The Raseborg castle ruins are in the village of Snappertuna, part of the town of Raseborg (Raasepori) in the region of Western Nyland (Uusimaa) in the south of Finland.
The Raseborg castle ruins, situated on a rock by Raseborg stream, are the remainders of a castle that was probably built in the 14th century, when the rock was still surrounded by water. Raseborg is officially mentioned for the first time in a letter dated 1378. It is a typical medieval castle of a simpler kind that has been constructed during a long time period. There is no other similar castle in Finland.
Raseborg’s greatest importance was probably in the area of trade. It was constructed on a sheltered location on the south coast, presumably to defend Swedish interests against the successful Hanseatic town Reval (Tallinn). Both Danish and Swedish troops, as well as more undefinable pirate fleets, fought over the command of the castle, which shows that the castle was regarded as an important base. On the so called Galgbacken (Gallows Hill) north of the castle ruins, bishop Hemming Gadh was executed in December 1520. That was the Danish king Christian II getting even with his political opponents. When Gustavus Vasa seized power in Sweden and made the nearby town of Ekenäs the centre of administration in the province in 1528, Raseborg lost its strategic importance. It was abandoned in the 1550’s and laid deserted for more than 300 years. Raseborg experienced its heyday in the middle of the 15th century when (the expelled) king Karl Knutsson Bonde (Charles VIII of Sweden) kept court in the castle on repeated occasions.
The first restoration was begun in 1890, and thereafter Raseborg has been renovated several times. The castle ruin of Raseborg is the most impressive historical monument in the town of Raseborg (established 1.1.2009) and the entire region.
Midsummer celebrations, ancient markets, medieval events, high-class concerts and theatrical performances are organised at Raseborg in the summer. A beautiful forest path, ”Kärleksstigen” (Lovers’ Walk), leads from the Raseborg castle ruins to the folk museum ”Snappertuna Forngård”, an old fisherman/farmer's house. Along the path the distance to the museum is about 300 m. In the vicinity (500 m) is also a youth hostel, Snappertuna vandrarhem, and the charming old wooden church of Snappertuna parish.