Northwestern Russia, the town stands at the head of Vyborg Bay of the Gulf of Finland, 113km northwest of St. Petersburg. It’s one of Europe’s oldest cities and has an imposing medieval castle built on a rock in the bay. First settled in the 12th century, Vyborg was built as a fortress in 1293 by the Swedes after they had captured Karelia. In 1710 the fortress was captured by Peter I the Great, and Vyborg thenceforth remained under Russian rule. From 1918 to 1940 the city was part of Finland and held the name Viipuri, but it was ceded back to the Soviet Union in 1940 after the Russo-Finnish War. The city was occupied by Finnish and German forces from 1941 to 1944, after which it was returned to the Soviet Union. The city sustained severe damage during World War II but was subsequently rebuilt. Vyborg is an important fishing port and also has ship-repair yards. The population is about 81.000.