The representative square of Tallinn – Freedom Square is a popular meeting place designed for pedestrians. The monument to the War of Independence is also located there.
Over the years, the square has gone by many names: Heinaturg (Hay Market), Peetri plats (Peter’s Square), and Võiduväljak (Victory Square) among them. It was first named Freedom Square in 1939, remaining that way until 1948. The name was readopted in 1989.
The defensive structures found at archaeological excavations have been preserved and stored in the parking lot under the square; the remains of the guard gates of the defence tower can be seen at the end of Harju Street through a glass screen.
Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are enchanting destinations for outings, next to the Suomenlinna fortress, just 20 minutes by boat from the Market Square in Helsinki. These two islands have served as the home and workplace of hundreds of people and as the place of military service for thousands of soldiers. Fortifications, buildings, and a record-breaking range of species tell a tale of coexistence between humans and wild nature. Just take a trip to these mysterious islands on which time seems to stand still.
World Heritage Site Suomenlinna is a cultural treasure. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. The development of tourism began after the wars in the 20th century, and in the 21st century, the Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Finland. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Suomenlinna is not only a popular visitor attraction but also a home of 800 residents.
The number of visitors to Suomenlinna has continued to grow, and with over 900,000 visitors every year, the sea fortress is one of Finland’s most popular tourist destinations. Suomenlinna attracts visitors from both Finland and abroad: it offers an ideal environment for exploring a historical world heritage site, or just spending a day relaxing. Many visitors come to the island during the summer, but the number of wintertime visitors is steadily growing.
The ruins of the Ungru manor used to represent one of the most impressive Neo-Baroque buildings in Estonia, although it never was really finished. Its sophisticated footprint and the numerous baroque volute ornaments on its gables are characteristic for the castle.
Interesting to know: The Ungru Manor was an almost exact copy of the Merseburg castle in Germany. After World War II the manor fell into the hands of Soviet troops, in 1968 the chief of the airport decided to use the ruins of the manor to fill in the holes in the runway. About one-third of the manor was torn down, fortunately, the rest was preserved until today. Compare the neat ruins of the manor to the contrasting Soviet airfield remains next to them.
The Pärnu Museum is one of the most modern historical museums in the Baltics and offers an experience for the whole family. Permanent exhibition "The History of 11,000 Years - Experience from Ancient Times" brings you an exciting time line through the Stone Age, the medieval trade routes, the Baroque Fortress to the nostalgic Soviet period.
Tartu Cathedral, located on the beautiful Toomemägi Hill, is one of the largest churches in Estonia. It is also the only mediaeval church with two towers in Estonia. The construction of the church started in the 13th century and the church was fully completed in the beginning of the 16th century. The church towers were the last things to be finished. During the Livonian War, the church was destroyed and since then, it has not operated as a church. The ruins of the Tartu Cathedral are one of the most prominent examples of brick-Gothic buildings in Old Livonia.
The University of Tartu Museum, which introduces the history of science and university education, operates there. In addition to the museum, there is also the Toompood store, and visitors can also go to the cathedral’s towers, which offer beautiful views.
Kylämäki Village in Kurala is made up of four farms with buildings still standing at their original sites. The village has been inhabited since the 7th century. Nowadays, Kurala is a village of living history where visitors can travel back in time to a typical Southwest Finnish farm of the 1950s, complete with authentic scents and rural atmosphere.
During summer in the Iso-Kohmo kitchen, oven-baked treats prepared to Grandma’s recipes are warming on the wood-burning stove. The farmer’s wife tells of everyday activities from the old days, whilst also giving handy tips on things such as making juice.
Koroistenniemi is the original site of ancient Turku. The large white cross marks the cradle of early medieval culture.
Before Turku settled in its present position, Koroistenniemi, located just off the Aura River, was a bustling centre of commerce, culture and religion. A wide variety of ruins remain as a testament to that age, including the stone foundation for a wooden church from the mid-1200s. Indeed, Finland's first extensive, modern archaeological excavations were done here in 1898-1902.
The National Board of Antiquities has named Koroinen one of Finland's most important Built Heritage sites. The site is marked by a large white memorial cross, which can be seen when arriving by train from Helsinki.
German, Swedish and Italian architectural influences are mixed in the building style of the Town Hall that dates back to the 17th century (architect G. Teuffel). The architectural complex of the Town Hall Square included the Town Hall, Stock Exchange, and residences of the wealthy Swedish citizenry.
The Northern yard is our attempt of recreating the 17th century. Here, we imagine genuine and vibrant early modern urban quarters with houses, people, and their everyday lives. This way, a guest of the Northern yard is instantly taken 300–400 years back in time.
The Fortress of Lappeenranta is a unique place in South-Eastern Finland. Inhabited and full of life even today, it once formed part of a defence system that also included the fortress of Suomenlinna in Helsinki and the fortress of Hamina.
Although different in size, all three of these fortresses are of a similar nature and share the same passion for development. While seeking to protect and preserve these areas through careful land use planning, they also aim to increase services and levels of activity around the year.
The Fortress of Lappeenranta was constructed as a border fortress, forming part of the chain of fortresses between Finland and North-Western Russia. Over the centuries, the Fortress was alternately held by the Swedes and Russians. Today, the Fortress of Lappeenranta is a valuable component of Finnish, Russian and Swedish cultural heritage and forms part of the Castles and Fortifications chain of cultural destinations.
A visit to the medieval castle at Kastelholm in Sund makes for an exciting outing for the whole family. It was mentioned for the first time in writing in an estate inventory for Bo Johnsson Grip in 1388.
A coastal defence system in Reposaari, Pori, built in the 1930s.
Reposaari fortress is a coastal defence system in Reposaari, Pori, built in the 1930s. The fortress is situated in the southern part of the island, west of the Reposaari village. In total, the area covers approximately 20 hectares.
The fortress comprises two gun emplacements, two ammunition warehouses, three crew and medical bunkers, fire control post, observation tower and trenches connecting them. The concrete gun emplacements, ammunition warehouses and fire control post are original. The wooden bunkers and an observation tower were rebuilt in the 1990s and 2000s, as were the timber walls of the connecting trenches.
The fortress was originally the coastal battery of the Reposaari naval civil guard, and it was built by volunteers in 1935. The construction of the battery was funded by Werner Hacklin, and as far as is known, it is the only privately funded coastal battery in Finland. Its purpose was to protect the port of Pori, as well as the city itself. The battery was controlled by the naval civil guard until the mobilisation of autumn 1939, when the Finnish Defence Forces assumed its control. At the same time, the battery was expanded into a fortress.
Petäjävesi Old Church gained inclusion in Unesco's world heritage list as an prime example of northern wooden architecture in 1994. The church is representative of Scandinavian, Lutheran church architecture and the long tradition of log building.
The building of Olavinlinna Castle began in 1475. The Danish-born founder of the castle, knight Erik Axelsson Tott, decided that a powerful fortification should be build to protect the strategically important Savo region
Building started on Uppsala Slott (Uppsala Castle) in 1549 during the reign of Swedish King Gustav Vasa who intended it as a fortress. Look up from almost any location in Uppsala and you'll see it on the skyline at Kasåsen.
The castle is the location of several major events in the history of Uppsala and Sweden; for example, ‘the Sture Murders’ in 1567 when several noblemen were butchered at the behest of deranged King Erik XIV who had accused them of treason (their clothes are displayed at Uppsala Cathedral). Like many mid-1500s castles in Sweden, bloodbaths, conflict and political plotting were par for the course.
As fired, which engulfed Uppsala and the castle in 1702 when it virtually burned to the ground. Its remnants were then scavenged for the building of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, which didn’t help matters much. The castle façade you see today is faithful to the bright colour it was following its reconstruction in 1740.
If you like mysterious places with breathtaking stories, the sites that have witnessed many battles, travel around Lithuania and visit its impressive castles. Lithuanians valiantly defended them and that's why they were not destroyed to the present day and are delighting the residents of Lithuania and the eyes of its visitors.
Kaunas Town Hall, referred to as a “White Swan”, is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the temporary capital city. It stands in the Town Hall Square – the main square of the city of Kaunas.
Stjärnorp manor ruins are ruins of a 17th-century manor of the northern shore of Lake Roxen. The manor burned down in 1789 and the main building was never restored.
Stjärnorp's castle was erected in 1655–1662 (in the parish of Vreta monastery ) by the Count and Field Marshal Robert Douglas (1611–1662). The castle and terraces were designed by Nicodemus Tessin. According to a story, it is said that when the war comrades and arms brothers Robert Douglas and Axel Lillie came home from the Westphalian peace, they entered into an agreement to build their respective castles, Stjärnorp's castle and Löfstad castle, so high that they could see and send greetings from the top floor to each other.
All buildings were destroyed by a fire on May 12, 1789, but the castle chapel was restored already that year. The wing buildings were also rebuilt soon but financial resources were lacking for the main building, which is still a ruin.
Travel back in time at Örebros old art castle. Here you can go for exciting ghost walks, look for treasures and guided tours that take you from the castle's dark and humid prison caves for prisoners of war, thieves and witches up to the magnificent halls built for royalty like Karl IX, and Karl XIV Johan.
Everyone who wants to learn more about life in Västerbotten and its history should visit Västerbottens museum.It tells how the Sami people populated the forests and mountains, how fishing peoples lived along the coast and about the importance of skis as a form of transport in this region.
The Kajaani castle was built on the Ämmäkoski island of the Kajaani river in the centre of Kajaani, Finland, in the 17th century. It functioned as a governing centre, a prison, and a refuge for residents during times of persecution. The most famous prisoner in the castle was the historian Johannes Messenius, who was forced to live in the poor conditions of the castle from 1616 to 1635.
Construction of the Kajaani castle began in 1604 and was completed in 1619. At first the castle only consisted of a stone wall, two round towers, and wooden buildings in the yard inside the castle. The second phase of construction was ordered by Count Peter Brahe which began in the 1650s and was completed in 1666. Upon completion many of the original wooden structures had been replaced with stone and the castle had become a fortress.
During the “Greater Wrath”, Russian forces kept the castle under siege for months, and upon its surrender they blew up much of the fortress, transporting the inhabitants to Russia to be imprisoned. Kajaani Castle is thought to be the smallest stone castle, and the most northernmost, in the world.
Vikbron is Sweden's longest wooden bridge of its kind. Its beautiful wooden structure spans its 133 meters above Ljungan's shiny water. The bridge is open to pedestrians and the beautiful environment in the area makes the bridge well worth a visit.
At Simsjön on Billingen lies the Ryttmästarbostället - a historical attraction with an exciting history. Here you can follow a journey back in time and learn about the simple rider's little cabin and life as well as the rider's place of residence.
On a guided tour you will meet the cavalry Major Bernhard Englund, who tells us in-depth about the old jacks and their commanders. In this story everyone is thrilled, and you hear about how Sweden was built and became a great power in Europe. You will also hear about tugs and trailers at home in the village, and a time when only the strongest survived. Guided tours are pre-booked.
If you want to make a visit without a guided tour, you can stroll around the old buildings and enjoy the exterior environment. In several places, you can also stop in for a dozen and have the exciting story of life told you before. The environment consists of partially relocated old soldier villages, but the rider's residence itself is a reconstruction after drawings from 1687.
Kronobergs Slott is a medieval castle ruin, picturesquely situated on a bankside island in the lake Helgasjön. It is located about 5 kilometres north of the provincial capital Växjö .
The emergence of Kronobergs Slott goes back to the period around 1444 when Bishop Lars Mikaelsson built a fortified residence for the bishops of Växjö. During the Dacke War in 1542/43, Kronobergs Slott was the headquarter of a farmers' army, which was fighting against the troops of the Swedish King Gustav Vasa under the leadership of Nils Dacke, who was honoured as a national hero in Småland.
Over the next 200 years, Kronobergs Slott was frequently the subject of military conflicts, because of its function as a border fortification to the former Danish provinces Skåne and Blekinge. During this time, the fortress was burnt down at least twice by Danish troops and rebuilt a bit bigger each time after the reconquests.
Today's ruins of the rectangular castle with its four round corner towers are the remains of Kronobergs Slott after the last reconstruction in 1616. After the Danish provinces had finally become Swedish in 1658, the fortress lost its strategic value. It was abandoned and ruined at the end of the 17th century, served as a temporary quarry for building houses in Vaxjö.
In the old historic farm there is a rich Collection of traditional textiles, cobblery and prehistoric finds. Flax is grown in Dädesjö, where both old fashioned and modern linen production methods are shown.
The monument was build to preserve the unique historical values, spatial tangible and intangible, symbolizing the heroism and bravery of Polish soldiers during the Second World War - the largest of the wars of the twentieth century.
A thick hemp rope, a system of blocks and two wooden turnstiles moved by... walking workers. The crane’s medieval mechanism lifting 4-ton loads to a height of 11 metres was also used to install masts. Located on the Motława River, Gdańsk’s most characteristic monument is the largest medieval port crane in Europe and at the same time a fortified water gate with two huge brick towers, once protecting the city from the side of the harbour. Now the majestic Crane, as a great example of historic port buildings, a witness of the powerful Hanseatic Gdańsk, called the granary of Europe, is the perfect setting for exhibitions of the National Maritime Museum. Its headquarters are also situated on the other side of the Motława River on Ołowianka Island.
The National Maritime Museum, considered to be one of the finest of its kind in Europe. Among the exhibits presented one can see: port navigation, techniques of reloading goods, what a merchant trading office and middle-class salon looked like, as well as the workshops of sailmakers, ship carpenters and ropemakers. The historic walls also conceal Poland’s only permanent exhibition of maritime paintings. The exhibition shows the history of diving and the most interesting archaeological sites in Poland and the world. It includes diving equipment: suits, devices and different types of diving bells that were used to explore the seabed. Some of the world’s most famous archaeological sites presented in the exhibition are shipwrecks from Homer’s epoch found off the coast of Turkey. The section devoted to underwater archaeology in Poland presents the largest achievements of the National Maritime Museum’s research team - “Miedziowca” a merchant ship from the fifteenth century, exploration of the Swedish warship “Solena” from the seventeenth century and the English wreck from the eighteenth century “General Carlton of Withby”. The youngest branch of the museum - the Maritime Culture Centre located next to the Crane is the only educational facility in Poland and one of the most modern facilities in Europe, which in an interactive and multimedia way presents maritime issues. It is an exciting adventure in science!