Olavinlinna is in English St. Olaf’s Castle and in Swedish it is Olofsborg, is a fortification. It was founded in 1475 by Danish born knight Erik Axelsson Tott. St. Olaf’s Castle is said that it is the oldest medieval stone castle here in the North. Its purpose was to protect Russian attacks from the East.
The castle is situated on an island in the middle of fast-flowing river. This did not finally help against the enemy which took it over in 1714. To me it was curious to hear from guide that did not have cannons. Solders were using bows and swords! The stairs of the castle were planned very narrow and steep. In those old days solders were right handed and that meant when attacking in stairs only left handed enemy could use sword with skill.
Originally Olavinlinna had four towers, but the fourth was damaged badly in 1714. Only three lowest were left, raised later and the fourth was dismounted. Water was on much more higher level and it can be seen in photo # 52. Photos 53 and 54 are presenting the ram of castle. It is said that once when the castle was attacked in the darkness of night, the ram came standing over wall and enemy was frightened it. Maybe they were superstitious and thought that they saw the devil, but who knows.
There is one interesting curiosity – world’s first water closet. Outside it can be seen in photos # 9 and # 10 Inside You can see it in photo #36. When a man went in the toilet, everything went straight into a river. At historic days the level of water was at more higher level. I have always been thinking what fishes thought about this.
By car from Helsinki it takes 3 hour and 30 minutes to the town of Savonlinna. It is open for public year round, but part (big courtyard) of it is closed during Savonlinna Opera Festivals which are held in July.
The castle is worth for visit, if I say it very simply. My series of photos are from 2006, 2007 and 2011, so You see that I love it. In 2011, I visited also in winter and then I took photos from big courtyard which closed during Opera Festivals. My photos are ending with winter photos and with three scale model to give better overview. I hope that my photos give to You good idea about Olavinlinna.
Resumen esn español:
El castillo de Olavinlinna se halla en un ciudadillo de Savonlinna y fue fundado en 1475. Es el mejor castillo preservado en Escandinavia entera. Durante verano allí hay Festival de Ópera de Savonlinna.
Résumé en francais:
Château-fort de Olavinlinna est situé dans une petite ville de Savonlinna et il a été fondé en 1475. Il est le mieux préservé château-fort dans toute la Scandinavie. Pendant l’été, il est le lieu de Festival d’opéra de Savonlinna.
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