Suomenlinna, Finland

The Governing Body of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna sea fortification consists of 7 islands, 80ha and 200 buildings, administrated by Finnish Army until 1973, when the Governing Body of Suomenlinna was founded to replace it. A Master Plan was published in 1975, aiming to conserve Suomenlinna through an active reuse in accordance with a continuous restoration of structures and landscape. Since then local authorities have always included Suomenlinna in their development plans.
The Governing Body (under the Ministry of Education and Culture management) is appointed to carry out activities related to governance, administration, maintenance and restoration of its land and buildings. It contributes to the drafting of plans and setting the yearly agenda, approved in a yearly-bases by a board chaired by Ministry of Education and Culture. Governing Body’s board has members of 4 ministries, City of Helsinki, National Board of Antiquities, inhabitants of Suomenlinna and Governing Body’s employees.
It has influence in the field of fortified heritage both on a national and Nordic level (national fortification forum and Nordic fortification network) and through a project gathering 3 sites in Baltic Sea region (Karlskrona, Kronstadt and Suomenlinna). It is leading a management plan-cooperation between 7 Finnish World heritage sites and participates actively in Nordic World heritage gatherings.
The Governing Body would like to share within the partnership its know-how on management and long term planning of maintenance, restoration, reuse & development of an 18th century state owned fortress in Suomenlinna (world heritage site since 1991) in close cooperation with the municipality of Helsinki, the National board of Antiquities and Helsinki Open prison.
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Finland-Limewash-restoration-sitecrownwork-SuomenlinnaThe project of Suomenlinna is the preservation
 of an 18th century fortress through a heterogeneous reuse. The goal is to maintain as much as possible all the historical layers but at the same time to assume that the site has a contemporary life and a future. The project started in 1973 when the army moved away and the responsibility of the site was then given to a Governing Body depending on the Ministry of Education and Culture.Suomenlinna is situated in front of the city of Helsinki, at a distance of 15 minutes by ferry (public transport). The site (80 ha) consists of seven islands, 200 buildings, 900 inhabitants, 350 permanent working places and 700 000 visitors per year, half of them being Helsinki inhabitants. There is no entrance fee.
Since 40 years, the conservation, restoration, renovations and repair works have followed a master plan that is revised every year. About 80 bigger projects and hundreds of small ones have seen the daylight. Caponiers and barraques from Swedish and Russian era have been renovated to modern standard homes, curtain walls to kindergartens, traverses to cantinas; a dockyard is maintained in its original use. 
Suomenlinna is a national and international monument (a world heritage site since 1991), a place to live in, a place to work for, a place where you have many reasons to go. It is a public place with private life inside. The State owns the land and 90% of the buildings, but the site remains a part of the city of Helsinki. The city and the Governing Body share the responsibility for the infrastructure and landscape.

Photo Aereal view: Photo by  Ikuvaari Oy / Osmo Roivanen

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Suomenlinna, Finland

Label: Fortress

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