Third Swedish Crusade

The Third Swedish Crusade to Finland was a Swedish military expedition against the pagan Karelians in 1293.


It followed the mythical First Crusade and the Second Crusade to Finland. Viborg Castle was established in 1293 on the site of a destroyed Karelian fort as the easternmost outpost of the medieval Kingdom of Sweden.[1] After the crusade Western Karelia remained under Swedish rule until the Treaty of Nystad in 1721.[2]

The name of the expedition is largely anachronic, and it was a part of the Northern Crusades. According to the Eric Chronicles (Erikskrönikan) the reason behind the expedition was pagan intrusions into Christian territories. According to the Eric Chronicles, the Swedes conquered 14 hundreds from the Karelians.[3]

Karelians had also been engaged in a destructive expedition to Sweden in 1257 which led Valdemar, King of Sweden (1250–1275) to request Pope Alexander IV to declare a crusade against them, which he agreed.[4]

Birger Magnusson, King of Sweden (1290 to 1318), stated in a letter of 4 March 1295 that the motive of the crusade was long-time banditry and looting in the Baltic Sea region by Karelians, and the fact that they had taken Swedes and other travellers as captives and then tortured them.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Taavitsainen, Jussi-Pekka (1990). Ancient Hillforts of Finland. Suomen muinaismuistoyhdistyksen aikakausikirja. p. 240.
  2. ^ "Viborg". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Sven-Bertil Jansson. "Erikskrönikan". Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Ulf Sundberg. "Valdemar Birgersson, 1250–1275". Pennan & Svärdet. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  5. ^ S. Tunberg. "Birger". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved June 1, 2019.

Other sourcesEdit

  • Linna Martti, ed. (1989) Suomen Varhaiskeskiajan Lähteitä (Historian Ystäväin liitto ry) ISBN 9789519600611,