History of Särkkä
The new Finnish sailing club, the Merenkävijät, was founded in 1922, and they made a lease on Särkkä island first for 50 years. The poor Finnish state wanted to get the island controlled and cleaned out after the Russians. Smugglers liked the island as their place of residence, and one of the Merenkävijäs tasks was to get them off the island. The lease included the shipmaster who should have an angry dog with him during the summer. This angry dog is said had been shepherding so hard that one sheep jumped through the window of the Piper Hall right in the middle of the dinner table.
Särkkä restaurant is designed by architect Oiva Kallio. Oiva Kallio is well-known for functionalism and the island is also home to Finland’s first functionalist sauna in 1932. Oiva Kallio’s self-styled summer place, Villa Oivala, has a similar plastery ship than Särkänlinnas wall. Oiva Kallio was one of the founding members of Merenkävijät and Merenkävijät are said to be a club of architects. The long-standing members of the club also included designer Paavo Tynell, who designed unique lamps in the restaurant in the 40’s. The founding members of the club also includes other prominent figures, such as Senator Paasikivi and Relander, to friends called Reissu-Lasse.
During the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, Särkkä was the base for sailing competitions. A total of 93 boats from 29 countries participated in the competition. The prizes were awarded in Särkkä and the island’s prize pool remains the original Olympic Games prize pool.
Särkkä became a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of Suomenlinna in 1991. World Heritage sites are nature, or buildings, structures or nature sites important to the cultural heritage.