Vyborg, or Viipuri to the Finns, was once Finland's second-largest town and a thriving and cosmopolitan place. Vyborg was the largest community in the area of Karelia that was ceded to the Soviet Union after the Winter War, and though it was recaptured and briefly annexed once more by Finland in the next conflict, it returned to Soviet hands with the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, when Finland relinquished all claims on the place.
The Round Tower and the Rathaus Tower date from the mid-16th century. One of the bloodiest stories of Vyborg is related to the Round Tower. In 1599, in Sweden a serious struggle for the throne was in full swing between officially crowned ruler Sigismund and his uncle Duke Charles. Charles had great influence in the army and turned his claims for the throne into a real war. Sigismund was forced to flee to Poland, and Charles began to persecute his supporters. Just like in other Swedish castles, carnages occurred in Vyborg. Charles’ soldiers beheaded the most influential city-dwellers in public including town major Arvid Tavast. The heads of the executed were brought from the site of carnage to the Round Tower and put there on iron rods for all to see. This event that took place on 30 of September of 1599 is remembered as “the Vyborg massacre.”
Only in 1923, the Round Tower received a new life, as it became a historical restaurant and a place of meetings of a Technical Club – a union of Vyborg’s architects. In the WWII years, the building was almost not harmed. In 1940, in the “three-storied stone tower” a Museum of local lore was opened; it existed several months. In 1970s, restoration works were carried out in the tower, and a restaurant, which successfully works to this day, was opened there again. The so-called "Round Tower" is now a very nice and beautiful place. Upstairs they have an upper class restaurant, where you can for instance taste the famous Russian dish "the blinis" served with hacked onion, smetana (a creamy thick diary product) and caviar. Thank you Merja for this nice card.