Taavetti, Davidstad, Exploring Finland

Taavetti (Davidstad) – Exploring Finland

Taavetti is a locality in Luumäki Municipality in the region of South Karelia in southeastern Finland. It is also known by its Swedish name Davidstad. At its center stands the Taavetti Fortress with a history going back to the Russian rule of the area. It has today a population of around 2.000 inhabitants and a small commercial center.

A Short History of Taavetti

The construction of Taavetti Fortress began in the 1770s after Russia had gained control of the area with the Peace of Turku in 1743. The construction was ordered by Catherine the Great of Russia and it was named after Saint David of Thessaloniki. The fortress was further extended in the 1790s when it became a part of the defensive lines to protect Saint Petersburg. The fortress was, however, no longer needed after the end of the Finnish War in 1809 when all of Finland became a part of Russia. It was first at the end of the 19th century that the fortress found a new use as a training ground for a Finnish sniper battalion.

The small locality has developed in the vicinity of this historical fortress. The railway between Riihimäki and Saint Petersburg was completed in 1913 with a station in Taavetti. The station was in use until 2006 when it was closed down due to its limited usage.

Things to Do and See

It is the old Russian fortress that is the main attraction in Taavetti. Next to the fortress stands the impressive white town hall and just across the road is the sports complex with the indorr hall Taavettihalli and the local athletics field. The commercial center is located a bit to the east and includes a few restaurants as well as the grocery stores of K-Market and S-Market.

Taavetti Fortress

After restoration work at the beginning of the 2000’s the fortress has opened for the public. It is possible to explore the grounds, walls and bastions on foot. This is the main tourist attraction in the locality and an impressive sight. The fortress dates back to the 18th century and was built as a defensive structure by Russia, mainly to defend Saint Petersburg.

How to Get to Taavetti

  • Flights: The closest airport is Lappeenranta Airport (LPP) which is 37 kilometers to the east.
  • Car: Taavetti lies at the intersection between Road 6 and Road 26 between Kouvola and Lappeenranta.
  • Train: The closest train stations are in either Kouvola or Lappeenranta.

The driving distance from 5 major Finnish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Helsinki – 192 kilometers (2 h 12 min)
  • Turku – 351 kilometers (3 h 43 min)
  • Vaasa – 487 kilometers (5 h 46 min)
  • Oulu – 546 kilometers (6 h 27 min)
  • Joensuu – 271 kilometers (3 h 5 min)

Looking to Explore more of Finland and Europe?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Aaric

    Oh boy, let me live. I am coming! Finland has been on my list for far too long. I want to live here one day. 4reals. <3

  2. Nana Wathore

    Thank you for sharing beautiful pictures of Taavetti Fortress. All are amazing

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