äme Castle (Hämeen linna in Finnish, Tavastehus slott in Swedish) is a medieval castle in Hämeenlinna, Finland. The castle is located on the coast of lake Vanajavesi in the city center. The castle was originally located on an island.
The castle's age is disputed. Traditionally the construction of the castle has been connected to the legendary Second Swedish Crusade which would date the castle in the mid-13th century. However, there are no finds from the castle that can be firmly dated to a period earlier than 1320s. Also the contents of the crusade legend have been seriously contested. An earlier fortification from about 1300 only some 20 kilometers away in Hakoinen also makes a 14th century dating for Häme Castle more probable. Only one castle ("Tauestahus") is listed in Tavastia in a royal document from 1308. Also, the Russian Novgorod Chronicle only mentions one castle during their plundering of Tavastia in 1311, its description matching well with the castle in Hakoinen:
The men of Novgorod went in war over sea to the country of the Germans (Swedes), against the Finnish (Yem) people -- And the Germans fell back into the citadel. For the place was very strong and firm, on a high rock, not having access from any side. And they sent with greeting, asking for peace, but the men of Novgorod did not grant peace, and they stood three days and three nights wasting the district.
The construction of Häme castle probably started after the Novgorod invasion. The first castle was made of gray stone, and later bricks were used.
The castle lost military importance by the end of the 16th century. Its defensive systems were upgraded in the 18th century with bastions around the castle. The castle became a prison in the 19th century and served as such until 1953, when massive restoration work started. The castle has been a museum since 1988. Facilities can also be rented for private events.
"On this site 1918 they gave everything for the idea". Memorial monument for nearly 150 Reds who were...
Finland is the jam. It came from an exploding egg, the egg of a water bird, the top half of which you can still see in the shape of the starry canopy that hangs over the earth.
Finland is the most sparsely-populated country in the EU with only 5 million people. It's also been ranked the second most stable country in the world, after Norway.
Historically, Finland has been a part of Sweden and later, Russia. It was an autonomous Grand Duchy during the Russian Empire's reign and lasted as such until their declaration of independence in 1917. Subsequently Finland survived a civil war and wars against both Russia and Nazi Germany to eventually settle down as an EU member circa 1955.
Finnish language is cool, it's totally unrelated to the whole Latin-root thing. Its closest relative is Hungarian. Linguistic historians estimate that it came from northern central Russia from 3000BC.
If you're in Helsinki, the museum at Suomenlinna has some interesting bunkers and military wreckage, including a submarine!
Caught on camera! Here's your long-awaited proof. Santa Claus comes from Finland.
Apart from Lappland, the other thing most people are familiar with out of Finland is aquavite. Literally it translates to "water of life" but it may make you feel more like you are dying when it hits your throat.
Text by Steve Smith.