Hamina Fortress, town plan and Hamina Bastion – a piece of the history of three nations
Hamina is known as the Circle City, and for a good reason. The central town plan has been designed as a circle inside Hamina Fortress. The fortress was built by Swedish general Axel von Löwen in the 1720s. The protruding corners of the embankment walls form six bastions, named after Finnish fortress towns of the time. This star fortress encloses the old circular centre with eight radial streets starting from Raatihuoneentori Square. Two crosswise streets run as perimeter, following the shape of the fortress.
The Swedish implemented the fortification merely as sand embankments. The Russians carried on the fortification work in the 1740s, when the Russian period or the so-called Old Finland Period began in Hamina. The central bastion and caponier structures were completed on the northeastern side of the fortress in the early 19th century utilising the modern fortification technique and named Half Moon 1 and 2. During the era of the Grand Duchy, Hamina Fortress lost its significance, and at the end of the century parts of the fortress were dismantled, including the Helsinki Bastion that stood where the current Market Square now stands.
Virile rarity living a vibrant present: The bastion entices all year round!
The circle town, unusual even internationally, with its embankments and town plan has been preserved well in spite of numerous fires in the 19th century. The military tradition of Hamina has continued strong, first in the Imperial Finnish Cadet School in the 19th century and with the Reserve Officer School in the 20th.
The central bastion of the fortress has been restored, and it has seen the construction of the Hamina Bastion event arena. In summer, the bastion is covered with the largest tent canopy in Europe. The area and seating areas can accommodate thousands of visitors. 58 restored casemate vaults housing modern restaurant and toilet facilities encircle the bastion court.
Hamina Bastion provides a great setting for all types of activity; the Hamina Tattoo takes place here, as do most beautiful concerts, and it is here that people gather to experience a range of events. The snow-filled bastion court, heated vaults and atmospheric restaurant premises provide the stage for events in wintertime. The Hamina Bastion event venue is suitable for organising small-scale family parties as well as larger public events.
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Hamina Bastion in figures:
- Public events for up to 10,000 people
- Seating for 5,000 people, of which more than
- 3,000 in ascending seating areas
- Thousands of parking spaces at only a 10-minute walking distance
- The total Bastion area is 17,000 sqm, the arena 9,700 sqm, the area under the canopy 5,500 sqm
- The nominal power of the electricity transformer is 1,000 kW
- The canopy protects from the sun and rain
- Restaurant premises in the multi-functional casemate vaults
- Electricity and sound distribution grid at the field
- The masts have installation capacity for additional technology