Back in the day, Olavinlinna castle reared its own black rams to be enjoyed during the feasts of Saint Olaf. One ram is said to have played a part in the castle’s military history.
The Russians had surrounded the castle in spring of 1656. At the same time, the wind picked up and thunder and lightning struck, which caused the tar placed on the ramparts to catch fire, with huge flames reaching into the sky. According to the story, a ram had climbed up onto the northern battery in search of something to eat. Frightened by the thunder, it reared up on its back hooves, waving its front hooves around.
On the opposite shore, the Russian camp was aghast at the sight. Against a mustard-yellow sky, a creature with huge horns and hooves danced upon the black walls. Flames appeared to come out of its mouth and it was surrounded by thunder and lightning. The Russians ran away, terrified. Too many of them crammed onto their boats causing them to capsize and the men, who could not swim, drowned. The ram had saved the castle! The memory of it still lives on in the saying “to live like the castle ram”.
The statue was carved by sculptor Anton Ravander-Rauas 1964 and is situated on Tallisaari island next to the Castle.
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