Vyborg Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by akkipaa
  • Things to Do
    by akkipaa
  • Things to Do
    by akkipaa

Most Recent Things to Do in Vyborg

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    The castle.

    by Askla Written Jul 24, 2015

    The castle was built in 1293 by the Swedish governor Torgils Knutsson during his raid against the Novgorods. Over the centuries the castle has been damaged and reconstructed several times, and so it has also acquired additional buildings. The walls are up to five metres thick. The mighty tower, called the Olaf's Tower, was built between 1561 and 1564. It is 48,6 metres high.
    In 1856, when celebrating the opening of the Saimaa Canal, some fireworks put fire to the castle which was then badly damaged. The way the castle looks today comes from a restoration in 1891-1898.

    Inside there is a museum. I post the telephone number further down.
    Opening hours: Tue - Thu 11.00 - 19.00, Fri - Sun 11.00 - 18.00, Mon closed.

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    Statue of Torgils Knutsson.

    by Askla Updated Jul 24, 2015

    Just in front of the town hall stands the statue depicting Torgils Knutsson. He was the ruler of Sweden and undertook in 1293 a raid eastwards to obtain more land from the Novgorod kingdom. He then founded Vyborg. The Novgorods did many attempts to take it back but were not succesful and so in 1323 a peace treaty was signed which gave parts of Karelia, including Vyborg, to Sweden.
    The statue was inaugurated in 1908. From what I have heard it was hidden in some cellar during Sovjet time but if that is true or not, I don't know.

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    Statue of Fedoor Apraksin.

    by Askla Written Jul 24, 2015

    The statue of Fedor Apraksin stands just west of the bridge passing the castle. Perhaps not the most visited sight in town, Apraksin has nevertheless played quite an important role in the history of Vyborg.
    He and his brother came into prominence after the marriage of their sister Marfa to tsar Feodor III of Russia in 1681. Fedor served the tsar as a page. He was then 10 years old. After the death of tsar Feodor he served the little tsar Peter in the same way. It developed into a lifelong friendship between the two.
    After having made military career he was appointed commander-in-chief in Ingria with the one purpose to defend the newly established capital St Petersburg against the Swedes. That was made primarily by capturing Vyborg in 1710. After a nearly three months long siege the Swedes surrendered in June. All this was part of the so called Great Northern War between 1700 and 1721.

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    A military monument.

    by Askla Updated Jul 23, 2015

    Following the Suvurovsky avenue southwards from the Red Square you will pass the Lenin Park before you reach a military monument, a stele called "City of military glory". It consists of a tall stone pillar in the middle with a crowned double-headed eagle on top. In the four corners there are low, quite sturdy four-sided stone pillars with plaqes on every side. In some cases they to honour some military leaders, if I understand it correctly. One of the plaqes shows two soldiers at the Sovjet-Finnish border.
    People still come to lay down flowers and pay homage to the heroes of the Great War, as WWII is known in Russia.

    Giving a location on Google Map is not always that easy. You will see a slightly darker area in the middle of the map, which is the open space where the stele stands. If you take satelite view you will see the stele from above.

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    The City Hall Tower.

    by Askla Written Jul 23, 2015

    At the end of 15th century the whole settlement, except the castle, was surrounded by a fortress wall with towers, of which the City Hall Tower has survived till our days. It was built in the 1470s. The fortifications were dismanteled in the 1860s.
    The tower now belongs to the Russian Orhodox Church, and inside there are a few icons on the walls. During the centuries it has also been used as an arsenal, amongst other things.

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    The Transfiguration Church.

    by Askla Written Jul 23, 2015

    At the eastern end of Teatralnaya ploshad stands the beautifully blue painted Transfiguration Church, built in 1787. Unfortunately the pictures doesn't make justice to the colour at all, but the church was really nicely light blue. It was not permitted to take photos inside, alas, but that is quite normal in the orthodox churches. However, the inside was more modern than I had expected.

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    The Town Hall.

    by Askla Written Jul 23, 2015

    Up to the beginning of the 17th century Vyborg did not have a general development plan, but after big fires in 1638 the first general plan was produced which meant the town was divided into rectangular quarters. The castle square, which started right to the east of the bridge, in the Middle Ages was an administrative and a trade center. In the middle of the square there is a beautiful four-storey building, which was constructed in 1643 as the town hall. At the time, it had only two floors but got another two in the 19th century.

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    The Red Square, Vyborg style.

    by Askla Updated Jul 23, 2015

    At the northern end of the Red Square, or Krasnaya ploshad, one of not too many statues showing Lenin is still standing. The square itself is not very spectacular, it is more or less just an open space surrounded by houses on three sides and a park on the southern side. Looking at Lenin, he has a very determinded expression to his face, holding his hat crumpled up in his hand.

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    The Round Tower.

    by Askla Updated Jul 23, 2015

    The Round Tower was built as a barbacan, a large defence Tower, by the Swedes under command of Hans von Bergen between 1547 and 1550. It was meant to guard the old parts of Vyborg known as the Stone Town. It is the only surviving part of the defence system of the time.
    Nowadays there is a restaurant on the top floor and a café on the middle one but the tower has served many different purposes during the years. There has been a prison, an arsenal, a mill warehouse as well as a drugstore.

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    Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ

    by akkipaa Updated Dec 28, 2014

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    The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ is also known as Preobrašensk's cathedral and it used to be the main church for Orthodox and it was built on the order of Catherine the Great, the longest-ruling female leader of the Russia (1729 - 1796) after she visited Viipuri 1783. The designer was N. A. Lvovin and it's done of bricks.

    The church got only minor damages during the War, it's like a miracle, and a lot of holy items were evacuated (like 105 icons and 238 holy textiles), the iconostases, chandelier, silver altar table and large icons remained on their place. Currently you can find those evacuated items from Finnish churches in Oulu, Lahti, Kajaani, Jyväskylä and Helsinki (Uspensk). The oldest are in the Ortodox church museum (in Kuopio).

    During Soviet era the church had other usage, but it was returned the church status and holied to cathedral by archimandrite Kirill, nowadays Patriarch of Moscow, on 3rd March 1976.

    History in peanut:
    - Built 1787-1789
    - Clock tower burned 1793 (new built on 1797)
    - Cathedral 1892 (Finland got own Ortodox congregation)
    - 1917 Finland got Indepence (Cathedral status "moved" to Sortaval)
    - 1940 Soviet occupied Viipuri
    - 1941 Finland occupied Viipuri back
    - 1942-1943 renovations (after those minor damages)
    - 1944 Soviet occupied Viipuri again (and holy items were evacuated)
    - 1973 new born as cathedral

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    Statue of Metsän poika (Son of the forest)

    by akkipaa Written Dec 28, 2014

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    The statue is from 1932 and carved by Yrjö Liipola. Liipola has been studied in Turku drawning school, Florence Art Academy, Paris and Berlin. He was against army call and "escaped" to Hungary coming back 1934.

    Statue is located in the Viipuri Town Park (and if you happen to be in Budapest, you find Liipola's statue "Vaaniskelija" there, probably in "Fiumei uri Sirkert").

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    Statue of Torgils Knutsson

    by akkipaa Written Dec 28, 2014

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    The statue is located on Torgils Knutsson square in front of old town hall just close to the harbor and the castle. It's carved by Ville Vallgren and it's from 1908 (with remark). Like others, this was partially destroyed during the War and renovated till 1993 to Viipuri's 700 years ceremonies. The statue laid forgotten in a warehouse from 1948 to 1975 and renovations started 1991.

    The statue was a symbol of Viipuri during Finnish era.

    Remark: Interesting is that Torgils is a Swedish hero and Fennomen argued against it postponing the placement from 1887 to 1908. Viipuri has been middle of War and you never know was the enemy a Swede, Russian, Finn or Karelian (and Mongolians and Vikings were here also long time ago).

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    The Library of Alvar Aalto

    by akkipaa Written Dec 28, 2014

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    The official name is The Library of Vyborg, but it is better known by it's designer Alvar Aalto. The library is of Functional style and built 1935, just some years before the War. It's on of the buildings made Alvar famous in the whole world. Viipuri held a architecture contest on 1927 and young Alvar won it. During Soviet times the building was deteriorated and renovated (1955-61) and according to Alvar Aalto it was ruined totally. After Soviet era Russians started slowly renovating it again 1993, but the final jump started after Tarja Halonen, the president of Finland met Mr. Putin and asked him that what is the situation with the building. Suddenly there were required funds to finalize the project Russian government funded it with 6M euros. The project was done by Sojuzstroirestavratsija which used to renovate old palaces. The grand opening were on 23 Nov. 2013 and the library has now the old glory.

    The project and the building were rewarded by World Monument Funds 2014.

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    Russian Orthodox church

    by Skillsbus Written Dec 27, 2012

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    The Cathedral of the Transfiguration Christ. The decision about building a new Russian church was taken in summer 1783 during staying Empress Catherine II in the town of Vyborg. A draft was presumably done by N.A, Lvov, then it was remade by the architect I. Brokman (his target was to miniaturize the building). The stone cathedral was built for the state money during 1786-1788. The building is the Latin-cross-shaped in the plane. The Italian architecture influence is visible in the classical forms of the building. Building was headed by I. Brokman, A.Buybin was the contractor. Side-chapels were devoted to St. Nicholas and the Icon of the Mother of God "Consolation of All Who Sorrow". Vasily Fedorov was the first archpriest of the cathedral. During 1795-1796 a new bell tower was constructed then it was connected with the cathedral. The cathedral was repaired from 1816 until 1817, at the same time a golden cross was made.The new bell was presented by the merchant F. Nabilkov in 1838. The archipriest Pavel Vinogradov was the cathedral dean from 1828 until 1858. The cathedral was reconstructed from 1836 until 1866 (according to the project of the lieutenant-engineer Titov and the architect G.I. Karpov; the painting was made by S.V. Postemsky). Side-chapels were moved in the line with the main altar, a sacristy and cast-iron fence were constructed, the Russian style elements appeared in the decoration. The architect A. Isakson partly rebuilt the bell tower during 1888-1898. The Cathedral of the Transfiguration became the main cathedral of the Finland Eparchy from 1892. Antony (Vadkovsky) was the first bishop. During 1905-1917 the Orthodox Mission worked at the cathedral. The Cathedral was closed in March 1940, iconostases and the majority of the interior were lost. From 1941 to 1944 the cathedral was occupied by Finns for a storehouse of the captured weapon. In 1944 the building was suffered during battles. The cathedral was opened on 14 March 1948 according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. In the early 2000s the cathedral was repaired. The Icon "The Saviour Oplechny", the Icon of the "Three-Handed" Mother of God, the Icon of "The Life-giving Source", the Icon of St. Nicholas are the cathedral objects of worship.

    Russian Orthodox church Russian Orthodox church Russian Orthodox church Russian Orthodox church
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    Ratushnaya tower

    by Skillsbus Written Dec 27, 2012

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    Only remains of medieval Vyborg's fortifications - city fortress tower. These fortifications were dismaunted in 1860-th.
    The tower was built near 1470-th. In 16 AD after Gornwerk fortification construction it was transferred to the city magistrat disposal and was used as arsenal, belltower of Dominick monastery and Vyborg city church. The modern broach spire was made in 1758. The tower was badly damaged in 1940 (Winter War) and restored in the end of 1970-th. It is in domain
    of Russian Orhodox Church now.

    Ratushnaya tower Ratushnaya tower
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