Olavinlinna – The three-tower castle in Savonlinna

The fortress was founded in 1475 by a Danish knight called Erik Axelsson Tott, who at the time served as the governor of Vyborg Castle. Building site for the castle was chosen from the point of view of defense. It was difficult for the enemy to approach the castle and the waterways could be used to transport building material to the islet.

Before the building of the actual stone castle could be started, it was necessary to build a wooden fortification to protect the builders, who straight from the beginning had become the victims of Russians’ attacks.

Savonlinna Castle / Image: thelostpassport.com

The three-towered keep was completed in 1485, and the construction of the outer curtain walls with two towers was initiated immediately. They were completed in 1495. It was the first Swedish castle provided with a set of thickset circular towers that could withstand cannon fire.

Immediately after the main castle was finished the building of the so-called bailey was started. The bailey had two towers and the building work was finished at the end of the 15th century. At that time the castle with five towers rising on an islet represented the most modern defense architecture with round towers and high encircling walls.

One of the towers of Bailey, the Thick Tower, exploded in the 18th century. A bastion has been built on its place. The castle was converted into a Vaubanesque fort in the late 18th century with bastions. Several devastating fires destroyed much of the castle’s decor in the 19th century, all of its original furnishings were destroyed.

Featured Image: Savonlinna Castle / Image: Sjdunphy @flickr

Websites: kansallismuseo.fi


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