History of Finnish Fortifications

In the late 13th century, Sweden, representing the western church and power,

founded castles at Turku (Åbo), Häme (Tavastehus) and Kuusisto (Kustö) as administrative centres. The castle of Vyborg was founded in 1293, marking the start of the struggle between Sweden and Russia - first Novgorod, then Moscow - for mastery of the Baltic and control of Finland. Torkel Knutson and Alexander Nevsky opposed each other and they launched an arms race of their era: building fortresses.

In 1294 Sweden conquered the ancient Karelian mid-13th century fortresses of Korela (Käkisalmi), which was controlled by Novgorod, and named it Kexholm. Just a few months later Novgorod troops retook the fortress and in 1310 began to construct a secure new fortress at Korela. At the same time Sweden founded the castle of Landscrona at the mouth of the Neva River.

The Treaty of Nöteborg of 1323 marked a lull in the struggle. Novgorod then began to build a border fortification at Orekhovets (Nöteborg, Pähkinäsaari) known as Oreshek. When the fighting started again, the wooden fortress burned down, a couple of decades after being built. In the mid-14th century Novgorod troops began construction of a stone fortress in the old Russian style.

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Article Source: http://www.fort.fi

Image Source: Kuusisto castle ruins - Wikipedia Commons

Keywords: Finland, Fortifications, History





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