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Hamina, or Fredrikshamn in Swedish, is one of Finland's most important harbors. The town was chartered in 1653 at the proposal of Count Peter Brahe, Governor-General of Finland. Its original name was Veckelax Nystad (Newtown of Veckelax), according to the surrounding countryside, but in 1720´s the town was renamed after King Frederick I of Sweden, Landgrave of Hesse.
The population of the downtown is approximately 5,000. The municipality of Hamina includes the town and is populated by totally 22,000 inhabitants on the area of 630.65 km².
The port is specialised in forest products and transit cargo to Russia.
The town of Hamina is surrounded by a star-shaped fortress. Construction of the fortress began in 1723 after the Great Northern War, when the territories east of Hamina had been ceded to Russia, and completed after the Finnish War in the beginning of the 19th century. As the important foreign trade town of Viipuri was surrendered to Russians in 1721, this town (newly renamed in honor of the King) was intended to replace it. The town, thus far a small domestic trade port with restricted trade, was granted extensive privileges including foreign trade.
In 1743, Hamina was surrendered to Russians, after another disastrous war, and town of Loviisa was the next Swedish candidate for Eastern-Finnish trade center. Hamina became a Russian frontier town, for which a fortress yet was desirable.
The corners of the fortress form six bastions, named after towns in Finland. The Central Bastion was added at the end of the 18th century, and is currently used for cultural events.
The Treaty of Hamina (1809), by which Sweden ceded Åland, parts of the provinces Laponia and Westrobothnia (east of the Tornio river) and all provinces east thereof, was signed in Hamina. Thus Sweden was split and the eastern half had been made a Grand Duchy in subjugation to Russia.
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This city is also known as: Hamina.