The building of Olavinlinna, castle of St. Olaf, began in 1475. The Danish-born founder of the castle, knight Erik Axelsson Tott, decided that a powerful fortification should be build to protect the strategically important Savo region. The castle was supposed to repel Russian attacks from the east and to guarantee the control of the Savo region for the Swedish Crown. The history of Olavinlinna is a mixture of medieval arms clashing, cannons roaring and every-day chores inside the security of the castle's thick walls.
The changes in the ownership of the castle left their mark on Olavinlinna: this can be seen in the varied architecture of the castle. These days the castle's halls and rooms can be rented and used for all kinds of events.
There are two small exhibitions in the castle: the Castle Museum displays artifacts found in the castle or related to it, and the Orthodox Museum displays icons and other religious artifacts both from Finland and Russia.
Olavinlinna in summer from the west. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities.
The first Savonlinna Medieval Fair will be held near Olavinlinna Castle 29.-31.8.2014.
The Fair starts with a horse tournament by Rohan Stables on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday there is a medieval fair in the surroundings of Olavinlinna Castle.
Please note that during the Savonlinna Medieval Fair on saturday and sunday 30th and 31st of August entrance to the castle is allowed only with the Fair ticket: adults 15 € and children 6-14 years old 8 €.