Hanko (Hango)

Hanko (Hango)

The cape on which Hanko sits, was shaped by ice-age glaciers and forms a part of the system of ridges in southern Finland. This system also includes the ridges of Salpausselkä and Lohja, as well as the island of Jurmo in the outer archipelago. Additional remnants that were formed by the ice can be found in Hanko itself. There are potholes on the park hill and on the knoll next to Kappelisatama harbor.

Hanko's oldest written records date from the early 13th century. They consist of several marine records and a navigational description. 15th and 16th century rock inscriptions at Hauensuoli (Gäddtarmen) prove that the kingdom of Sweden-Finland was a great power during that time. Later the Russian navy tried to take over the strategic important Cape Hanko and in 1714 a great battle at Rilax was fought. Toward the end of the 18th century, the Swedish built strong coastal defense fortifications, but they were largely destroyed in 1854, during the Crimean War. Nowadays, the remaining parts are Hanko's oldest monuments. In 1874 the town of Hanko was founded at the very tip of Cape Hanko. In 1940, at the end of the Winter War the area was handed over to the Soviet Union, but recaptured during the Continuation War a year later. Artifacts from that period can be seen at the Front Museum in Lappohja. In the 1970's the area reverted to Finland.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Hanko has been known as a seaside resort and the Russians made it flourish. They also built numerous of the beautiful wooden villas that can still be seen nowadays. During the summer Hanko gets very busy with tourists and people who visit Hanko's port with their yachts.

There are several hotels and restaurants in Hanko. In summer, there is a daily boat connection to Hauensuoli. Hanko is 120 km west of Helsinki. The Swedish-speaking people in the region refer to Hanko as Hango.


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