Surrounded by the ramparts, this historic district represents the original town which was founded in a medieval trading centre during the Swedish regime in 1649. Most of the buildings date back to the Russian era, which lasted from 1741 to 1917. Following renovation, they now house private residences, handicraft workshops and cultural and business premises. Graced with a fascinating history, magnificent scenery and a myriad attractions, the Fortress is today a popular tourist destination. The History The city of Lappeenranta was officially founded in 1649 by Queen Christina of Sweden, but the tale of the town had begun much earlier: in the Middle Ages, the Fortress became a bustling market place. Following the Battle of Lappeenranta in 1741, Sweden had to surrender the Fortress of Lappeenranta to Russia. A monument was erected in front of the ramparts of the Fortress in memory of the thousands of soldiers who perished in the battle. The fortification work which the Swedes had begun was subsequently continued by the Russians. The oldest surviving building in the Fortress date from the Russian period in the 1770s. Among those directing the fortification works was Count Aleksander Suvorov who had been assigned to the task and sent to south-east Finland by the Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. The Fortress thus became an important link in the three-stage-fortification system designed to protect St. Petersburg. The Lappeenranta fortress today Today the Fortress area is an interesting attraction for tourists as well as local people: you can have a delicious meal in Linnoituksen Krouvi restaurant (open during summer time), enjoy your dessert at the lovely old fashioned café Majurska, visit the handicraft shops and buy some local souvenirs to take home! There are also three museums located in the Fortress: South Karelia Art museum, South Karelia museum and the Cavalry museum – and don´t forget to take a picture of the oldest Orthodox church in Finland.