Suomenlinna (Finland) : A government-run fortified archipelago

Governing Body of Suomenlinna -


  • Surface area of archipelago: 80 ha
  • Total surface area of World heritage site (1994): 210 ha
  • Owner: Etat finlandais
  • Number of buildings: 270 (160,000 m² useable)
  • 360 appartments
  • 850 permanent tenants and 100 seasonal tenants
  • 50 to 100 inmates
  • Number of jobs: 500 during the summer and 400 during winter 
  • Number of visitors annually: 850 000 (12,000 per day during summer).

A town district
Suomenlinna is a fortified archipelago built in the 18th century facing the Helsinki coast. After a first Swedish settlement (1748- 1808), the Russians took possession of it until 1918, when Finland gained its independence.
The restoration of this fortified structure became a priority for the Finnish government from the 1960’s. The Governing Body of Suomenlinna was created in 1973, after the departure of the armed forces. The National Board of Antiquities has a permanent seat on its council.
The 1974 masterplan established the outline for the various different subsequent plans. The main principle for the restoration works of this vast site was to preserve its military character and to respect the successive strata of its history, whilst also enabling the innovations required for its now civilian function. Suomenlinna now functions as a district of Helsinki, with its own interpretation centre, museums, naval workshops, warehouses, crèche and school, cafés and restaurants, apartments for rent, artists’ workshops and yacht harbour.

Finance plan
  • Budget annuel 2013 (entretien et administration): 12M€ 
  • Revenus 2013: 5M€ (dont 90% de loyers)