Castles of Finland
The medieval history of Finland, like the history of many other European countries, is full of significant battles and praiseworthy fights. Its nearest neighbours, Sweden and Russia, fought over Finland's lands, which was an important reason for constructing impressive castles and strongholds in this northern country. Many Finnish castles that had been residences of Swedish kings and noblemen date back to the history of the 12th and 13th century. However, not all of them have managed to keep its original appearance until today. The best known and well renovated Finnish castles are: Turku Castle, known as one of the largest castles in Scandinavia; Häme Stronghold constructed in the silent woods during the Second Swedish Crusade; Olavinlinna Castle reflecting its appearance in the waters of the biggest Finnish lake, Saimaa. The Fortress of Suomenlinna, situated on several islands of the Archipelago of Helsinki, and Raseborg Castle, which served as an important customs and defensive point against pirates many centuries ago, enjoy great popularity among tourists.