The Finnish city of Turku dates back to the 13th century. It is the oldest city in the country and its first capital. The unique charm of Turku and its surroundings is given by the Aura River, the sea, an archipelago of several thousand islands, as well as the organic interweaving of historical and modern buildings.
The priceless monuments of architecture include the national shrine - the majestic Cathedral, the Old Square, the medieval castle of Abo. The city is rich in museums and exhibition centers. The most popular are the museum-pharmacy in the Quensel house, the museums of music, crafts, navigation, the Biological Museum, the combined complex of archeology and modern art. In the summer, ferries take you to the many islands. One of them houses the Moomin Valley, which delights children and adults.
What to see and where to go in Turku?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
It is one of the largest buildings of the Middle Ages. It was built as a defensive fortress in 1280. Subsequently, it was rebuilt many times. In the 16th century it turned into a magnificent Renaissance palace. Today, a historical museum is open on the territory of the castle. Of interest are observation towers, prison cells, ducal chambers, as well as ceremonial halls, which are used for ceremonial events. The castle chapel is a popular place for wedding ceremonies.
The historical part of Turku - Vanha Suutori - is located next to the Cathedral. Known since the 13th century. The Swedish Lyceum, the old mansions of Dzhuselius, Brinkkala and Hjelta, the Abo Academy, the old Town Hall, and two squares are located on it. The square serves as a venue for fairs, exhibitions, theatrical performances. From the balcony of Brinkkala's house, the "Christmas world" is traditionally proclaimed, after which they begin to celebrate Christmas. In July, Medieval Days are held here.
A popular tourist attraction in the city center. Known since the 19th century. Often rebuilt, a number of buildings were demolished in the post-war period to make way for more modern ones. The main objects located on the square today are an Orthodox church, the Swedish theater, a hotel, shopping centers, cafes. In the morning hours, they sell clothes, flowers, agricultural products brought by farmers and private producers from the surrounding regions.
The grandiose temple in the Gothic style was erected in 1258, and after 4 decades it was consecrated as a cathedral. Most of the interior was restored in 1830, after a massive fire in Turku. It was then that a 100-meter tower was built, which became the symbol of the city. The ringing of the bells of the cathedral is heard daily at noon on the radio throughout the country. A museum of the history of church life has been opened at the temple, where sacred vessels, statues of saints, and a collection of clothes are kept.
St. Michael's Cathedral
Located on a hill in the central part of the city. Magnificent red-brick neo-gothic building. Construction began in 1899. The opening and consecration of the temple took place in 1905. The height of the tower with the spire is 77 meters. The hall is designed for 1250 parishioners, often used for concerts and wedding ceremonies. The organ of the cathedral, after restoration and improvement in 2002, is considered the largest in the country.
Church of Saint Alexandra
It was erected in 1838-1846. as a garrison church for the Russian military. Located on the Market Square. The building is made in the late Empire style, has the shape of a rotunda, decorated with 16 decorative columns. The under-dome space is presented in the form of a blue sky with golden stars. The bell tower was added later. Today the church is recognized as an architectural monument. Services are held in Finnish and once a month in Church Slavonic.
Located on the Market Square. Considered the oldest in the country. The building was built in 1839. Own troupe was formed by the end of the XIX century. It has three chamber stages - for 350, 120 and 100 spectators. Specializes in musical performances for adults and children. Every season there are several new performances. In addition, conferences and presentations are held within the walls of the theater, and ceremonial meetings and banquets are held in the restaurant. Behind-the-scenes tours are offered.
A majestic granite castle with a Romantic glass roof rises above the city on Puolalanmäki Hill, next to the Market Square. It was erected in 1904 and was originally conceived as a building for an art museum. Currently, more than 6,000 works are stored here, including collections of early and modern Finnish paintings, wooden sculptures, graphics, ancient weapons, numismatics, etc. The museum has a souvenir shop and a cozy cafe.
Jean Sibelius Music Museum
Date of foundation - 1928. The only such museum in the country. The modern building was erected in 1968, not far from the Cathedral. Here is a collection of historical musical instruments collected around the world. A separate exhibition is dedicated to the life and career of the composer J. Sibelius. The museum funds contain audio recordings, photographic documents, manuscripts, concert programs, and collections of notes. Creative meetings and concerts are held.
A fascinating complex that combines a collection of modern art and a historical museum. The expositions are located in the mansion of the manufacturer Rettig. Next to it, archaeologists discovered a part of the medieval city, represented today by the ruins of 6 stone houses and a street passing between them. These are fragments of the historic Monastic Quarter, where rich merchants and artisans used to live. The excavations are ongoing.
Pharmacy Museum and Quensel House
One of the oldest bourgeois houses was built at the dawn of the 18th century. Its luxurious interiors - expensive parquet, stucco, chandeliers, mirrors - give an idea of the master's dwellings of that time. In one of the premises, a pharmacy from the beginning of the 20th century was recreated. Here you can see pharmacy utensils, furniture, medical instruments, potion jars. In the courtyard, visitors are offered pastries, herbal drinks and teas prepared according to old recipes.
Väinö Aaltonen Museum
Opened in 1967 on the Aura embankment. Dedicated to contemporary art and, in particular, to the work of the sculptor V. Aaltonen. The collection of his works, donated to the museum, served as the basis for the first exhibitions. The sculptor personally took part in designing the interior of the museum building. In the foyer there is an aquarium with fish and the largest sculpture in the collection - the Maiden of Finland, 4 meters high. The museum also displays works of art by other contemporary masters.
Luostarinmäki Craft Museum
It was opened in 1940 and includes 18 quarters, consisting of old wooden buildings of the 19th century. These are houses and workshops of Finnish artisans. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they were not brought from different regions, but stand where they were originally built. Here you can see the workshop of a potter, a carpenter, a shoemaker, a watchmaker, there is a post office, a bakery, and a printing house. Every summer, the City of Masters hosts a world-class event - Days of Craft Art.
The exhibits of this maritime center acquaint visitors with the history of shipbuilding and navigation in Finland. The most interesting objects are ancient and modern ships moored along the Aura embankment. Among them there is a sailboat, a passenger ship, a corvette, a barque, a police boat, a river ferry, etc. You can board any of them. Also on the territory of the forum there is a maritime museum, restoration workshops, a restaurant, a souvenir shop.
Located in a historic building of the XIX century - an object of cultural heritage. The wooden interior decoration of the market has been preserved. Citizens and tourists come here to buy fresh local products - bread, vegetables, fish, dairy and meat products. They also sell alcohol, spices, teas, and souvenirs. The market is famous for its excellent cuisine. Here you can taste dishes of Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, vegetarian cuisine, sweets from the famous Mbakery bakery.
One of the oldest and largest parks in Finland. It was founded at the beginning of the 19th century. Located in the city center, area - 24 hectares. This is a popular place for outdoor activities for the whole family. It includes a summer aqua complex with a swimming pool and slides, a children's amusement park, a motor city with velomobiles, sports grounds, stadiums and an indoor gym, sports equipment rental, picnic areas, a pond with birds, a restaurant and a summer cafe.
Botanical Garden of the University of Turku
Located in the suburbs, on the island of Ruissalo. It was founded in 1924. The area is 21 hectares, of which 6 hectares are occupied by decorative, collection plants. The rest of the territory is oak forests, meadows, artificial reservoirs with water lilies. The greenhouse complex consists of 6 rooms where exotic plants, ferns, evergreen succulents, etc. grow. In general, the garden collection includes about 6 thousand plant species. Guided tours are available for everyone.
, consisting of several thousand rock formations and islands. The largest of them are inhabited and have communication with the mainland. The number of permanent residents is about 1000 people. The park was founded in 1983. Included in the UNESCO reserve. Along with the magnificent pristine nature in the park, there are a number of cultural and historical attractions - churches, lighthouses, fragments of fortifications.
The Archipelago Trail
This is a circular tourist route 250 km long, which passes through the natural and cultural attractions of the island archipelago. You can travel by car, or by bike or on foot. The route starts in the city of Turku. Passes through villages, nature trails, settlements of Kaarina, Pargas, Nagu, Naantali and others. Includes 8 ferry trips lasting from a few minutes to an hour. The route is open only in the summer.
One of the best theme parks in the world. Inspired by the funny stories of Tove Jansson. Located on a small island near the city of Naantali. Includes a 5-storey Moomin house, a free train, a forest labyrinth, a fairy-tale witch's swamp, a beach, a cafe, a pier with a ship, a theater and other entertainment. Everywhere children are accompanied by fairy tale characters. While the kids are getting to know the world of their favorite characters, adults can relax in gazebos with hammocks.