hgjmuuymThis castle was built in 1475 to stabilize borderline in northeast Finland against troops of Novgorod. Desicion to build castle was given by danish born knight Erik Akselinpoika Tott. Name of the castle came from saint Olaf who was the protector of soldiers and knights.

20151112_141339Castle is located on island surrounded by strong river current. Makes it difficult to conquer. And indeed it was conquered only once!

20151112_141804Here is the layout of castle. It used to have five towers but has now only three. Later on south side was built two canon bastions.

20151112_154542Main gate is now on southwest side going first through corridor and small outer yards.

20151112_141635From gate corridor leads to smaller inner yard.

20151112_141840Here in this corner used to be the old kitchen but it was burned away. On other side of yard were the accomodation facilities of russian soldier at later time.

20151112_141940The bigger inner yard is actually very spacy. Here there have been room for many activities – blacksmiths etc. Now this space is opera stage in opera festivals at summer time. Waist of beautiful castle – I say…

UntitledrereSome sign showing activities in castle at old times.

20151112_144358South part of castle’s rampart and defence walls are actually rather beautiful

20151112_143916There are lot of space to place soldiers and canons.

20151112_143901Behind south bastions raises the castle and it’s bell tower. In left front one can see the foundation of fifth tower which was teared apart after some centuries.

20151112_144115In bastion there are lot of opening for canons and rifle’s to shoot. This way canon boats could not destroy southern wall which was probably best place to attack because of weak current behind castle.

20151112_144139(0)On back the wall goes higher and higher to bell tower. There is actually a corridor on the wall top. Could be used also to shoot attackers. In movie “snow castle” some guy walked on the roof top and played trumpet – brave guy! middle of picture one can see tree which is actually growing on middle of smaller inner yard.

20151112_144244There is also place for soldiers to rest and spend time.

20151112_144308From opening of wall one can see the bridge from mainland to castle – easy to defend.

20151112_144351Very nice view higher towards southwest. Must be nice to spend time here in sunny day at summer.

20151112_144652It’s time to walk to eastern wall.

20151112_145032Let’s see where this gate leads …

20151112_145242Here is the eastern inner yard. It was partly built on river and canal flows through yard. Defenders in castle wanted to make it sure they will not run out of water.

20151112_145040Walls around inner yards are very high and thick from hard Finnish stone. Impossible to impregnate…

20151112_145006Also here canon bastion offers lot of openings fro canons.

20151112_145129And there is also eastern gate out. Probably built later on.

20151112_145121here we can see that river current is actually rather strong and eastern foundation lays on river bottom. But it’s time to get in the castle…

20151112_143350Here is the hall were soldiers and inhabitants used as dining room. Of course walls are from stone .. as should been in castle.

20151112_143518(0)Here is a big room which used to accommodate soldiers and layer above had the overseer of castle his room.

20151112_143001In this hall now stands the statue of saint Olaf – protector of castle.

20151112_153719This is the banquet hall of castle – used and still is used for fine festivities. Only once Swedish king visited the castle. This is not surprising because it was far away in the border zone.

20151112_153831Nice detail from banquet hall.

20151112_152154Here is picture of chapel of castle. One can still see on roof some paintings from middle ages.

20151112_143031In one room there are small scale model of castle. Gives rather good picture of castle. Here from northern side. Overhangs in top part of towers used to be toilets!

20151112_143043From western side.

20151112_143049From southern side.

20151112_143103From eastern side.

20151112_143055Here we can see that southeast bastion building is very strong and high.

UntitledIn the computer presentation different building times were shown. Here from 1500.

20151112_143243There are canon openings everywhere in the castle – makes it difficult to conquer.

20151112_143254In old cold days this castle must have been a cold place. Therefore there were some simple fireplaces like here. There are still dome carvings on fireplace roof from middle ages.

20151112_145754There is sign telling about old canons and defence mechanisms.

20151112_154453And of course there are some canons – probably from later times.

20151112_152238Now going outside and walking upwards into bell tower.

20151112_145905On northern wall and on highest defence level. Views here especially downwards to south are very nice – especially on summer day but now it is November. From river-lake around the castle can be used to sail nearly Finnish bay.

20151112_145848Here we can see a nice view from high defence walls and stairs on east-south side of inner yard.

20151112_145726On top of the northern wall there is a good view both north and south.

20151112_145632View from opening of northern wall top. But this side castle is impossible to conquer.

20151112_145622Water system of Kuussalmi opens on southern side. View from northern top wall.

UntitledyyuuNice guidance board from use of artillery in ancient times.

20151112_145731Walking on eastern wall on upper level. Here one controls easily eastern side of river.

20151112_145618Look to western part of castle where two towers stands.

20151112_145408In ancient castles there is always lot to repair…

20151112_154603It’s time to leave … bright lines glow nicely.

20151112_154741There the old castles stands for years to come – opposing new times…

20151112_154823The guardian of castle – male goat – stands loyally in it’s place. From year to year!

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