Hamina Museum Street, Kadettikoulunkatu from the Town Hall to the intersection of Erottajankatu, literally exudes history. Wars and soldiers have shaped Hamina's appearance over time. The city has Finland's oldest continuously operating garrison, which has been hosted by Swedish, Russian, Finnish and, for a short time, German soldiers as well. All have left their marks in a period of time lasting more than 300 years. The fingerprints of different eras can be seen in buildings, structures, monuments and the environment.
The Museum Street is about 500 meters long, it starts at the intersection of Town Hall Square and Kadettikoulunkatu. The street is a straight, paved road that is easy to navigate even with assistive devices. All fixed signs can be found immediately along the street.
Presented along the Museum Street are 15 interesting sites. There is an informative sign for each site right by the street. With the sign's QR code, you can get more information about the object using your smart phone/device. At the beginning of the street, in the window of Book Store Kirjaspotti, there is a video board to help visitors navigate the street's sites.
The museums of the Street lead you deeper to the history of Hamina.
The Orthodox chapel was built in 1837 in memory of the wooden St. Peter’s and Paul’s Orthodox Church that was located in the middle of the school’s parade field. The chapel is part of the same building complex as the current St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Orthodox Church.
A great part of Hamina's history can be seen in the surroundings of Raatihuoneentori. The square is surrounded by old, preserved buildings, each of which tells its own story. The terracotta-colored St. Peter's and Paul’s Orthodox Church was built in the early 19th century. The plan of the Byzantine-style round temple date from 1831. The foundation stone of the church was laid in 1832 and it was completed in 1837.
In the middle of the Town Hall Square, in the center of the circular town plan, is the Town Hall, built in 1798 according to Johan Brockman's plan. The Town Hall has changed its shape several times due to the three big fires that raged in the 19th century. After the fire of 1840, it was repaired to its current Empire style. The four bells in its tower are installed by Johan Könni the younger in the 1840s.
The official residence of the commandant of the Imperial Finnish Cadet School was completed in 1863. The building was designed by Ernst Bernhard Lohrmann, from the superintendent's office. The red brick building mainly represents neo-Gothic style. The first director to move into the building was Major General Edvard Gustaf af Forselles.
The main building of the Cadet School is located next to the chain of 18th-century fortifications surrounding the city centre. After the Cadet School and before the Reserve Officer School, the building also housed units of the 6th Finnish Sniper Regiment of the Russian Army.
The Statue of the Fallen Officers honors the memory of the officers who fell in the wars between 1939-45. A cylinder built into the pedestal contains the names of the 4,913 fallen officers. The proposal to erect the statue was made by the board of the 84th Reserve Officer Course in January 1955.
The area of the Cadet School, which was separate from the Russian garrison, formed its own entity. Of the original buildings in the area, the riding hall or Manege (1832), the Laboratory (1850s), the service/hospital building on the east side of the sand field is still in place. The small hexagonal brick building in the park is a well from 1863.
The ceremonial and administrative building of the Cadet School was located on this site, which was completed in 1875. It was built in place of the old Cadet School's administration building. The building had a magnificent ballroom. The building was damaged by Soviet bombing during the Winter War in 1940 and was demolished after the war.
The present building has housed apartments, cinema, teaching auditorium, sauna and Soldiers’ Home.
The Vyborg Gate of the Hamina fortress was in this place. The gate was one of the three gates of the fortress. The main road through Hamina passed through the gates of Vyborg and Lappeenranta. Next to the Gate it is the Guard House of Vyborg. The guardhouse was built in 1776.
The Hamina fortress is a key part of the centre of the city of Hamina. Hamina fortress is a so-called circular fortress. The fortress was originally surrounded by seven bastions, six of which are still in place. Six of the bastions were named after cities like Savonlinna and Hamina. From this place, you can see the Bastion of Savonlinna on the north side of the bridge and the Bastion of Hamina on the seaside.
Varvara Schantin (1870–1941) was an elderly woman from Hamina who sold local bakery products to the officer students at the Reserve Officer School in the years 1920-39. A steel sculpture of Varvara has been erected near the main building of the Reserve Officer School. The sculpture was made by sculptor Veikko Haukkavaara. The sculpture was unveiled in 1972. .
The story of this Assault Gun began in Finland on August, 1943 during World War II. In the Continuation War in the summer of 1944, the armoured fighting vehicle belonged to the 2nd company of the Assault Gun Battalion of the Armored Division. In counter-attacks in Tali-Ihantala and Vuosalmi, "Aili" destroyed five enemy tanks.
The Hamina Soldiers’ Home Association built this building to serve the conscripts in national service. The city of Hamina donated the plot to the Association in 1941. The building was completed in 1948 and was inaugurated in 1950. The bricks used to build the house are bricks from the Cadet School’s Administration building, which was demolished after the war. The Soldiers’ Home operated in the building until 1988. The Reserve Officer School Museum has been operating in the building since 1996.
This red brick building was built by the Russian army before World War I in the 1910s. The house first served as a residential building for the officers of the 4th Mountain Artillery Battery located in Hamina. During the period of independent Finland, the building has functioned as a residential building and as an NCO club. Today, the Old Veteran’s Tradition Centre operates in the building.
This stone house built in the 1760s is one of the oldest buildings in Hamina. At the end of the 18th century, the house served as a packing room for the Maritime Customs Chamber, but it is best known for the negotiations between Empress Catherine II of Russia and King Gustav III of Sweden.
Today the building hosts the Hamina Town Museum.
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