Hey, a little update! I really thought that these ruins belonged to the Russian fortress chain when I first found them. But I was mistaken. The story is entirely differen. This was supposed to be a fancy villa, owned by a wealthy merchant and his wife. But fate decided otherwise when in 1918 the so called Spanish flu, a global influenza pandemic, caught up with the merchant and his wife. Both died of the disease and the construction was halted forever before it could really begin. What comes to the Russian fortress though, there is such thing in Helsinki region, so I?ll let that story remain below too.?
Look down every once in a while and you?ll be surprised what you might find! I flew my drone once and found a WWI era Russian Frotress like that!
This thing in the photo really is the ruins of a Russian fortress where construction seemed to be halted about 100 years ago. This place is about 15 min walk from my home in Kauniainen, Finland. It?s about half and hour drive from Helsinki city center.
But why there is a 100 year old Russian fortress in Helsinki? The reason is this.
Before gaining it?s independence in 1917 Finland used to be part of Russian Empire. Russia, which was monarchy at the time, won Finland from Sweden a couple hundred years earlier. Finland became officially The Grand Duchy of Finland, somewhat semi-autonomous, but still firmly controlled by Russia. However in 1917 when communists took over in Russian Revolution and threw out the czar?s regime Finland saw it?s chance and went for independence. The communists were busy with their revolution so they let Finland go. (Probably thinking they?ll get it back some day, like they tried and failed twice during WWII.)
Ok, but why a fortress? The fortress is actually a part of fortress chain that Russian Empire started building around Helsinki during WWI. Russians feared that Germany would attack St. Petersburg from the Baltic Sea. A task that would most likely require them to get Helsinki and other cities before they would get to St. Pete. So Helsinki was fortified and so was Tallinn on the other side of Gulf of Finland. The idea was to close the gulf from attacking Germans. But as the Russian revolution came and Germans never did, building of these fortifications was ceased.
So that?s why there is a Russian fortress, or what is left of the unfinished construction, right there 15 minute walk from my front door.
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This is WWI era Russian fortress on the map: