The Swedish Vikings travelled east through the Finnish archipelago to Russia

The Viking route of Jungfrusund – Jungfruholmen – Krogarudden

The strait of Jungfrusund is located within an area between the southern edge of Purunpää and the island of Jungfruholmen. The great cliffs that protected the fairway minimized the risk of shipwrecks. Otherwise the Vikings had had to pass Jungfrusund with larger boats. It’s considered very likely that the Vikings used Jungfrusund when they went east, e. g. to Russia. Since the Middle Ages and after, history is documented. By that time, the strait was actively sailed through and that together with findings in the strait of Kyrksund, makes it very likely that this is correct.

The tavern that was located here in the 17th century at the point of Purunpää gave Krogarudden its name (krogare=tavernkeeper, udde=cape). The tavern was used as a resting station when people travelled through the archipelago of South Finland.

The names Jungfruholm and Jungfrusund (Jungfru=maiden, virgin; holme=small island; sund=strait) are likely to be related to each other. People think that there was a chapel, dedicated to and named after Maria the Virgin.

You can find trees and flowers here that do not usually represent in these kinds of areas. The reason is, not unexpectedly, either that foreign salesmen and visitors brought seeds with them and then sowed them, or that the seeds were at the bottom of their shoes and then accidentally been sowed.

Voyages to the east

Through time Hitis has been the main gate to the southern route, and its history is mostly tied to navigation. In the middle of the 13th century Orsund is mentioned as a harbour between Korpo and Hangö and it was most likely placed in the archipelago of Hitis. It must have been an old name for the strait which has been called Kyrksund since the 14th century. The strait goes through Salpausselka.

We know for certain that King Magnus Eriksson laid in Kirkioswnhd in 1347 where he signed two letters. Since the 15th century Hitis was called Kyrksund skerry. The route in question follows the Vikings’ route to the east almost exactly. In the 13th century many of the voyagers were monks and they were travelling in relatively small boats. As the strait got narrower and narrower, navigation got more advanced and bigger ships were used. The German hansa extended its Baltic sea trading to the Finnish coasts. In the 14th century a new harbour was built on Högholmen in Hitis.

This first text was written by Torbjörn Lundkvist and Henry Maarala. The second text was written by Frank Stolpe. The HTML-code was added by Torbjörn Lundkvist.