Suomenlinna Tunnel

7.05.2008 at 15:49 | Posted in Architecture, History, Industrial, NotBeen but WannaGo, Strange | 7 Comments
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Although it is by no means a secret not everyone knows there’s a tunnel connection from the Suomenlinna island to mainland Helsinki. The 1300 metre long tunnel starts in northern Länsi-Mustasaari island and comes out in south-eastern Kaivopuisto by the Läntinen Puistotie street. Apart from providing the islands with hot water the tunnel serves as an emergency route for ambulances, fire brigade and police. The tunnel is nested 63 metres below sea level half of which is rock and half water. About 500 cubic metres of seawater seep into the tunnel every day and have to be constantly pumped out.

photo source

The Suomenlinna tunnel is only one of very many underground passages drilled in the rock underneath Helsinki. There are public transport tunnels like the metro tunnel from Sörnäinen to Ruoholahti, there are numerous sewage tunnels and there is also a system of tunnels connecting Helsinki’s central hospitals that can be used to transport soldiers and medical equipment. The water in Helsinki is brought from the Päijänne lake by means of a 120km long tunnel dug 10-100m deep in the rock.

Read Hugo’s comprehensive comment to find out more about underground Helsinki.



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  1. Shows up well on the Google map:
    secret tunnel,+Helsinki,+,+FI&ie=UTF8&ll=60.150968,24.967589&spn=0.014888,0.043044&t=h&z=15

    And of course, don’t forget the Asema Tunelli, that spiders out at least to Stockmann, Sokos, Forum and Kammpi and all their car parks. I keep thinking about mapping them as I always get lost down there!

    Also: “Moving Coal Stocks Underground in Helsinki”
    “The Salmisaari A and B power stations are located at Ruoholahti in western Helsinki and owned by Helsinki Energy – one of Finland’s largest energy companies. Salmisaari power plants function near the seashore a few kilometres from the city centre of the Finnish capital. The power plants are fuelled by coal, which is delivered by ship to the Kellosaari discharge terminal. Here, coal is unloaded by four track-mounted hopper cars onto a conveyor belt, which transports it to a 34 m-deep shaft. The coal is then fed onto a 2,000 t/h conveyor installed in the 700 m-long x
    25 sq m Salmisaari transport tunnel, which connects the terminal with the power station surface stockpile.”
    Also there should now be “four underground coal storage silos, each of 50,000 cu m capacity.”

    From PDF:

    You already mentioned the Töölö hospital tunnel network (Naistenklinikka and Lastenklinikka and others), and some strange tunnels here, which might be more linked up car parks:,+finland&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=17&ll=60.16787,24.93463&spn=0.002183,0.010815&t=h&iwloc=A

    There’s the planned road tunnel from Sörnäinen to just beside Ruoholahti, but I think that’s been shelved.

    See also

    From another PDF:
    “Much of Helsinki is already underground, and much more underground city space is under construction. A city-centre wide maintenance tunnel will soon be used for waste pick-up and to re-supply commercial facilities including department stores, other businesses and large building complexes. The city’s bedrock already accommodates more than 400 constructed spaces
    and tunnels, and reservations have been made for about Underground Helsinki 200 more. The most ambitious of the plans is for a road tunnel to connect the access roads leading to the city centre from east and west. To steer underground city planning and construction, Helsinki has prepared a pioneering underground city plan as the first city in the world. This city plan reserves the necessary underground areas for strategically important developments including
    new Metro lines.”

    Another PDF showing eight steps how to blast away under 100 year old buildings and then build underneath them:

    It’d be cool to get all this mapped ;)

  2. Thanks a lot Hugo!
    Yours can hardly be called a ‘comment’ any more since it’s longer and more comprehensive than the post itself. ;)
    And yes, it would be cool to map out all the underground passages underneath Helsinki. In fact I already tried to do it while writing the above post but I only have very limited knowledge of the exact position of the tunnels.

    This visionary plan of underground Helsinki seems very much like a continuation of the urbanistic ideals behind Itä-Pasila and Merihaka where the vehicles and pedestrians operate on different levels.

  3. wow!
    now that was really something new to me !
    thanks for sharing !

    • I’m glad to hear. I’ve got some more material on tunnels that I will try to compile soon. Stay tuned.

  4. […] the excellent post at Locating Helsinki about this. A service tunnel that connects one of Helsinki’s most important islands to the […]

  5. […] cerradas medio año. A pesar de que no utilizo mucho el metro en sí, sí que uso sus estaciones. Helsinki tiene una gran actividad subterránea, y se puede ir prácticamente de un lado a otro de la ciudad sin pisar la calle. En invierno esto […]

  6. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing
    many months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

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