Raseborg Castle, Raseborg

Must see · Ruin · Castle
The Raseborg Castle (Swedish: Raseborgs slott, Finnish: Raaseporin linna), is a medieval castle in Raseborg, Finland.

It has been suggested that the castle was founded by Hermann of Dorpat, the successor of Albert of Riga, and Livonian Brothers of the Sword after Livonian Crusade. They would have named the castle Ratzeburg after Bishopric of Ratzeburg.The castle is also suggested to be founded by Bo Jonsson Grip and it is thought that the castle's first phase was completed sometime between 1373 and 1378.

The first written data about the castle is from 1378. Its main purpose was to protect Sweden's interests in southern Finland against the Hanseatic city of Tallinn. The castle was originally built on a small island in the north end of a sea bay. The historians think that the castle was built in 3 different stages over time from the 14th to the 16th century.

The layout of the castle resembles a capital 'D', with a round, thick-walled donjon on one corner and the straight part of the D forming the keep, and an inner bailey in center. The castle has had outer walls forming two outer baileys. The outer wall has had one square tower and a barbican.

The ruins of the outer wall of the castle do still exist. According to the historians the outer wall was built to protect the foundations of the castle itself. When the use of the artillery became more commonplace, it was vital to protect the basic walls of the castle. There was also one more protection outside the castle. That was a wooden barrier, which surrounded the castle and it prevented any foreign ships to approach the castle harbour. There still exists some small parts of that barrier. The barriers are today on the mainland, but in the 15th century they were located on a peninsula by the sea. The sea level became lower over time due to postglacial rebound, and it became increasingly difficult to approach the castle by boat. This is one of the main reasons why the castle lost its importance.

Battles were fought between Swedish and Danish forces and even pirates over control of the castle in the Middle Ages. The castle was abandoned in 1553, three years after Helsinki was founded in 1550 and Helsinki became strategically more important. Restoration work began in the 1890s and in these days the castle ruins are open to the public.

Close to the castle ruins is one of the largest open-air theatre stages in Finland, the Raseborg Summer Theatre. The theatre was founded in 1966, and gives numerous performances in Swedish every year in July, often with a connection to the castle history.
Plan to see Raseborg Castle and other attractions that appeal to you using our Raseborg itinerary planner.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Raseborg Castle
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Raseborg Castle reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
78 reviews
  • We visited Raseborg Castle today, after reading some of the comments here that there is not much information at the site,we decided first to get as much history as we could from the Internet. We...  more »
  • The 14th century castle ruins are excellent place to spend a summer day at. Besides castle ruins (which can be seen in about 2 hrs), there a nice picnic area (with park benches), a restaurant...  more »
  • This is an amazing castle, but if there is no guided tour there is very limited information to enhance your visit. Luckily the little walk to the folk museum (again no information) is lovely and the.....  more »
  • Historical place in quiet countryside surroundings. Not too big. Good cafe! Games & kayaks to hire.
  • Castle's spot on, get the amazing tour. Nice grounds and beautiful historical spot. A must-see if you're in it for Finnish-history.
  • Old castle turned into a tourist attraction but still its a good visit with a bit of a limited things to do and you cant get inside the castle outside tours
  • No need to travel to Germany to se beautiful castles, as here you can enjoy your day on the ruins of a beautiful castle and after have an amazing lunch in the cafe. Take a burger!
  • It's a relatively small 700 year old fort, but it played a big role in the society of medieval Finland. Recommended seeing, if you're in the area!

Plan your trip to Raseborg

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.