One of the smallest towns in Russia, Vyborg is situated closer to Finland than to St. Petersburg. The name is of Swedish origin and that is not surprising because the settlement was created around the eponymous castle, built in 1293 by a Swedish commander. It was not until the reign of Peter the Great (1710) when the town joined Russia. The impressive library building, project of the renowned architect Alvar Aalto, dates back from the short-lived Finnish rule.