Savonlinna, as well as Turku, is one of my five favorite Finnish cities, however, ironically, I visit both cities in a very episodic way.
Savonlinna is a city with a rich history; it is considered one of the oldest settlements in Finland. Back in 1475, the Swedes, who had enough problems with the restless Russians in the east, decided to build a small but very impregnable fortress on one of the islands of the Lake Saimaa system.
The fortress was named Nyuslott, which in translation from the melodic Swedish dialect means – “New Castle”.
In 1534, the castle outgrew the name Nyuslott and, together with the surrounding buildings, to be called Olafsborg (St. Olaf’s castle), however, stubborn and very cunning Finns, in revenge for their historical past, changed the name to their own Finnish style, resulting in the name OlavinLinna.
In 1639, a small fortress on the lake Saimaa, with a trade rows and residential areas, received the long-awaited status of a city.
From this time happy residents of Savonlinna celebrate the city’s birthday every year, calling it St. Olaf’s Day.
Let’s walk along the embankment and streets of the city to feel the unique spirit of the city, breathing in deeply the tart aroma of the sunny summer days of Savonlinna …