Vyborg Castle State Museum, Vyborg, Leningrad Oblast, Russia

The castle is Russia’s only monument of West European military architecture which evolved from the late 13th till the late 19th century.

1293 Vyborg Castle was founded as the result of the 3rd Swedish Crusade organized by Marshal Torgils Knutsson.

1295 Swedish King Birger Magnusson writes in a letter to Lübeck that the merchants from the Baltic cities can freely travel for commercial purposes to Novgorod via Vyborg which is built to “ensure peace and security for navigation”.

1403 Swedish King Eric of Pomerania issues a charter granting Vyborg the rights of a city.

1442 – 1448 Vyborg län was governed by Karl Knutsson Bonde, who was later three times elected King of Sweden (Charles VIII). At that time, one could not find “a more beautiful castle” throughout the country.

1470s On the initiative of Erik Axelsson Tott, a stone city wall fortified by ten towers is built. Vyborg becomes the fourth city in Sweden and the first city in Finland to have such fortifications.

1495 “Vyborg Thunder”, a legendary occurrence during a Russian-Swedish war (an unsuccessful siege by the Russian troops), as the result of which the kingdom retained the city. The name of Knut Posse, the commandant of the Vyborg fortress, went down in history together with this event.

1527 The city of Vyborg is granted the staple right.

1555 After Gustav Vasa, the reformer king, visits Vyborg, a reconstruction of the castle and city fortifications is started.

1557 – second half of 16th c. Erik XIV and Juhan III, the sons of Gustav Vasa, fulfil their father’s behests to reinforce the fortress: Horn Fortress is constructed and castle fortifications are renovated, including St. Olaf’s Tower for the roof of which the king sends lead to Vyborg from Stockholm.

1599 The “Vyborg massacre” is carried out by Duke Karl (Gustav Vasa’s son) against the supporters of King Sigismund (Gustav Vasa’s grandson); Duke Karl is proclaimed king of Sweden under the name of Charles IX.

1617 According to the Stolbovo peace treaty, Vyborg becomes an inland city of Sweden, “losing” its border position.

1706 The first attempt of the Russian troops to take Vyborg during the Northern War.

1710 Vyborg is besieged and taken by Peter I. When visiting Vyborg Peter I stayed in the so-called Commandant’s House on Castle Island.

1812 – 1813 During Napoleon’s invasion, Alexander I orders the commandant of Vyborg, Karl Gervais, to keep in the castle the royal treasures from the Hermitage and the royal court.

1911 – 1917 Vyborg Castle houses the Peter the Great Military Historical Museum.

1917 Finland declares independence from Russia. Vyborg is a part of Finland. Vyborg is a Finnish town until 1940 and between 1941-1944.

1944 Vyborg becomes a part of the Soviet Union.

From 1964 Repairs and restoration works are carried out in Vyborg Castle. Exhibitions and displays of the local history museum (renamed State Museum “Vyborg Castle” in 1999) are opened.

Epic Russia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

building Own or work here? Claim Now! Claim Now!