The Kyminlinna Fortress was planned by the Russians in the 1790s as part of a system of defences for St. Petersburg. The original fortress was torn down later and replaced with a more up-to-date fortress. It is Finland’s only caponier fortress that has survived intact. Kyminlinna is five kilometres northwest of the centre of the city of Kotka at the confluence of the eastern (Huumanhaara) and western (Langinkoskenhaara) branches of the River Kymijoki. The site can be freely visited on the outside, but entrance into the actual fortress requires the presence of a guide.
15th c. A manor and chapel are founded in the present area of Kyminlinna.
1556 King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden visits the manor and converts it a so-called royal manor owned by the crown. Defensive works are constructed in the area.
1743 As a result of the Swedish-Russian War 1741–1743, Sweden loses more territories to Russia, including the area of Kyminlinna.
1791-1792 A fortress designed by General Aleksandr Suvorov is built in the area.
1803 The new fortress of Kyminlinna comes under construction and Suvorov’s fortress is torn down. Kyminlinna was a modern fortress for its period.
1809 The eastern parts of Sweden are ceded to Russia as the result of the war of 1808 –1809. The unfinished fortress of Kyminlinna loses its importance as a border stronghold.
1819 The Kyminlinna Fortress is converted into a military depot.
1855 A new period of construction begins at Kyminlinna. Military encampments are held there in the summer months.
1918 The only battle in the history of the fortress is fought on the 9th of April between the Finnish Red Guard and German troops. After the Finnish civil war of 1918, the Kyminlinna Fortress area served as a temporary camp for imprisoned members of the Red Guard.
1922-1939 A centre for Karelian and Ingrian refugees operates at the Kyminlinna Fortress.
1939 Kyminlinna is taken into use by the Finnish Defence Forces.
1982 Restoration of the Kyminlinna Fortress begins.
Early 2000s Research, repairs and landscaping carried out in the area. The military garrison moves out in 2005.
Contact information and driving instructions
Access: The Kyminlinna Fortress and its parking area are on Sutelantie road in Kotka. Local buses in Kotka also serve the area of the fortress.
Kyminlinna is transferred to civilian use in 2003-2004 and preparations are made to open it up for tourism and cultural uses.
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