The Finnish War 1808–1809

The Finnish War between Sweden and Russia was fought against the background of the European power politics of the Napoleonic era. Emperor Napoleon of France and the Russian Czar Alexander I agreed that Russia will force Sweden to join a continental blockade against Britain. When diplomatic pressure on Sweden failed Alexander I commanded his army to attack Finland in February 1808. The Finnish War, like the 18th century wars between Russia and Sweden (known as the Great Wrath and the Little Wrath), ended in the Russian occupation of Finland. However, this time unlike earlier, when Russia had returned the greater part of Finland to Sweden after occupation, the peace was concluded in Hamina in September 1809, with the result that Finland was annexed by Russia as an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire.

Suomen sota 1808 - 1809
Picture: Ilkka Lausas

The Finnish War Information Center

The Finnish War Information Center, located in the village of Ruona in Kuortane, provides information on the Finnish War stages and events as well as common people’s life in that period. In the military history, the two villages, Ruona and Salmi, are known as crucial points of battle after which the Swedish army began to retreat, finally resulting in victory for Russia.

The Information Center has exhibitions, multimedia presentations and historical material on the Finnish War and its background. The Ruona Battle is presented in a detailed miniature model. Guided tours in the Information Center and the historical battlefield are available by order.

The Café Kamenski, maintained by the Ruona Rinki village community, is open in summer time in the premises of the Information Center.