Places of interest in Vyborg
Vyborg is an internationally interesting and still relatively uniform example of a North European city – an ancient gateway between East and West. The historical core of the town is formed by the castle and adjacent buildings. City’s major tourist attractions are: unique monuments of military architecture dating from 13th to 18th century, the authentic medieval spirit of the Old Town and magnificent landscape of park Montrepos with a 19th century estate.
Vyborg Castle – the only medieval fortress, which is preserved in the territory of Russia, a monument of Western European defense architecture. In 2018, the castle celebrates 725 years. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Vyborg. From the observation deck on the tower of St. Olaf, with a height of 48.6 meters, there is a view on the whole city and its scenic surroundings. In the rooms of the castle the State Museum “Vyborg Castle” is located, its exhibitions tell the history of the region and the establishment of Vyborg.
In the former Town Hall square in front of the castle is located the statue of its founder – Swedish marshal Torgils Knutsson. The monument is very fond of tourists, and every guest of the city certainly is photographed next to the marshal.
Medieval house, which was built from granite boulders and bricks, is called the burger’s homestead or house of a noble citizen. This is one of several stone houses remaining from the very oldmedieval building in the historic center of Vyborg. It was built in the middle of the XVI century. The house is located on the oldest street in Vyborg - Progonnaya Street, on which in the Middle Ages cattle were driven to pasture, hence the name of the street.
The Cathedral was the second after the castle stone structure, which was built in Vyborg. It was a Catholic, utheran, then the Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity – the first and the main Orthodox Church in the city. Services in the church were made until 1793, and after another fire the building was turned into ruins.
In Vyborg remained a part of the medieval city wall – Horned fortress, that protected the city in the XVI century and on the map it was looked like animal horn, hence its name. The fortress consisted of two bastions and three clumps. Of all the fortifications to the present days only bastion Pantserlaks remained (translated from Swedish – “Gulf Shield”).
On the Water Outpost Street, which is in the old town, there is an unusual house - this is the church of St. Hyacinth or Knight House. The building is an architectural monument of the XVI century. Originally it was a school of the Monastery of the Grey Friars (Franciscans), at the end of XVIII century there was located Nobility of Vyborg, hence its name - Knight House. Since the beginning of the XIX century and until the forties of the XX century there
was a Catholic Church, who chose St. Hyacinth as their patron. In the modern history of Vyborg this building was a children’s art school, located here until 2003.
In the medieval Vyborg Town Hall Tower or Watchtower was a part of a stone city wall and a part of the defense system of the city. It was built in 1470’s. Later, when the wall was dismant-led, the tower was used as an arsenal, and then it served as the bell tower of the Dominican monastery and church of the Vyborg Lutheran rural parish.
In the heart of the old city, in the Market Square there is a Round Tower – bright and very famous attraction of Vyborg, which got the name among the people as “Fat Katerina.” It was built in the
middle of the XVI century to strengthen the defenses of the medieval city. In 1923 in the tower was opened a restaurant, and since it is a favorite place of citizens and tourists. You can see the frescoes on the walls and coats of arms of the Swedish surnames.
Vodnaya zastava Street is the most unusual in the old town. Cobblestone, it goes steeply uphill and leads to the Clock Tower – the dominant of the old town. The tower was built in the XV century as the bell tower of the main church of the Vyborg – the old cathedral. In 1753, the clock were set up on, and then it became known as the Local. Tower long served as a fire tower, and in 1793 the Empress Catherine II gave Vyborg alarm bell with an inscription. Bell’s thumping can be heard in the old town to this day.
In Vyborg there is a Red Square, it is the city’s main square. The history of the square began in 1861, and previously it was called area of the Red well, which was located here since the Middle Ages. The ancient legend told why it is called Red. In Soviet times, on the square a monument of VIadimir Lenin was constructed.
During the Great Northern War in 1710, Vyborg was taken by Peter’s soldiers and according to Nishtadt peace treaty it was secured for Russia. Not far from the castle on the historical Peter’s rock, in 1910, was set a monument to Peter I, which was created by the sculptor L. Bernshtam in honor of the 200th anniversaryof the capture of Vyborg. In 2010, on the eve of the 300th anniversary, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Vyborg and laid flowers at the foot of the monument.
Next to the castle and Peter’s square there is a monument to General Admiral of the Russian Fleet F.M. Apraksin – the first and only monument in Russia to this outstanding military leader and statesman, fellow campaigner of Peter I. Namely Apraksin headed soldier corps, encamped Vyborg in 1710. The memorial complex was opened in 2010 on the 300th anniversary of the capture of Vyborg by Russian troops. The initiator of its creation was Centre of National Glory, which is implementing the project “Service to the Fatherland: events and names.”
After the capture of Vyborg on the orders of Peter I, the construction of a new defense zone has begun. It should protect the city from the north from a possible attack by the Swedes. Construction of the bastions and moats began in 1730 by the French fortification A. de Coulon and lasted nearly twenty years. In honor of the Empress Anna Ioannovna new building was called Annenskie or Annenkron, translated from Swedish as “the Crown of St. Anne”.
Before our time well preserved Fridrichgamskie and Ravelinnskie gates.
In Annenskie fortifications there is an obelisk, installed over the mass grave of Peter’s soldiers, killed during the capture of Vyborg in 1710. The monument was unveiled, as well as a monument to Peter I, in 1904, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the capture. During the life of Vyborg in Finland period obelisk was removed, and only in 1994 it was rebuilt in the same place.
Right in the center of Vyborg, from the Batarejnaya Mountain, opens a vast panorama of the city. Here you can see another monument of fortification art – Vyborg’s East fortifications.The time of their construction relates to the years 1863-1870, buildings were built by the famous fortification E.I. Totleben to protect the city from the east. The line of fortifications extended from the Gulf of Vyborg to St. Petersburg path through a high hill, which later became known as Batarejnaya Mountain. There is a park of culture and recreation.
At the beginning of the XVIII century on the territory of Vysotsk City, Peter I founded the fortress Trongzund, whose name came from the Swedish word trang – “narrow” and sund – “strait.” The fortress was designed to be an outpost of Russian navy in the Gulf. First shore batteries were built in 1710 to defend the besieged Vyborg from the possible attack of the Swedish fleet. Construction of fortifications lasted more than 150 years, but in the fighting battles they had not participated. Today Trongzundskaya fortress is the main attraction of Vysotsk.
The remains of the ancient fortress – Fort Ino – historic site on the territory of the Vyborg district, a UNESCO heritage site. Fort Ino (Nicholas fort) was built in the years 1909-1916 to protect the sea approaches to St. Petersburg, and was built to meet the most advanced achievements of Russian engineers of that time. All structures of the fortress were connected to each other by secret passages and were protected by two-meter layer of concrete.
But participation in the battles of the First World War, the fort did not accept. In May 1918 it was blown up by soldiers retreating before the onslaught of the Finnish troops of the garrison. After the war here took place mainly military units. In the 1990s, in the fort there were only piles of rubble.
On the territory of the Vyborg district once held the famous “Mannerheim Line” - a system of defense fortifications. Objects of the fortifications were built by the Finns, since 1924, for fifteen years, and continuously improved. In the Winter War of 1939-1940 Mannerheim Line was able to become a reliable support for the defenders of the Finnish troops, but was broken by the Red Army that eventually prejudges the outcome of the Winter War.
The first Orthodox church in Vyborg was built by the royal edict of Peter I soon after the capture of the city in 1710. Later Orthodox services were held in the old cathedral, which was named as the Christmas and operated until the construction of the new Cathedral. The Transfiguration Cathedral was built in 1790 on the orders of Empress Catherine II, designed by Russian architect N. L’vov. Throughout its history the cathedral was rebuilt several times, icons, frescoes and domestic interiors were restored. Recently, the city resounded new bells, and at the bell, as in the old times, were established clocks that strikes every 15 minutes.
St. Elias church that we see today on Elias Mount is completely reconstructed and opened to the congregation in 1999. At this place at the end of XVIII century, in 1797, there was built Orthodox Church of St. Elijah the Prophet. But in the XX century, its fate as the majority of Orthodox shrines, was sad. Part of it was destroyed during the Winter War, and later dismantled by the decision of the executive committee of the Vyborg.
History of Vyborg combines traditions of three cultures – Swedish, Finnish and Russian – and the three religions – Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox Christianity. Lutheran Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was built in Vyborg in 1799 by Y. Brokman, a provincial architect, arrived from Revel, and by Russian architect J. Felten. The cathedral has an organ, Christmas hymns and organ concerts traditionally take place there.
In Vyborg remained representative buildings from the late XVII -early XX century. The bright building with white columns on Castle Street at the end of the XIX century was the house of the governor. In the years 1890-1891 it was built by the architect Jacob Arenberg. Now this is the building of the Municipal Assembly of Vyborg and Vyborg district.
The former palace of the viceroy of Friedrich of Wurttemberg on the Theater Square was built in the years 1779-1784 by the project of Johann Brokman. For Vyborg at the end of the XVIII century this building was, indeed, the palace in its architecture and in its size. There was Vyborg vicegeral government, and the governor lived, later there was a provincial court.Now this is one of the buildings of the school number 1.
Mon Repos Park is a rocky landscape park of the XVIII-XIX centuries, which tend to be visited by all the guests of Vyborg. The park is located in a picturesque area on the Vyborg’s Bay’s shore and several islands; it covers an area of about 30 hectares. The acme of Mon Repos has been associated with the family of Barons Nicolay, who owned this estate from 1788 to 1943 and created the
park in the estate, which became famous in Russia and Europe.
Mon Repos estate complex is an architectural monument of classicism of the XIX century. Some prominent architects, painters and sculptors were involved in the creation of ensemble of Mon Repos. In the framework of the project “Conservation of the cultural heritage and ways of its operation in Russia” the restoration of the Manor House, Library Wing and the park itself is planned.
The Ludwigsburg Chapel (1828) located on the Ludwigstein Island is one of the main attractions of Mon Repos.
The sculpture of Vаinаmоinen, the hero of the Finnish epic “Kalevala”, has been restored in 2007.
Top historical pages of Vyborg associated with the development of crafts, industry and enterprise. Therefore, at the entrance to the town from Finland you are greeted with two sculptures that embody the craft and trade.
The names of many of the historic buildings in Vyborg associated with the names of merchants and industrialists, with the patronage, that there has always been honored. Vekruuta former merchant’s house opposite the castle – a monument of history and architecture of the XVII century. The house became known also by the fact that in it in 1772 on the way to Finland stayed Catherine II.
Customer who orders the construction of this house on Severniy Val Street was William Hackman, one of the wealthiest residents of Vyborg. Built in 1909 and designed by K.Gyulden and U.Ulberg, building was called “Granite House”. It is considered one of the best examples of the style of northern modernity. Rich outdoor decor has remained, but of the exquisite interiors
practically nothing left.
In the late XIX and early XX centuries the rich Swedish, German, Finnish merchants and industrialists built up the historic center with the buildings in the style of “Northern Art Nouveau.” In the years 1900-1901 by the architect G. Nystrem was built the United Bank – a monumental, with lots of rich decorations, as was fashionable at the time. Currently, in the building there is a bank, as well as the City Court and the district library.
Red brick building on the Market Square, designed by the G. Nystrоm in the early XX centuries for the Vyborg branch Finland Bank. Now here situated the administration of Vyborg.
The building, in which the exhibition center “Hermitage-Vyborg” and a children’s art school are situated, in 1930, was built on the bastion Pantserlaks specifically for the Museum of Fine Arts and the Art School. The project in the functionalist style was created by Uno Ullberg – native and the lead architect of Vyborg in those years. Vyborg museum shortly after the opening in Finland became the second in importance to “Ateneum” in Helsinki. In wartime,almost the entire collection of Vyborg museum was moved in Finland, and in the building after the war the Regional Museum of the Karelian Isthmus, and then – a branch of the Institute “Lengrazhdanproekt” were located.
Library in Vyborg – the only building which was created by an outstanding Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in Russia. Built in 1935, the library has become a model of functionalism in architecture, and its author is world-famous. It used a unique architectural solutions of Aalto – undulating wood ceiling in the lecture hall for daylight. Finished complex scientific restoration library, which includes not only the restoration of author’s architectural solutions, but also the introduction of new library technologies. The project has received financial support of the Government of Russia.
Park Explanade in Vyborg – the most beautiful place in the central part of the city. In the second half of the XIX century, the park was laid out on the site of the horned fortress and was called in honor of the founder Thorkell Knutsson – Torkelskij Park. Here were planted more than 200 trees – white willow, larch, Amur cork and others.
In 2013, Vyborg “Moose” celebrates 85-year anniversary. Moose sculpture adorns the city park since 1928, the author is a Finnish sculptor Yu Myantyunen. At all times, “Moose” has been and remains one of the most memorable sights of Vyborg, and a hill near the moose in the winter – a favorite place for kids.
In 2010 in Vyborg the Singing Field was restored – an open-air theater, where in the Finnish historical period of Vyborg concerts and performances took place. Singing Field was built in the early 30-ies on the project of Uno Ullberg at the foot of the Intendanskaya Mountain. After the revival here annual International Song Festival “Music without borders” takes place, which became a traditional and popular among performers and listeners.
More than a century ago, this house near the village Lesogorskiy was built by a rich Finnish Earl for his family. Now there is a recreation center – the only one in the Leningrad region, which occupies a historic homestead.
Vyborg station in 2013 will be 100 years. It was elevated according to the project of founders of the Finnish Art Nouveau E. Saarinen and H. Gezeliusa in 1913, and was looked very similar to the Helsinki railway station. It was considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in Europe and perfect in terms of functionality. The fate of the station was tragic: in 1941 it was blown up by retreating Soviet troops. Only one wing of the building has survived, the cargo tunnel and two of the four granite bears adorned the facade. The station was rebuilt in 1953, in the spirit of “Stalin” modernism. In 2009-2010, before the opening of the regular movement of high-speed train “Allegro”, the station was reconstructed.
The sculpture “Girl of Imatra” and the fountain are well remembered by the old-timers of Vyborg. Nude girl with folded hands adorned park since 1926. It was a repetition of the author’s statue, created by sculptor George Vinter in 1902, and located now in the Museum of the City of Lappeenranta in Finland. Sculpture from Park of Vyborg disappeared and where it is now, is not established. In 2013, Vyborg authorities decided to restore the sculpture and fountain entire composition.
History and modernity are closely intertwined in the lives of Vyborg and the district. New attractions are often associated
with historical events and can not be out of the traditions of the past. In 2010, there was a significant event – by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vyborg was awarded the honorary title “City of Military Glory”. This fact emphasized the particular importance of Vyborg in the military history of Russia. It is a tribute to all Russian soldiers – the defenders of the Fatherland, for their courage, fortitude and heroism during the different periods of Russian history. As in all the cities of military glory, in Vyborg on the historic square of Vyborg regiments, there is a memorial stela. Usualy celebrations and fireworks, dedicated to the Day of Defender of Fatherland on February 23, Day of Victory on May 9 and the Day of the city on August 19 take place there.
Hotel “Druzhba” on the shore of the Salaka-Lahti bay in downtown appeared in Vyborg in 1982 and it is an example of the architecture of the Soviet period. Near the hotel, on the beach, attracting the attention colorful wooden boats, which became a symbol of the city.They stayed after the movie “And the trees grow on the rocks”, which was directed by Stanislav Rostotsky in the vicinity of Vyborg.
In 1988, the All-Union sculpture symposium was held in Vyborg. Its members left in the city about a dozen of their works to remember – modern sculptures, which were located in the park area called the sculpture garden.
In Vyborg, in the old city’s skyline has evolved over several centuries, a new apartment building. Modern building surrounded by ancient towers – the bold decision to architects.
Near the historic buildings in the Market Square in 2009 was built an International Business Center “Victoria”. In addition to the hotel complex and restaurants, there are several conference rooms, numerous offices, a fitness center, a beauty salon.