Do you think that you have seen everything in the North of Russia? There is one more place which is surely going to catch you attention! Like out of the medieval romance books, town of Vyborg is absolutely great for history buffs.
Tour to Vyborg from St Petersburg is a way of discovering the treasure trove of history before your eyes. From 14th century until the reign of Peter the Great Vyborg was the Swedish city. It was conquered by Peter in 1710. This fact of history makes Vyborg the only town in Russia boasting the European medieval architecture. History of Vyborg has always been turbulent, since it is the vanguard on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.
However, the most dramatic period was the 20th century. Vyborg was the pawn in the political game between the two menacing powers in 1930-1940s, before finally becoming Soviet. Luckily the town, founded by the Swedish knight, managed to preserve its old charm. During the Soviet period, Vyborg was the favorite setting for the Leningrad movie studious, when they were filming some story about Europe. No wonder – this was actually the part of Europe for many centuries and remains so.
Vyborg is hosting numerous international events and festivals each year. It is very easy to reach by high-speed train from Helsinki. Several years ago the Hermitage museum opened its branch in Vyborg, and regularly hosting wonderful art exhibitions there. Among the top architectural highlights of Old Vyborg are:
- The Castle, founded by the Swedes in the 13th century;
- The Watch Tower;
- The Market Square, that is the place to go if you want genuine local souvenirs;
- The Library building, designed by the most famous Finnish architect Alvaro Aalto;
- Monrepos Park – the gem of landscape architecture of the late 1700s;
- Monuments to Torkel Knuttson and Peter the Great and much more.
Trip to Vyborg is one of a kind experience, when you walk past the buildings where history becomes alive. Each hour and each time spent here makes you want to come back.