The fortress of Bomarsund – a large historical monument easy to visit

After the Finnish War ended in 1809, the Åland Islands and mainland Finland became part of Russia. Soon the idea of turning the Åland Islands into a heavily fortified border against the west was born.

The Bomarsund fortress had its own churches, bakeries and prisons

The planning for the Bomarsund fortress began in 1812, but construction was not started until 1830. Once they were, it was the biggest construction project ever seen on the Åland Islands.

The main building of the fortress housed 2,500 men. The fortress had everything from its own churches, bakeries, prisons and wells to toilets.

The community of Skarpans was born right next to Bomarsund

A city-like community called Skarpans, consisting of both military and civilian households, was formed next to the Bomarsund fortress. Skarpans became the central point of administration and trade in the Åland Islands.

 A bridge in the beautiful Bormansund area.
A bridge leading from Bormansund to the Prästö island.

The fortress was never completed – bombarded in 1854

The construction of the fortress took decades, and still it was never finished. In 1854, British and French ships bombarded the fortress, which was reduced to ruins in just a few days.

After the Crimean War ended in 1856, the Åland Islands were demilitarised, and the fortress was never rebuilt.

 Image shows the ruins of the Bomarsund fortress, with some sea and fields.
In its prime, the Bomarsund fortress was the most impressive building in the Åland Islands.

Bomarsund fortress as a historical monument

Today the 870-hectare area is a historical monument and easily accessible to visitors.

Find out more and plan your visit!

Museums on the Åland Islands