12 May 1918 The flag of the Republic of Finland with a crest in red and yellow depicting a lion was raised for the first time, on Sveaborg (Viapori). The name of the military fortification was now changed to Suomenlinna.
When Viapori – now Suomenlinna – was taken over by Russians after Sweden’s defeat in 1809, it was closed to civilians. As a consequence, the vibrant social scene that had thrived there under Swedish rule transferred to the mainland.
Viapori became a military base, the home harbour of the Baltic naval fleet and Western outpost of St. Petersburg’s defences. The only civilians remaining on the island were the Russian merchants and artisans for maintaining the garrison.
Throughout its chequered and eventful history, Suomenlinna has been a Swedish, Russian, and eventually a Finnish defence post. Since 1991, it has been preserved as a military architectural monument as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.