Untamed nature and history

A pond viewed from Aleksanterinpatteri © Teemu Saloriutta
The islands of Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari were left to develop for decades in a natural state between their active military history and being opened to the public.

The exceptionally high numbers of different species found on Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are a testament to the coexistence of man and nature. Some of the islands’ species have benefited from the earthworks and meadows kept clear by humans, while others have made use of the calcium introduced to the soil in mortar.

Examples of species that were introduced to Vallisaari island by Russian soldiers include the warty cabbage, the hoary alyssum and Trachyphloeus scabriculus, a type of flightless weevil. The Russians also planted the impressive lime tree avenues in an attempt to bring a little bit of Mother Russia to the island.

The island boasts excellent living conditions for a broad range of plants, a thousand butterfly species and many different species of bats. In order to ensure the preservation of these conditions, it is important for visitors to understand the uniqueness of the island’s flora and fauna, and to stay on the built paths.

”It feels like I’m embarking on a long island adventure.”

Kirsi, 44

Vallisaari is second to none when it comes to impressive views; the island offers simply spectacular views of the sea, the neighbouring Suomenlinna sea fortress as well as the city of Helsinki. Hundreds of volunteer workers have taken part in preserving and managing the island’s cultural history and nature over the years.