Vehkalahti (Vecklax in Swedish) was founded on the Southern coast of
Finland by Fredrik I. It was destroyed in the Great Northern War. The
Swedish architect Axel von Löwn built an eight-sided fortress on
the site and gave it the name Fredrikshamn or Fredrik's Port. The
Finnish-speaking population shortened the name to Hamina. The Treaty
of Hamina, giving Finland to Russia, was signed in 1809. The
town grew up within the walls of the fortress, with the Town Hall as
the central point. The stamp shows the eight-sided shape of the town
and the town hall. It was issued in 1953 to commemorate the 300th
anniversary of the founding of Vehkalahti.
In 1748 under the supervision of
August Ehrensvärd, the fortress Sveaborg, meaning Sweden’s Fortress
(Viapori in Finnish) was begun at the town of Helsinki and the islands
in front of it when Finland was still part of the Kingdom of Sweden.
It was intended to prevent Russian expansion to the west, but in 1808
the fortress surrendered to the Russians, and the next year Finland
became part of the Russian empire for 110 years. Helsinki became the
new capital of Finland. In 1917 Finland gained her independence, and
the following year Viapori became a Finnish garrison and received a
new Finnish name, Soumenlinna, meaning Finland’s fortress. In 1973 the
fortress came under civilian administration. Although Viapori was a
military installation, it was also a center of military music, and
today it is a center for music, the arts, and theater.
The stamp was issued in
1993 to mark the 700the anniversary of the Viborg Castle (Viipurin
Linna). It was built by the Swedish Marshal Torgils Knutsson in 1293
during the third Crusade on an island in the Gulf of Finland off the
coast of Karelia. It changed hands between Finland and Russia several
times. The Castle has been in Russia since 1944.
The tower of Olaf was octagonal which was believed to
be the strongest against bombardment. In the background is a "map of
the King's Road (Kuninkaantien Kartta)" along the southern coast of
Finland from Turku (Abo) to St. Petersburg.