Friday, June 24, 2011

Finland - 200th Anniversary of fortress Suomenlinna

This Fdc and the stamps on it were issued on 15th October 1948 on The 200th Anniversary of Helsinki’s Sea Fortress. Suomenlinna's history is closely entwined with that of Finland and the Baltic region. Helsinki can also thank Suomenlinna for its early growth and prosperity. The fortress was built in the 18th century to fortify defences at the eastern part of the Swedish Empire. After the fortress fell under Russian rule at the beginning of the 19th century, its role was to guard the shipping channels to St. Petersburg. The Swedish maritime fortress helped Helsinki to grow into a significant city which became the capital of Finland in 1812 when the country was an autonomous grand duchy within the Russian Empire. The fortress was built on virtually barren islands. Today, nature in Suomenlinna is extremely diverse. The scenery ranges from parks, yards and herb gardens to natural beaches, wild meadows and earth-filled sandbanks. The islands are surrounded by sea and bordered by cliffs and sandbanks.
Construction of Suomenlinna Fortress began in 1748 by Sweden. It was built on six islands, and took about 40 years to be completed. The fortress was surrendered to Russia in 1808. The Russians ruled the place for 110 years. The fortress was called Sveaborg (or Viapori in Finnish), the Fortress of Sweden. But in 1918, the next year of Finnish independence from Russia, it was officially renamed to Suomenlinna, the Castle of Finland. It is a popular tourist attraction nowadays, and ferry-boats are plied regularly between Suomenlinna and Helsinki harbor all year round. The Fortress was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1991. Thank you My Dear Friend Pia for this nice FDC.

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