Fortification history in brief
With Santahamina, Suomenlinna, Vallisaari, Isosaari and Kuivasaari, Kuninkaansaari Island is one of the historical military islands that have played an important role in the Helsinki's naval defense for centuries.
The current name ("King's Island") was most likely given at the end of the 18th century, when King Gustav III of Sweden followed the military exercises of his fleet from the rocky beaches of Kuninkaansaari. King's success in warfare against Russia varied, but their second sea battle in July 1790 ended with Sweden's big victory. This triumph probably also played an important role in the idea of renaming the island.
During the Swedish rule, Kuninkaansaari and Vallisaari mainly acted as Viapori's (Suomenlinna / Sveaborg) maintenance base, but when Finland was moved under the rule of Russia after the Finnish War in 1808-1809, the defensive significance of the islands was immediately understood. However, most of the fortification work wasn't carried out until the second half of the 19th century, after the experiences of the Crimean War. The construction plans changed many times before this.
In 1906, the Rebellion of Viapori (Sveaborg Rebellion) and the massive explosion that took place on Kuninkaansaari caused much destruction. The buildings have since been demolished, but the actual gun batteries, ammunition caves/cellars, fresh water pumping system (water purification plant) and the Officers' House built at the end of the 19th century still exist today. Since the independence of Finland in 1917, there have been ammunition storage and loading operations and a Coast Guard station on the island.
During the Finnish period, the closed island have developed mainly in peace and under natural conditions, and its natural values with Vallisaari are significant. The islands have since moved to Metsähallitus and are open to the public. Now everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their unique history and nature.
Sveaborg plan 1899
Finnish National Archives
Kuninkaansaari coast guard staff 1962-67
Finnish National Board of Antiquities
Newspapers 1860 - 1970 (only in Finnish)
Lähteet: Kansalliskirjasto ja Helsingin Sanomien Aikakone.