The Battlefield of Oravais - The Ensign Stål's Centre
Oravais-Vörå (Ostrobotnia region), FINLAND
Oravais, together with the town of Vörå-Maxmo, is part of the newly created municipality of Vörå, lying on the west coast of Finland not far from Vaasa, the regional capital of Ostrobothnia region.
Russian troops and the Swedish-Finnish army met at the village of Oravais on the 14th of September, AD 1808. The battle was a critical event during the "Finnish War", which was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire. Other notable effects were the Swedish parliament's adoption of a new constitution and the establishment of the House of Bernadotte, the new Swedish royal house, in 1818.
The Battle of Oravais is regarded as the turning point of the whole War and the last chance for Sweden to gain back advantage over the Russian army. The Russian troops won the battle, and soon Sweden was definitely defeated, and Finland became a Grand Duchy under Russia. The national poet of Finland, Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877), has described the battle of Oravais and the events of the War of Finland (1808-1809) in his poetical work Fänrik Ståls Sägner ("Tales of Ensign Stål").
The Ensign Stål's Centre comprises the area next to the battlefield of Oravais including its monument and buildings. The historical society moved the old Furirbostället (Sergeant´s house), built in 1733, from the village of Karvat south of Oravais to the field north of the monument. Houses are built on the field in the same way they were built in the 19th century, and a Soldattorp (a cottage of a common soldier) has been built.
The Historical Society presents the progression of the battle and the soldiers' living conditions by means of guided tours, a short film and exhibitions of uniforms and replicas of weapons typical of the time, all held at Furirbostället, as well as a variety of indoor and outdoor leisure and educational activities for students and children. Finally, there is also a miniature replica of the battlefield with tin soldiers) offering a great insight into the historical battle.
Since the year 1992 the Historic Society of Oravais has reenacted battles in the fields on the south side of Oravais. Their purpose is to promote culture tourism in Oravais by taking care of historical buildings and objects, bringing to life events and ancient life of the places in the municipality with local and universal historical background. Finally, in the restaurant Ädelbragd visitors can enjoy historic meals according to 18th and 19th centuries recipes with time period entertainment and music.
Info & Contact
The Historical Society of Oravais / Oravais Historiska Förening
Address: Slagfältsvägen 130, 66800, Municipality of Oravais-Vörå, Finland
Tel.: +358 63850714, +358 500132096, +358 50 3001037
Oravais-Vörå Town Council / Vörå kommun
Address: Vöråvägen 18, 66600 Vörå, Finland
Tel.: + 358 (0)6 382 1111 | Fax + 358 (0)6 382 1300
Ädelbragd Restaurant c/o Oravais historiska förening r.f.
Address: Slagfältsvägen 130, 66800 Oravais, Finland
Tel. +358 503432642
Main image: a view of the battlefield of Oravais, Finland. Source: By Antiscamp [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Further images: when not differently credited are all copyright The Historical Society of Oravais
Text sources: The Historical Society of Oravais, Wikipedia, Oravais-Vörå Town Council
To find out more about the battle of Oravais please visit also:
The Final War - The Swedish-Russian War of 1808/09:
Battle of Oravais on Wikipedia:
Battle of Oravaius on The Napoleon Series:
The Battle of Oravais Memorial in pictures:
Oravais-Vörå on Google Maps:
The Battle of Oravais in video: