the battles in Philadelphia in 1777.

On the Wall

Picture of the attack to Fort Redbank on 24.10.1777 and to Fort Mifflin Mud Island on 15.11.1777. Carl Olof Cronstedt served on the Roebuck vessel, which is in the picture.

On the Wall

Admiral Victor von Stedingk with a golden medallion of the Svensksund battle around his neck. Copy of the original painting. The Ehrensvärd Society.

Vitrine 5

Construction and model drawings from Viapori, Helsinki and Loviisa by Adolf Erik Greete from the 1760s. The Ehrensvärd Society.

Vitrine 6: Ehrensvärd’s Grave

  1. Proposals for the burial monument of Augustin Ehrensvärd. Below the proposal by Gustav III, Carl August Ehrensvärd and Johan Tobias Sergell according to which the monument was built.
  2. Carl August Ehrensvärd and his publications in the bond from the 1700s.
  3. Sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel after whom Stockholm’s Sergels Torg has been named.
  4. The grave of Ehrensvärd has been a memorial during the Sweden’s, Russian’s and Finland’s era.

On the Wall

Order of Seraphim is Sweden’s highest order. Seraphim angels decorate its necklace,

On the Wall

Vessels of Sweden’s archipelago fleet in the Kustaanmiekka strait. Copy of the painting on Elias Martin in the Embassy of Sweden. The Ehrensvärd Society.

Niche 1: Augustin Ehrensvärd – Builder of Viapori                     

  1. Portrait of Augustin Ehrensvärd painted by Olof Arenius in 1756. The Helsinki City Museum.

Niche 2: Finland’s Military Chief, Lieutenant General Henrik Johan Aminoff

  1. Portrait of Henrik Johan Aminoff. Privately owned.
  2. Letter of Henrik Johan Aminoff dated 23.9.1754 and addressed to the Governor of Turku and Pori in order to transfer the infantry regiment from the fortress of Viapori. The National Library of Russia.
  3. Cannonballs found in the fortress of Viapori. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  4. Flintlock guns from the 1700s. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  5. So-called longpipe from the end of the 1700s or the beginning of the 1800s. Privately owned.
  6. Copy of Sergejeff’s watercolour on the city of Turku in 1810. Russian State Military History Archive.
  7. Picture of the Narva battle in 1700.

Vitrine 7: Start of the Finnish War

  1. Miniature portrait from the beginning of the 1800s on Napoleon I. Privately owned.
  2. Medallion in honour of Napoleon’s decision to construct the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in 1806. Privately owned.
  3. Medallion in honour of the Tilsit Peace Treaty 1807. Privately owned.
  4. Declaration of Tsar Alexander I in 1808 to attack Finland, which was intended to annex to the Russian Empire. The National Archives.
  5. Inventory calculation of the Viapori crown storage magazines 1808. The National Archives.
  6. Chamber counsellor Fredrik Lorenz Nyberg’s report to field marshal Mauritz Klingspor at the beginning of March 1808. The National Archives.
  7. Paul van Suchtelen’s description of the Finnish War. Privately owned.
  8. Commandant C.M. Gripenberg’s decision on 11.3.1808 to cede the Svartholma fortress to the Russians on 17.3.1808. The National Archives.
  9. The adjutant and the cabinet officer of the Swedish Crown Prince. Privately owned.
  10. Dragoon of the Skåne dragoon regiment and Finnish infantry soldiers. Privately owned.

Niche 3: Fredrik Henrik af Chapman – Designer of the Archipelago Fleet and the Dockyard

  1. Painting of Lorens Pasch junior on Fredrik Henrik af Chapman in 1778. Copy the Ehrensvärd Society.
  2. Fredrik Henrik af Chapman’s tract on shipbuilding. Stockholm 1775. Privately owned.
  3. Ship drawings of 1768 related to Chapman’s work Architectura Navalis Mercatoria. Privately owned.
  4. Picture of the Port of Stockholm in the 1700s. Elghammar Castle in Sweden.
  5. Viapori dockyard in the 1760s. Copy of the painting of Elias Martin in Göteborg’s museum.
  6. Copy of the painting by Elias Martin on the construction work of Viapori. The Ehrensvärd Society.

Vitrine 8: Surrender of Viapori 1808

  1. Declaration of count Buxhoevid, chief of the Russian army, relating to the arrangement of conditions in Finland. Turku 12./24.3.1808. The National Archives.
  2. Admiral C.O.Cronstedt’s decree to protect the Viapori fortress 15.3.1808. The National Archives.
  3. The order of Cronstedt that Helsinki should not be bombed. It had been agreed with the chief of the Russian army, that Russians do not place artillery batteries near the town 22.3.1808. The National Archives.
  4. Report of captain Aminoff on Russians efforts to disturb defenders and the Cronstedt’s answer on 28.3.1808. The National Archives.
  5. Cronstedt’s order to captain Aminoff to give away certain positions to the Russian troops according to the agreement with the Russian commander on 8.4.1808. The National Archives.
  6. Cronstedt’s decision in which order the Swedes will give the fortress away to the Russians 4.5.1808. The National Archives.
  7. The signed treaty of admiral Cronstedt and general van Suchtelen on the surrender of the Viapori fortress 26.4.1808. The National Archives.
  8. Copy of the letter of emperor Alexander I to the Russian state controller related to the fee paid to the former commander of Viapori,
    admiral Cronstedt, in St.Petersburg 9.12.1808. The National Archives. The copy, which was placed in the manor house in Mäntsälä, was certified by H.Wieselgren, the chief librarian at the National Library of Sweden 4.7.1862. The National Archives.
  9. Publication by J.G.Båth on the circumstances which caused the surrender of Viapori. Stockholm 1809. Privately owned.
  10. Report by Cronstedt on the reasons which caused the surrender of Viapori. Stockholm 1811. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Daughter of admiral Cronstedt, Hedvig Sofia Cronstedt, who was the lady-in-waiting of the Russian empress. Herttoniemi Manor Museum.

Niche 4: The Eeconomic Influence of Viapori in Southern Finland

  1. Copies of the portraits of Pehr Nyberg, director of economy and his spouse Hedvig Naeschlindh painted by Nils Schillmark.
  2. Wineskin and beakers from the 1700s and the 1800s. Nyberg also worked as a director of Loviisa spirits factory.
  3. Watercolours of the city of Loviisa and the Svartholma fortress by Gavril Sergejeff. Russian State Military History Archive.
  4. Pehr Nyberg’s article on how the dryer should function in a more efficient way was published in the Kungliga Patriotiska Sällskapet in the 1780s.

On the Wall

Picture of the Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting of Viapori 1844. Painting belongs to the series of paintings on the sea fortresses in the Gulf of Finland. Naval War Museum in St. Petersburg.


Vitrines 9a-b: Amore Proximi Society

  1. Amore Proximi Society, which operated in Loviisa and Svartholma, celebrated its anniversary on 24.1. Society’s song was sung in this event. The National Archives.
  2. Amore Proximi Society’s list of membership fees. The National Archives.
  3. Speech in honour of the birthday of King Gustav III on the Society’s anniversary in Loviisa on 24.1.1789. The National Archives.
  4. The Society’s principles of actions were defined in the foundation document, which was confirmed in the Society’s foundation meeting in 1786. The National Archives.
  5. Rules of the Society were adjusted in the general meetings of the Society. Excerpt from the Society’s meeting 24.4.1787. The National Archives.
  6. Society’s minutes of the meeting 2.11.1789. The National Archives.
  7. The memorandum of Johan Herman Lode, the Governor of Kymmene Manor, to major Gripenberg from Heinola 23.5.2803 on the secret meeting concerning the continuation of the Society’s actions. The National Archives.

Vitrine 10: From the Finnish War to the Peace of Hamina

  1. Copy of the diary of the Russian Ivan Petrovits Lipard in March 1809 under the Finnish War. This belonged to the heritage of Fredrik Cygnaeus. The National Archives.
  2. The decision of Emperor Alexander I to annex Finland to Russia. The National Archives.
  3. Announcement that the prisoners and the soldiers who had gone home from the Svartholma and Viapori fortresses could apply for a daily allowance from the Russian authority in certain cities 9.8.1808/28.7.1808. The National Archives.
  4. Power of attorney to baron Curt von Stedingk to represent Sweden in the peace treaties held in Hamina with Russia 24.9.1808. The National Archives.
  5. Printed peace treaty of Hamina 1809. The National Archives.
  6. The proposal of Sweden’s peace negotiator Curt von Stedingk on the borderline between Sweden and Russia and the correction markings in it. Autumn 1989. The National Archives.
  7. Silver ink bottle and sand bottle by Johan Schwart 1788 Karlskrona. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Memorial to G.M.Sprengtporten to honour the year of celebration 2009 of Finland’s annexation to Russia.

On the Wall

Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, Napoleon’s general and adopted as Sweden’s crown prince. Privately owned.

Vitrine 11: Annexation of Finland to the Russian Empire

  1. A written affirmation of loyality to the emperor of Russia 1809. The National Archives.
  2. Invitation of emperor Alexander I to the Diet in Porvoo in March 1809. The National Achives.
  3. Alexander I, emperor of Russia opens the Diet in Porvoo 1809. Painting by Emanuel Thelning.
  4. Uniform for the member of the governing council approved by the governor-general Speransky. The National Agency.
  5. Soldier in the Finnish War tells about his experiences.
  6. Decision of emperor Alexander I to set up Finland’s governing council on 18.8.1809. The National Archives.
  7. Decision of emperor Alexander I to nominate persons in the governing council 1809. The National Archives.

On the Wall

The war harbour of Kronstadt, which is situated off St.Petersburg, was the lock of defence of the city. Other fortified Russian towns by the Gulf of Finland contributed to the defence.

Kronstadt Crown Castle 1752. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Panorama from the tower of the Nikolai Church designed by C.I.Engel to Helsinki in 1840. Privately owned.

On the Wall

The plan of the Viapori church dated 1.5.1821. The church, resembling antique temple was meant to be the central point of the large empire barrack, which was to be built in Iso Itä-Mustasaari. The National Archives.

Vitrine 12: Neoclassical Helsinki and Viapori

  1. Fredrik Tengström, New lutheran church and library, litography from 1838. Neoclassical Helsinki designed by Carl Ludvig Engel came true, unlike Viapori. The main guard in the background of the picture, was demolished at the end of the 1830s. The National Archives.
  2. General map on the south part of Kaivopuisto. Chief of the Helsinki rebuilding committee Albrekt Ehrenström confirms that the area belongs to the engineering commando. Dated 15.6.1812. The National Archives.
  3. Plan for the fortification with bastions in Ullanlinna from 1810. The plan has been presented to the Tsar Alexander I, war minister Mihail Barclay de Tolly and engineer-general Jan Peter van Suchtelen. The fortification was, however, never built, although it had been actual already under the Swedish era. The National Archives.
  4. The layout for the buildings which were to be constructed to Viapori Iso Mustasaari: church (A), clocktowers (B) and the first floor of the large barrack designed for 1000 people. The layout was confirmed by emperor Alexander I on 24.11.1820 in Troppau, Silesia. The National Archives.
  5. The layout and cross-sections of the annex to be built for officers linked with the before mentioned barrack and church were presented to the emperor in Troppau on 24.11.1820. Architect Engel is mentioned in the heading of the plan. The National Archives.
  6. General plan of Iso Itä-Mustasaari from 1838. The barrack project was still actual as part of a symmetrical draft with boulevards in connection to the crown castle Ehrensvärd. Buildings between the barrack and crown castle had to be demolished in order to give space for the necessary training field. The National Archives.
  7. The empire buildings of Viapori Iso Itä-Mustasaari– the church, the clocktowers and barrack – seen from the training field. The plan presented to Alexander I in Troppau on 24.11.1820. The National Archives.

On the Wall

Drawing of the orthodox church from 1838 is based on the architect Konstantin Ton’s plan from the previous year. The church was built for the Russian garrison in the fortress and was completed in 1854. It was dedicated to the memory of Alexander Nevski. The look of the church has completely changed after the renovation work in the 1920s.The National Archives.

On the Wall

Partial cross-section of the orthodox church in Viapori from 1838. The National Archives.

On the Wall

Eero Järnefelt, Zacharias Topelius meets prisoners in the crown prison in Viapori, watercolour. The description of Topelius on this meeting was published in the christmas magazine ”Jul-rosor” in 1889. Privately owned.

Vitrine 13: Weekdays in Russian Viapori

  1. Spirits deliveries of the Russian merchant Nikolai Sinebrychoff to Suomenlinna worried Finnish authorities for the reason that they were seemed to circumvent the customs regulations. The committee saw that delivering spirits to Viapori to other people than the Russian soldiers was subject to customs regulations. The emperor was of the same opinion as the committee. The National Archives.
  2. Announcement 1.9.1819 of count Loggin Petrovitš Heiden, the military governor and the chief commander of the fortress of Viapori, to the commandant, general major Konstantin Pavlovits Gavro that civil persons do not have access to Viapori. The National Archives.
  3. Nikolai Sinebrychoff. Portrait painted by Johan Erik Lindh in the 1830s. Wikimedia Commons.
  4. Spirits bottle and silver empire beaker. Privately owned.
  5. The fortress of Viapori. Map published in 1830 in Атлас крепостей Российской империи. (Atlas of the fortresses in the Russian Empire). Wikimedia Commons.
  6. Spread of guideline of the general prison of Viapori, in which you can see prisoners’ working hours. In summers, the workday was from 04.30 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. At noon, there was 1,5 hours break. This compassionate guideline of the general prison of Viapori was given on 19.10.1829. The National Archives.
  7. Secret letter on the dekabrist rebels which would be transferred to Finland to various fortresses to wait for the move to Siperia. List of prisoners attached to the letter. Four prisoners arrived to Viapori’s Särkkä island on 25.10.1826: lieutenant colonel Lunin, lieutenant Gromnitški, second lieutenant Kirejev and colonel Mitkov. The National Archives.
  8. Today we do not have much information about dekabrist prisoners’ life and conditions in Finland. Johan Albrekt Ehrenström, who was leading the re-building of Helsinki, told in his letter to Johan Fredrik Aminoff in February 1827 that the general governor Arseni Zakrevsky had visited them in Särkkä. The National Archives.
  9. Map showing the location of the Russian troops in Finland in 1830. Divisions of third brigade, which were located in Western Finland and in the surroundings of Hämeenlinna, were also located in Viapori. The National Archives.
  10. The fortress of Viapori interested tourists for many reasons. Gustaf Magnus Armfelt, governor of the Uusimaa province, reported to the governor general Aleksander Mensikov on 7.8.1839 about the visits of French and English visitors to Viapori saying that ”they had seen all the places where walking was permitted… but they were not permitted to see neither Kustaanmiekka nor Pikku Mustasaari”. The National Archives.

On the Wall

Barthélémy Lauvergne, Vue de Sveaborg (View of Viapori) coloured stone print, which was published in the work Voyages de la Commission scientifique du Nord, en Scandinavie, Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feröe in 1852.The French artist Lauvergne visited Helsinki in 1839. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Oswald Walter Brierly, Her Majestys Ships Arrogant Capt[ai]n H. R. Yelverton & Hecla Capt[ai]n W.H. Hall Destroying the batteries at Eckness May 20th 1854, coloured lithography.

British vessels destroyed the coastal battery near Tammisaari in the riot of Vitsand, but they gave up the idea of capturing the freight ships of the town. Privately owned.

Vitrine 14: The Crimean War on the Baltic Sea

  1. Map on the sea areas outside the fortress of Viapori and the neighbouring islands. On this map, marked on 1.5.1854 you can see the underwater mines (A) for the purpose of enemy attacks and the artillery battery (B) of the southern part of Vallisaari. Mines were a very annoying surprise for the British and French fleets. The National Archives.
  2. The work of Fredrik Theodor Blomstrand ”Kriget i Finska viken år 1854” was published in Stockholm already in 1854. The National Archives.
  3. Two Summer Cruises with the Baltic Fleet. Robert Edgar Hughes. London 1855. Privately owned.
  4. Russians built several artillery batteries to defend the coasts in Helsinki and the surroundings: Munkkiniemi, Lehtisaari, Lauttasaari (several), Hietaniemi, Hietalahti, Jätkäsaari, Punavuori and Kaivopuisto. In the drawing of a batteri with 8 cannons in Jätkäsaari are also to be seen the ovens (red ones below) which were meant for blazing the bullets. Drawing has been dated 5.10.1855. The National Archives.
  5. The residents in Helsinki noted the construction of batteries, but they did not necessarily understand the reason for that. Sven Gabriel Elmgren, intern in the library of the university of Helsinki, was wondering about he construction of the Russian coastal batteries off Kaivopuisto in his diary on 1.8.1855 ” …it is incomprehensible where all these batteries directing to the sea are needed…”
  6. S.G.Elmgren followed, like other Helsinki residents, shocked the bombardment of Viapori which lasted for 46 hours. Elmgren wrote down his observations of the bombardment and its consequences in his diary 11.8. and 13.8.1855. The National Archives.
  7. Lists of 42 Russian soldiers who were killed in the bombardment of Viapori on 28.-29.7./9 – 10.8.1855, were taken up in 1895 when they started to plan a memorial on this in connection to the Alexander Nevsky church.
  8. The Russian medal in the ribbon of St.George’s Cross in honour of the Crimean War. Privately owned.
  9. The British medal in honour of the war campaings in the Baltic Sea in 1854 and 1855. Privately owned.
  10. After the British-French fleet had departed, Russians continued with the new fortress work in Viapori. Map on the new fortifications during 1855 shows their main compass point – southwest, direction from where the fortress had been bombed in August 1855. The National Archives.

On the Wall

Picture by night on Viapori bombardment 9.8.1855. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Several pictures and maps were published from the Viapori bombardment in 1855. In the map, which was published in Stockholm in 1856 on the fortress of Viapori and the city of Helsinki, it is seen very clearly the grouping and duties of different divisions in the British and French fleets during the bombardment of Viapori on 9 and 10 August 1855. The map was published by Adolf Bonnier in 1856. Privately owned.

On the Wall

Edwin T. Dolby’s picture work  ”Dolby’s sketches in the Baltic” conveyd the British people other snapshots from the war trips in the Baltic than common views from the sea battles. In the above picture we can see the seaman Lucas on HMS Heclan to throw a sibilant bomb over board near Bomarsund in the Åland Islands in 1854. The idyll in the picture below tells about the unofficial side of the war. Tammisaari region residents from differents estates got acquainted with the mentioned enemy’s vessel and its crew soon after the fighting had stopped. Privately owned.

On the Wall

A very truthful picture on Viapori and Helsinki ”The fortifications of Sweaborg & the City of Helsingfors” published in Great Britain. According to the publisher, it was based on ”pictures of E.T.Dolby and other formal documents”. Colour lithography was published in 1854. Privately owned.

Vitrine 15: Bombardment of Viapori in August 1855

  1. Frans Liewendahl, bombardment of Viapori seen from Tähtitorninmäki, colour lithography dated 1855. Panorama of the bombardment of the fortress is provided with explanations in French, Swedish and Russian perhaps taking into consideration a more extensive group of buyers. Panorama was bought in a round case. Privately owned.
  2. The expanding telegraph network made possible to satisfy the quickly increasing ”hunger” for the news of the readers. The Illustrated London News published in July-September 1835 many illustrated reportages, which described riots and bombardments as well as seizures of trade vessels and coastal vessels in Santahamina, Hamina, Viapori, Kotka and Ruotsinsalmi. British readers were also told about ”infernal equipment” (sea mines) and Finland’s national anthem (Maamme). Privately owned.

Vitrine 16: Modernisation of the Fortress

  1. The drawing of an experimental casemate, which was to be built in Vallisaari, provided with a note ”Handled 15./27.12,1858”. The recent bombardment of Viapori had clearly shown that the open artillery stations were vulnerable. This was the reason to start the development of more covered solutions (casemated) to protect guns, ammunitons and crew. The Natonal Archives.
  2. The significance of Vallisaari, which is located opposite Kustaanmiekka, was noticed very early. Already under the Crimean War it was started to plan there a central fortress to secure the coastal artillery batteries. Drawing of the casemated battery for the Heir, which was planned in Vallisaari in 1889. It reflects the locations of resources of the great power. The National Archives.
  3. Plan for the battery of three 8 inches cannons to be built to Lehmäsaari located between Santahamina and Laajasalo. Handled and dated 10.5.1900. The National Archives.
  4. Station map from 1893 on Lauttasaari, which shows the locations of artillery batteries and gunpowder storages, among other things. Five batteries, which were located in capes, had been there already during the Crimean war. The National Archives.
  5. Plan for the battery 1A in the south part of Lauttasaari, provided with with a note ”Handled 29.8./10.9.1886”. Some pencil markings have been added to it in 1904, which are perhaps connected to the modernisation needs of the battery. Because of the rapidly developing military tecnology there was a constant need to renew the arsenal. The National Archives.

Vitriini 17: Modernisation of Viapori

  1. Viapori was a military area, but the old ”core” of the fortress from the Swedish era was at the same time a tourist attraction. August Ramsay’s travel guide ”Vägvisare i Finland” published by Finland’s Tourist Association in 1895 told what to do if one wanted to visit Viapori: permit to visit had to be applied for from the commandant government of Viapori fortress. The information in the book on the history of the fortress and its sights are traditional, although the garrison church is described to be less interesting. In the text, it is mentioned briefly that there was no access to the islands of Harakka and Särkkä, which were furnished with cannons.
  2. In practice, Viapori was strongly a Russian fortress, which had both Finnish- and Swedish-speaking workers. Decision of the engineering department of the Russian war ministry 23.3.1891 regarding the change of the Swedish name of the Viapori fortress and the areas belonging to the fortress to Russian names, had obviously practical reasons, but it was also in line with the stronger russification endeavours of the Grand Duchy. The National Archives.
  3. Viapori’s fortification area from the Swedish era was also a war harbour until 1870s, but it was not anymore suitable for this when the was ships entered into the maschine time. The war harbour of the fortress was transferred to Katajanokka. The eastern part of the Katajanokka prison was constructed to a modern war harbour with barracks, workshops, coal storages and floting dockyards. Map of the military harbour of Viapori dated 1917. The National Archives.
  4. Russian war ships in Helsinki. Helsinki City Museum and Wikimedia Commons.

Glass Vitrine

  1. In Finland people followed with a great interest the war events between Russia and Japan in 1904-1905. The work ”Sota Aasiassa”, which was published immediately after the war in 1905, gave a whole picture of the events. The work ”Sota Aasiassa” includes a bird picture on Port Artur’s eastern hills and a dramatic picture, typical of war reportages, on the proceeding of the Japanese artillery. Privately owned.
  2. Many Finnish officers participated in the war against Japan, major-general Moses Muurman among others. The regiment under his command distinguished itself in the defence combats of Port Artur. Photo privately owned.
  3. The Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 started with a surprise attack of Japan to the Russian naval base Port Arthur located in the south part of Manchuri. The losses suffered by the Pacific Ocean navy forced Russia to move its navy from the Baltic Sea to an area, where it suffered a crashing defeat in Tsushima. The literary work, which was published in Finland in 1905, tells about the experiences of the Japanese naval officer off Port Arthur. Privately owned.
  4. Russian battleship Retvizan which was sunk in the habour of Port Arthur 1904. Wikimedia Commons.

On the Wall

The development of the military technology was reflected in the extension of the areas which the fortresses demanded, but Russia also gave up the maintenance of many fortresses which were already old. The significance of Viapori and the fortifications of Viipuri, however, increased again as Russia lost its navy in the war against Japan in 1904-1905. The areas of both fortresses were defined in Finland’s decree collection in 1909 by means of various zones. The red area was the actual fortress area. In the 7 kilometers long yellow area, the commander of the fortress had extensive control. The green area was sk. a general area. The National Archives.

On the Wall

At the beginning of the 1900s, the fortress of Viapori consisted of many fortifications, batteries, observation stations etc. which are to be seen in the map showing telephone connections between different units of the fortress. Privately owned.

Vitrine 18: The Viapori Rebellion 1906 and the 100th Anniversary of the Capture of Viapori 1908

  1. Leaders in the Viapori rebellion in July 1906, who had been executed already 29.7./11.8.1906. Lieutenant Arkadi Petrovitš Jemeljanov was injured at the beginning of the rebellion, which is seen to be decisive as regards the outcome of the rebellion. Lieutenent Jevgeni Lvovitš Kohanski was imprisoned after his arrival to the battleship Tsesarevitš. He was loyal to the emperor, which was contrary to common thoughts. Their photos were published in Elviira Willman-Eloranta’s book ”Vallankumouksen vyöryssä” in 1918. The National Library.
  2. The rebels surrended already after three days 20.7/2.8.1906, after exact firing of the battleships Tsesarevitš and Slava and the cruiser Bogatyrin. The ships stayed unreachable for the coastal artillery conquered by the rebels, so the result was clear. In the picture battleship Tsesarevitš off Viapori. Wikimedia Commons.
  3. Chart showing the location of the garrison troops of Helsinki and Viapori 17./29.7.1906 when the rebellion broke out. Chart dates from 1933. Wikimedia Commons.
  4. The rebellion of Viapori was noted abroad, especially in France, for which the military alliance with Russia was particularly important. The cover photo of Le Petit Parisien magazine 19.8.1906 gave its readers a colourful picture of the rebellion events in Katajanokka, Helsinki. In the background are to be seen Viapori and warships.
  5. The contribution of the Finnish Red Guard, who came to help the rebels, was only minor, for the reason that they were clearly shocked of the firing against them. The bourgeois satirical magazine Fyren made fun of them after the rebellion. The National Library.
  6. The judgement of the military court led by major general Nikiforov 4.9.1906. Punishments were either executions or long imprisonments. According to statistics, various military courts had sentenced to death in total 450 persons in 1906. By April 1907, the number of executed was over 1000. The National Archives.
  7. In his undated memorandum lawyer Robert Hermanson underlines that Viapori was part of Finland’s Grand Duchy, the city of Helsinki and the province of Uusimaa. It was the duty of the commendant of the fortress to command his troops and act accordingly, but civilians had to be condemned in the Finnish court. The situation of those civilians who had participated in the battle was different. Finland’s governor-general Nikolai Gerard agreed with that. The accused civilians were sentenced for treason according to Finland’s law. They were given only mild punishments. The National Archives.
  8. Picture cavalcade of the 100th anniversary celebration of the capture of Viapori. Celebrations were held in the fortress in April-May 1908 according to the Russian calendar: The field decorated in front of the Alexander Nevski church, three soldiers wearing uniforms dating from the beginning of the 1800s and picture of the religious service. The National Board of Antiquities.
  9. 9. The day order 27.4./10.5.1908 of the fortress of Viapori included a greetings telegram, printed in gold, of emperor Nicholas to the fortress, and a telegram which the commander of Viapori, general major Vladimir Aleksandrovitš Laiming’s sent to the emperor on the same matter already on the previous. The National Archives.
  10. Finljandskaja gazeta, a Russian newspaper published in Finland which cherished the interests of the Empire, contained many articles in April-May telling about the 100th anniversary of the capture of Viapori.Telegram of Nikolai II to the fortress of Viapori was also published then. The National Archives.

On the Wall

After the outbreak of the WW1 in August 1914, the Russian military authorities started to strengthen powerfully the defence of Helsinki facing the continent with field fortifications, clearances, trenches and artillery positions. Because of lack in labour force, wall workers were recruited even from China. Map on the forticifation works performed in the western sector between Leppävaara and Tapiola in 1915-1916. The National Archives


Vitrine 19: The First World War

  1. As the World War I broke out, the construction of Peter the Great’s coastal fortress – coastal artillery defending both coasts of the Gulf of Finland – was unfinished. The pace of work became faster, and already in 1914 they started to create for the fortress of Viapori defence lines surrounding Helsinki. Labour force was first recruited by force under martial law .The register dated on 21.10.1916 in Mellunkylä, a rural municipality of Helsinki, includes 137 workmen from Heinola and Hartola, Lahti etc., National Archives.
  2. Russians resorted in naval defence primarily to mines, which proved to be very effective. Already at the beginning of the war, they caused repeatedly losses to the German navy in the Baltic Sea. Map on protective mining of the fortress of Viapori dated 28.5.1915. The National Archives.
  3. Map on the fortification works and artillery positions in the fortress of Viapori. Wikimedia Commons.
  4. As fortification work started to wane in the summer of 1917, a considerable number of artillery and launchers had already been collected in the fortress of Viapori, in total 631 pipes including 8 for air defence. There were discussions on the defence preparedness of the seafortress and landfortress of Viapori in August 1917. See the attachment of the report. The National Archives.
  5. The importance of air defence increased during the war. Placard with type descriptions to help to recognize Russian and German seaplanes operating in the Baltic Sea area. No date (1916 or 1917). The National Archives.
  6. Ports of Helsinki and Tallinn, which were protected by the fortresses, were important bases for the Russian Baltic fleet during the world war. During wintertime, liners at Kruunuvuorenselkä were a common sight for the residents in Helsinki. Wikipedia Commons.
  7. The 6 inches (152 mm) Canet cannon in the picture, was one of the most common models in the Russian coastal artillery. These were placed to open fortresses of concrete outside Helsinki. Wikimedia Commons.
  8. During the February revolution, tens of officers were murdered in Helsinki, among others commander of the Russian Baltic fleet, vice-admiral Adrian Nepenin. The Russian interim government, which took power after emperor Nikolai II had resigned, tried to calm down the situation by a declaration to the army and navy promising changes. The National Archives.
  9. As Germany and its Allies had signed the peace treaty with Soviet-Russia in Brest-Litovsk 3./16.3.1918, it did not cause any problems to the commander of the German navy units, which had arrived in Hanko on 3.4.1918, to agree with the representatives of the commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet that the Russian vessels, which stayed in Helsinki during wintertime, had the right to leave for Kronstadt without any obstacles. Treaty signed between the representatives of the Germany Navy and Russian Navy 3.4.1918, later copy. The National Archives.
  10. Among the boats, which departed from Helsinki, there was also a former imperial yacht called Standart. Helsinki City Museum.

Missile boat Raahe. Naval Academy.

Hämeenmaa-class minelayer. Naval Academy.

Vitrine 20: From Viapori to Suomenlinna

  1. Finland’s red-yellow flag was hoisted in the fortress of Viapori on 12.5.1918. The new The Finnish name Suomenlinna was taken into use the next day.
  2. Fredrik Henrik af Chapman’s 200th anniversary was the first great celebration organised by the Ehrensvärd Society.
  3. President Urho Kekkonen and his spouse were hosts during the visit of Baudouin, the king of Belgium and drottning Fabiola to Suomenlinna.
  4. The Ehrensvärd Society published works on Suomenlinna.

Vitrine 21: Prisoner Camp of the Reds and Penitentiary

  1. Map of the Suomenlinna prisoner camps of the Reds 1918-1919. Helsinki City Museum and the Governing Body of Suomenlinna.
  2. Pictures from the Suomenlinna prisoner camp of the Reds. The National Board of Antiquities and the Gallen-Kallela Museum.
  3. Letter from the prisoner’s family 3.9.1918. The National Archives.
  4. Letter to the mother of a prisoner who was sentenced to death. The National Archives.
  5. Decision to free the prisoner. The National Archives


On the Wall

Two posters with Suomenlinna motifs designed by artist Erik Brun from Suomenlinna.

On the Wall

Suomenlinna’s first intendant, artist Heikki Tandefelt. Privately owned.

On the Wall

The church of Suomenlinna seen from the dockyard.

Vitrine 22: The Ehrensvärd Society 100 years

  1. In order to cherish the history of Suomenlinna Sweden’s Gripsholm Castle, among others, was used as a model. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  2. Invitation from the temporary committee of the Ehrensvärd Society to participate in the Society’s foundation meeting.
  3. The foundation meeting of the Ehrensvärd Society was held in the officers’ club in Suomenlinna on 8.5.1921. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  4. On 15.6.1921 the goverment granted to the Ehrensvärd Society the exclusive right to publish copies of historical motifs on Suomenlinna until the end of 1925. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  5. During the first years, the activities of the Society were financed by selling postcards produced by Heikki Tandefelt. Privately owned.
  6. Henrik af Chapman’s anniversary in Suomenlinna made contacts to Sweden stronger. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  7. During the first years, State councillor J.R.Danielson-Kalmari participated in the activities of the Ehrensvärd Society. The letter of thanks of Daniel-Kalmari to the Society for remembering his 75th anniversary. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  8. The Ehrensvärd Society’s vice chairman, pharmacist Edvard Stigzelius supported the Society’s activities in many ways. He owned the pharmacy in the Market Square and had exclusive rights for the Oxygenol toothpaste in Finland. The Ehrensvärd Society.
  9. The cannon sloop Diane, which has been built according to the drawings by Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, is owned by the Ehrensvärd Society.
  10. Proposal to invite Sweden’s Crown Prince as the honorary member of the Society on 26.1.1933. The Ehrensvärd Society.

On the Wall

A memorial in the Ehrensvärd Museum in honour of the visit of King Gustaf V and Queen Victoria of Sweden on 22.8.1925.

On the Wall

Heikki Tandefelt’s painting with a Suomenlinna motif. Privately owned.

Vitrine 23: Coastal Artillery of Suomenlinna

  1. On 16.9.1918 the name of Suomenlinna Fortress Artillery was changed to Suomenlinna Coastal Artillery Battalion and on 7.5.1919 to Coastal Artillery Regiment I. Day order for Suomenlinna

Fortress Artillery and Coastal Artillery Regiment 1 and a military stemcard. (National Archives, Suomenlinna Fortress Artillery T-21071/42 and RTR 1 R738).

  1. Soldiers by the cannon in Suomenlinna 1918. The Museum of Gallen-Kallela. The photograph collection of Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

Vitrine 24: Finland’s Army in Viapori

  1. On 12.5.1918 a solemn ceremony was arranged on the parade field of Viapori with Finland’s flag-hoisting, honorary guard with a musical band and the military parade in the parade field (National Archives, Day Order of Suomenlinna commandant Number 2/1918).
  2. List of buildings drawn up by the Viapori department of spoils of war 9.5.1918. (National Archives, Suomenlinna civilian commandant 1918)
  3. The inauguration ceremony of Suomenlinna church was arranged on 22.12.1918. (National Archives, Day Order for Suomenlinna garrison Number 36/1918)
  4. Day order for the garrison in Suomenlinna on the collection for charity purposes and Christmas party arranged by the spouses of the officers in 1918 (National Archives, Day Order for Garrison Number 40/1918)
  5. Scrap which was left by Russians in Viapori after the war in spring 1918. The Gallen-Kallela Museum.

Vitrine 25: The Naval Base

  1. Minelayer Pohjanmaa was taken into use in 1979 and it was used as a school ship until 2013. The ship diary of the minelayer Pohjanmaa dates from 1979 and a story on sailing abroad from 1981. (National Archives Naval Academy T-27516/86, 100)
  2. Submarine Vesikko’s ship diary from 1944 and the general drawing of the vessel. (The National Archives Cabinet of the Naval Forces T-19702 and Vesikko submarine T-21722/17)
  3. Submarine Vesikko rises to the surface on 1.8.1941 (SA-picture)

Vitrine 26: The Naval Academy

  1. The Naval Academy was established on 1.11.1930 after re-organisation of the Cadet School. Training was transferred to Suomenlinna in 1935. (National Archives, Day Order for the Naval Academy Number 1/1930)
  2. The Naval Academy’s curriculum 1935-1936 and the annual report 1936-1937. (National Archives, T-23713/39 and the Naval Academy T-27519/9)
  3. Statue representing Finland’s lion in front of the main building of the Naval Academy designed by Tapio Wirkkala was originally planned, in the competition arranged by the costal brigade of Onega, as a monument for the fallen in 1942 (National Archives, the Naval Academy T-27517/7)
  4. Lion statue designed by Tapio Wirkkala in the yard of the Naval Academy in Pikku Mustasaari. Bonin Volker von, Photographer 1956. Helsinki City Museum.
  5. History of the lion statue of the Naval Academy.