A couple of weeks ago we visited the Kungsö battery on the Åland Islands for a short history lesson and a fabulous walk in the woods. During our visit the place was very quiet, we didn’t see a soul nor did we hear anyone. As is the case with most tourist attractions on the Åland Islands, the Kungsö battery is a very suitable spot for having a cosy picnic while enjoying the scenery. Trees and sea, that is what you can expect. The trail is easy to walk but it may include climbing and, depending on the season, cliffs may be very slippery. There are signs so there is no risk of getting lost. The walk from the parking to the fortification is about two kilometres.
Kungsö Battery: A Short History
The Kungsö battery was a fortification built by Russia during World War I. As it was demolished in 1919 there are only ruins left to remind visitors about those dark years of European history. As you might know, Finland was a part of the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917. This is the reason for Russian military staying on the islands. Åland had a certain degree of strategic importance for Russia as it was the westernmost point of the whole empire.
The ruins of the battery are not very well preserved but there is a watchtower that offers a breathtaking view over the southwestern coast of Åland. It felt safe to climb to the top of the tower even though it was still cold and icy at the time of our visit. The watchtower is located on a hill called Dalsberg (32 metres above sea level!). The fortification is surrounded by a walking trail (approximately three kilometres long). After visiting the battery we continued our journey into the woods where the ruins of the living quarters still stand.
Kungsö Battery: How to Get There
Kungsö is a village located in the municipality of Jomala. The distance from Mariehamn is approximately 11 kilometres. The battery is easily accessible by either car or bicycle. Start by getting on Road 1 towards Eckerö. Then turn left at Gottby, turn left again towards “Båtviken” and follow the signs.
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We used the following sources when writing this post.
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