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Legends of Olavinlinna Castle

Legends like the maiden immured into the castle wall, the black ram of the castle, secret passages and the water spirit Vetehinen living in the stream are told in the castle. All of them are not quite true, but there might be a shred of truth in some of them, believe it or not.

The most well-known of all legends is the tale of a young maiden, who was immured alive into the castle wall as a punishment for treason. Later a beautiful rowan tree started to grow at the location of her execution. The rowan tree had white flowers which symbolized the girl's innocence and red berries, red as the girl's blood. The story of the rowan tree and maiden became so popular that it inspired a ballad in the 1950's. The rowan tree doesn't exist anymore, but legend is still passed on from one generation to another.
Another dweller of the castle also had a sad destiny. A black ram was raised in the castle in order to be eaten on a feast on the St Olaf's Day. The last black ram of the castle didn't end up on the dinner table: it fell off the castle wall and drowned in the stream in 1728.

There's also a legend of the black ram. According to it the ram repelled an enemy attack and thus saved the castle. It had climbed onto the castle wall, made noise with its hoofs and swung its great horns. Once the enemy saw it, they were sure it was the devil himself living in the castle. This frightened the enemy so much that it ran away.
The Bell Tower and the Church Tower seen from south-east. Photo: Soile Tirilä
The Bell Tower and the Church Tower seen from south-east. Photo: Soile Tirilä