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

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Brian Jyun (41 days ago)
A good piece of Finland history. Bit empty comparing to other Europe castles.
Diana Mataite (46 days ago)
The museum is really worth a visit.
Tom Lindstrom (3 months ago)
Great place to visit. The castle is very big with lots of different rooms to visit. There is also a lot of different old items in various exhibitions. Alot of helpful guides that are happy to explain more about the castle and its history. Prepare with comfortable shoes. To tour the whole castle you need to walk quite a lot, including also narrow and steep staircases. Overall, probably the best castle in Finland. Great place to visit also for families, even with young children. At least my children loved this place.
Kim Aaltonen (3 months ago)
This is a must see in Turku for lots of reasons. Both to illustrate the difference in nobolityd display of lavish lifestyle between courts in Europe and the distant north. The tour takes some time (easily 1+1 hours per castle), but all the history is easily worth the time investment.
Rhys Mataira (3 months ago)
The castle has a huge amount of charm and really gives a sense of how life would have been. The staff were dotted around the castle and were very knowledgeable about it's history. Very worthwhile visit.
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