Olavinlinna castle and crepe café

Olavinlinna castle and crepe café

On our last day in Savonlinna, we started the day by touring Olavinlinna castle. We also walked to Sulosaari island that houses the Kalliolinna crepe café. Before dinner, we took a cruise around the city.

15th-century three-tower castle

Olavinlinna is a 15th-century castle built on an island in the Kyrönsalmi strait. It is the northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing. The castle acts as the stage for the Savonlinna Opera Festival arranged for the first time in summer 1912. The fortress was founded by Erik Axelsson Tott in 1475 under the name Sankt Olofsborg. The castle was completed in 1495. Olofsborg withstood several sieges by the Russians during the First and Second Russian-Swedish wars. A brisk trade developed under the umbrella of the castle towards the end of the 16th century, giving birth to the town of Savonlinna chartered in 1639. Several devastating fires destroyed much of the castle’s decor in the 19th century and all its original furnishings were destroyed.

The impressive Olavinlinna castle
Black ram statue outside the castle.  Legend has it that a black ram saved the castle from the Russians. The castle used to rear its own black rams to be enjoyed during the feasts of Saint Olaf. The Russians had surrounded the castle in the spring of 1656. At the same time, the wind picked up and thunder and lightning struck, which caused the tar placed on the ramparts to catch fire, with huge flames reaching into the sky. A ram had climbed up onto the northern battery in search of something to eat. Frightened by the thunder, it reared up on its back hooves, waving its front hooves around. On the opposite shore, the Russian camp was aghast at the sight. Against the sky, a creature with huge horns and hooves danced upon the black walls. Flames appeared to come out of its mouth and it was surrounded by thunder and lightning. The Russians ran away, terrified.

We headed to the castle right after breakfast to attend the first guided tour of the day at 10 am. The tour was interesting and well worth attending. If we would have toured the castle on our own it would have been far less interesting.

The old church chapel
The smallest pipe organ I’ve ever seen
This canal was built to provide the castle with water
Views from the castle walls

Lunch at crepe café

After the tour, we walked to Sulosaari island that houses the Kalliolinna summer café that serves crepes with savory and sweet toppings. The café also serves cake and ice cream. You can choose from three types of crepes (regular, lactose-free and vegan). There are 20 sweet toppings and 14 savory toppings on offer, and you can choose as many toppings as you like for your crepe. We ended up sharing a savory crepe with feta cheese and red pepper jam and a sweet one with apple jam and whipped cream. The crepes made a delicious lunch and I recommend the café to anyone visiting Savonlinna in the summer season.

Walking to the cafe we passed this old casino building
The crepe cafe

Cruise around the city

After resting in our room for a few hours we headed back out and visited one of the marketplace cafes. A specialty of Savonlinna is the so-called lörtsy. Lörtsy is a thin, half-moon-shaped pastry made with a variety of fillings; the most common being either a savory meat filling or a sweet apple filling. We had coffee and hubby had a meat lörtsy and I had an apple lörtsy. There were a few hours to kill before our dinner reservation. We ended up going on a cruise around the city that lasted one hour. After the cruise, we headed to a pub for some beers before dinner.

A cute terrace in front of a beautiful wooden house from 1915.
The castle from the lake

Last dinner in Savonlinna

For our last night in Savonlinna I had booked a table at restaurant Majakka. The restaurant has been around for decades, and the décor was stuck in the 1980’s. For starters I had two small tapas-like portions: salmon pastrami and Skagen (shrimp salad on archipelago bread) and hubby had a shrimp gratin. My main was fried perch with a lemon-spinach risotto and hubby chose a smoked salmon with a tomato-caper salsa. The food was okay but nothing to write home about. The entire dining experience was also okay. I was pleasantly surprised by the rye crisps and spread served instead of bread to start. After dinner, we took a walk to take a few night shots of the castle.

Skagen and salmon pastrami
Shrimp gratin
Fried perch
Smoked salmon
Castle at night
Another night shot

This was the last post on our summer vacation. All in all, we had a lovely summer vacation. We once again got to see and experience new things in our home country.

Spread the love

I would love to hear your thoughts