Bastion Nordenskiöld was emptied of debris in the summer of 1996 and at that time the building foundations of the bastion were discovered. Each bastion had had a wooden storage building for food and ammunition. This building had been a food storage.
Bastion Nordenskiöld had the smallest rooms in the fortress, which possibly were used as some kind of storage rooms. You can tour inside if you dare. Watch your head!
The first war was Gustavus III’s Russo-Swedish War 1788–1790. At that time the fortress was a naval base. No battles were waged here at that time.
The second war was the Finnish War 1808–1809. The Russians marched on Loviisa in February of 1808. They took the town easily. After this they marched on Svartholma from the north. This was an advantageous direction for the Russians to attack, as when the fortress was built, it was supposed that the enemy would come during summer from the open sea, i.e. from the south. Everything had been finished in the south and the best cannons where on that side. On the north side there where only a few cannons and their carriages had rotted so they were difficult to move or aim. In addition it was found that the embrasures and the cannons did not match. Therefore it was not too easy to fire on the Russians. The situation in Svartholma was poor even otherwise: there were only 700 men in the fortress and 200 of them were ill mainly due to lack of drinking water and poor food. There was also a lack of alcohol, which was used for example as medicine.
Generally speaking the educational level of the men was low. But there was a will to fight. There was even the risk of mutiny on the island as the men considered commandant Gripenberg to be a weak soldier considering his rank, a man who would surrender immediately when a suitable opportunity would arise. Which he in fact did: the fortress surrendered already on 18th of March 1808, even though the Russians had not managed to destroy much beyond a few windows and a chimney.
The third war was the Crimean War during the 1850ies. When the war broke out soldiers were dispatched to the fortress. It was soon found that the fortress was in poor condition. As repairs would have been all too expensive the fortress was emptied entirely the same year. The fortress was entirely empty and abandoned when an English-French navy came and blew up the fortress in July 1855.
That same summer, the following day, the downtown Loviisa also burned. The leadership of the city allowed the inhabitants to get building materials from Svartholma for the rebuilding. A great deal of the bricks for example for the church of Loviisa and the city hall are from Svartholma.