Svartholma Sea Fortress

Turku & Finland's South Coast

Situated 10km offshore from Loviisa, this four-bastion fortress was built in 1748 to protect against further Russian invasion after Swedish losses in eastern Finland. It lasted until the Crimean War (1853–56), when it was largely destroyed by the British. The reconstructed fortress is a fabulous place to explore, and you can learn more at the free museum. There's an on-site cafe.

A waterbus runs from Laivasilta Marina (adult/child return €18/9, 35 minutes; cash only). Alternatively, the beautiful replica 19th-century yacht Österstjernan makes occasional trips.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Turku & Finland's South Coast attractions

1. Merenkulkumuseo

5.52 MILES

Housed in a red salt warehouse on the seafront, the Maritime Museum has collections and exhibitions related to the town's seafaring history. The highlight…

2. Loviisan kirkko

5.93 MILES

Dominating the market square is the red-brick neo-Gothic Loviisa Church, built in 1865.

3. Loviisa Town Museum

6.29 MILES

About 200m north of the town square, Loviisa Town Museum is set in an old manor house with three floors of interesting historical exhibits, particularly…

4. Ruotsinpyhtää Church

11.55 MILES

In 1743, when the Treaty of Åbo split the village of Pyhtää in two, the local church ended up on the eastern (Russian) side of the border. Shortly…

5. Strömfors Ironworks

11.62 MILES

At the edge of the village, Strömfors Ironworks is one of Finland’s oldest bruks, dating back to 1698. Today its red-stained buildings are an open-air…

6. Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge

21.46 MILES

Situated 5km north of Kotka amid the salmon-rich Kymijoki's rapids, this rustic wooden lodge was built in 1889 for Tsar Alexander III. Most of the…

7. Walter Runeberg Sculpture Collection

21.76 MILES

This gallery has 150 sculptures by Walter Runeberg, the eldest son of national poet JL Runeberg. Walter Runeberg produced the town’s sculpture of his…

8. Vanha Porvoo

21.79 MILES

One of Finland's most enticing old quarters, this tangle of cobbled alleys and wooden warehouses is entrancing. Once a vibrant port and market, Porvoo now…