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Fort Slava

Fort Slava is a sea fortress located in Kotka, Finland, meaning Fort of Honour.

Fort Slava History

Several previous wars had proved that the delta area of Kyminjoki wasn't easily defendable if the enemy was able to move freely in the sea.

This was the most important factor considered when it was decided to fortify the islands near Kotka, and the Fortification of Kyminlinna.

The most powerful of these island fortifications was the fortification that was build to the island of Kukouri named Fort Slava. The fort was build into a circle form and it could fire to any direction with its ninety cannons.

The construction was started under the command of Aleksandr Suvorov in the year of 1791 and by 1795 the fort was completed.

After the war from 1808 to 1809, the border area was moved away from Fort Slava and the fort was considered a second class fort, without any real importance. In 1835 the order from Tsar Nikolai I disbanded all the fortifications in South-East Finland, but Fort Slava was an exception as there was still a garrison there and it was maintained constantly. The place however wasn't a priority for Russia.

The Crimean War was also the end for Fort Slava. At the start of the war, there was a garrison in the fort, but after the British and French fleet had destroyed the Bomarsund Fort in Åland and damaged or destroyed several Finnish cities, the order of emptying the fort came.

The British fleet arrived on front of the fort on 15th of June 1855, firing several cannon shots towards the walls. As the fort didn't response, the British had to believe that the place was empty. The British landed to the fort and started to mine the fort. In the evening loud explosion was heard and the fort was surrounded into a dust cloud from the explosion.

After the cloud disappeared, for everyone's amazement, the fort was still standing and hadn't suffered nearly any damage.

The British however came back and landed to the fort on 26th of July 1855. This time they didn't save the gun powder destroying the fort almost completely.

Fort Slava Recent years

Even when the huge explosion destroyed the fort completely, there has been some renovation work done in the past years. The sector of the main gate, has been renovated and it is open for visits.

Visitor information:

 Fort Slava Photos

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Fort Slava - Source:

Fort Slava entrance - Photo © Juha Mäkeläinen 

Fort Slava ruins - Source:

Fort Slava Map&Location

Fort Slava is located on the Kukouri Island, 48100 Kotka city, Finland.