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Virtual Model of Historic City Comes to Life

Budapest, March 24, 2009 – Students at Finland’s Tampere University of Applied Sciences are creating a 3D model of the historic town of Viipuri (Vyborg) as it looked in September 1939.

The aim of the project, run by Project Leader Harri Miettinen, is to teach 3D modeling during the different stages of the construction process. Meanwhile, students gain valuable experience by using 3D modeling and cutting-edge technology to store historically and culturally significant construction information in electronic format.

With this project, students are trying to digitally replicate the cultural heritage of the town of Viipuri as it was in September 1939, when it was still a Finnish town.

The 3D modeling project  is published on the Internet in 13 languages. When the project is complete, users will be able to virtually move around the town at the street level, with items closer to the user appearing in more detail. Virtual Viipuri will be enlivened by moving people, cars, trams etc.

History of Viipuri

Viipuri (Vyborg) is a town currently part of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated on the Karelian Isthmus and located 38 km south of Russia’s border with Finland. Viipuri was founded in 1293 during the Third Swedish Crusade and was an important trading town under Swedish rule, fortified by towers, a fortress and walls. In 1710, the town was conquered by Peter the Great and came under the rule of the Russian empire. The completion of the Saimaa Canal in 1856, followed by railway connections, boosted Viipuri’s importance to regional transport, and the town expanded rapidly. With the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, Finland achieved independence. City leaders made provision for the recording and restoration of Viipuri’s many archeological and architectural relics, some dating from medieval times. The start of the Second World War brought an end to these developments. By mid-February of 1940, the town was empty of civilians and all civic activities had ceased. In the Treaty of Moscow, Finland lost 10% of its area, including Viipuri, to Russia. Twelve percent of the population had to leave their hometowns. The Finnish town of Viipuri was no more.