Around the World: Turku Castle

Helsinki, Finland

This fortress dates back to the 13th century, with construction beginning around 1280. This castle is one of the oldest buildings still in use within Finland and is the largest surviving medieval building in the country.

Originally, the castle was only to have a military purpose. However, during the period of Swedish rule, the castle was expanded to provide living quarters for nobles. The last additions were made to the building in the 16th century and the castle has remained untouched since.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the building had fallen into some disrepair and was no longer used as a noble residence. Instead, it was converted into a prison. Renovations had been underway before the onset of World War II, however, two subsequent wars with the Soviet Union prevented these restorations from being completed. Thankfully, they were finished in 1987 and the castle was finally able to be turned into a museum.

The main collections of the castle feature historical relics including: ceramics, jewelry, costumes, textiles, furniture, and toys. Visitors can also explore the dungeons of the round tower.

This museum is an excellent way to experience Finnish culture through the ages. For more information, visit the museum website here:

Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!


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