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

Stefania (2 months ago)
We visited here on a weekend. We arrived a bit last minute, and didn’t have enough time to see all of the castle. There weren’t many guests left. Us and two other groups. Nevertheless, the castle is well preserved and I really liked the staff; Knowledgeable, polite and with a positive attitude. I advise to definitely have at least 2 hours of time, so you can relax and enjoy the place in peace. The tickets for adults are 12€, kids (7-15) 5€, under 7 are free. There’s also special family tickets etc, you can ask at the front desk. You may also use the museum card. If you’re a wheelchair user or have trouble walking, some areas may be impossible for you to access, while others a bit hard. There seems to be an elevator, which you can use to get to some parts, so not completely inaccessible.
Ekaterina Vsemirnova (2 months ago)
Outside it is visually stunning, but though they claim it is dated back to 1280, the truth is, they remade virtually everything inside, with lots of craftmanship and skills in woodwork. The result is: it is not authentic anymore. I am based in the UK, and the local castles are breathing history at you. In case of Turun Linna it is a totally different concept of preserving heritage. It is used to host a very impressive museum and I enjoyed it very much, but it feels new. Still, highly recommended.
Giang Bùi Hậu (3 months ago)
Great place to get to know about history of the castle and the city. Absolutely love its historic atmosphere and the detailed guidance on the signs. I could easily wandered around designed 'tours' without a guide person. The exhibitions were amazing with lots of items displayed along with interesting notes about them. Just 3-km walk along Aura river to get there from the Cathedral. Highly recommend!!! (Idk why but on the day I got there, there were many families with small kids running around ?, so probably it can be a nice place for family too)
Keith Mangold (3 months ago)
So many rooms! Very well maintained and very clean. Docent in one of the rooms followed us around for a bit and explained different things about the castle. Lots of stairs up and down incase that it hard for you. I’m 6’1” and had to crouch down a few times to get through doorways.
susruta bandyopadhyay (4 months ago)
It is one of the tourist spots in Turku . It was initially built as a forward post in the thirteenth century . The place was then an island . Later the area joined up with the land . It later served as office , ammunition store & even as the Ducal palace . The checkered history of the castle is quite fascinating . It changed hands a few times between the Danes , the Swedes & the Russians . It was destroyed badly in the Russo Finnish war of 1939-40 . It was later restored over a period of several decades . The structure is bold but minimalistic . You don’t find the usual opulence of European castles . However it has been converted into an excellent museum . The museum not only houses the history of this castle but the history & culture of the Finns across centuries . It took us more than two hours just to stroll through all the rooms . Guides are available , there are downloadable audio apps , but one may or may not need them . The staff is friendly , we had a nice chat with one of them about the Finnish history of 20th century .
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