Do you want to visit historical sites on the Åland Islands? The municipality of Sund has a lot of sights of historical importance, including the Fortress of Bomarsund and the Castle of Kastelholm. The tower of Notviken is another interesting sight in the area. A bit to the north of the Fortress of Bomarsund and on the top of a hill overlooking the water, this tower was intended to protect the fortress from the north. Nowadays only a ruin, it offers a spectacular view over the strait of Bomarsund.
Tower of Notviken
The Tower of Notviken is a distant part of the Fortress of Bomarsund. It is possible to visit three of the outposts, this being one of them. The other two are the Tower of Brännklint and Djävulsberget (The Devil’s Mountain). The Russians planned to build 12 outposts, but they only completed these three. Russia annexed Finland and the Åland Islands from Sweden in 1809, and the islands became the westernmost part of the Russian Empire. As such, they were strategically important and the construction of the fortifications next to an important waterway started in 1830.
The role of the Tower of Notviken was to defend the northern passage to Bomarsund. The Russians did not expect any proper battleship to be able to reach Bomarsund from any other direction due to the narrow passageways. However, technological improvements soon proved too great for the Russian plans and the Tower of Notviken could not prevent the enemy ships from attacking the fortress of Bomarsund from the southeast.
It took the Russians five years to build the tower and it was armed with around 20 canons. Each of the three completed towers was 42 meters in diameter and 14 meters high.
The Tower of Notviken is in the municipality of Sund on the northern part of the main island. It lies around 34 kilometers from Mariehamn, which makes it reachable both by car and on the bike. To reach the tower, you need to turn left at Puttes Camping at the main fortress. Then continue up along a small gravel road for a few hundred meters. There is space next to the tower for parking. There are also some tables and benches, in case you want to enjoy a picnic.
Don’t forget to check out the other places of interest on the Åland Islands here >>