Turku castle is a national monument and one the most remarkable medieval castles in Finland. It's also one of the largest existing castles in Scandinavia. A history of Turku castle begins from the year 1280. The Swedish conquerors of Finland intended it originally as a military fortress.

During 15th and 16th centuries its defences were strengthened and living quarters were added. The castle served as a bastion and administrative centre in Finland. It was also a residence for kings of Sweden, when they visited in Finland. During the struggles for power of Sweden in 14th and 15th centuries Turku castle was several times under siege. Probably the longest one occured in 1364-65, when German lord Albrecht von Mecklenburg besieged it over eight months before Swedish troops surrounded.

The heyday of Turku Castle was in 1556-1563, when King John III of Sweden lived there. During this castle was enhanced to Renaissance fashioned living palace. John III married Polish princess Catherine Jagellon who also lived in Turku short period in 1562-1563. In 1614, when King Gustav II Adolf visited the castle, a tremendous fire destroyed the wooden structure of the main castle almost completely. After this the main castle was abandoned and used partly as a store, partly just stood empty. In the 19th century castle was used as a prison. The last accident beset the castle in the summer of 1941 soon after the Continuation War had begun when an incendiary bomb hit the main castle.

Today Turku castle is Finland's most visited museum, with attendance reaching 200,000 in some years. In addition, many of the larger rooms are used for municipal functions.

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Address

Linnankatu 80, Turku, Finland
See all sites in Turku

Details

Founded: 1280
Category: Castles and fortifications in Finland
Historical period: Middle Ages (Finland)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Conny Stiernborg (8 months ago)
An amazing castle with great tour's, truly recommend visiting and especially during Halloween and their ghost tour
Serkan Ergul (9 months ago)
Well i visited this place twice :) It is very good and wonderful mid-age castle.While you walk you feel the reality.. You must see it.
Alan Pembshaw (11 months ago)
Easy to spend half a day in this castle museum. Very informative and well-organised. Well worth a visit
Momodou Semega-Janneh (11 months ago)
A great place to spend a couple of hours seeing a castle that has been renovated and maintained to a very high standard. There is plenty to see and keep you occupied especially if you are with children. Would highly recommend that you wear comfortable shoes to cope with the long walk and many steps May not be totally suitable for those with restricted mobility as there are many steep narrow stairs to manoeuvre.
Lindsay Lake (14 months ago)
Hands on experience at a beautifully restored and maintained medieval castle. We happened to visit on a "medieval day" where there were many people dressed for the time period and "playing parts" throughout the castle. These "actors" were super knowledgeable about their "profession" and seemed genuinely invested in and actually aware of the history and background they were conveying. It was amazing. The children's activities were also very well presented and fun for my 5yo. Definitely recommend visiting.
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About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

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