Louhisaari manor castle was built in the late medieval ages by the remarkable Fleming noble family. The present main building was completed in the 1650s and represents the rare palatial architecture in Finland. The grounds have an extensive English-style park, complete with paths. Louhisaari belonged to the Fleming family for over three hundred years. The lack of money forced them to sell the manor to the family of Mannerheim in 1791. Finland’s Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim was born there in 1867.
The festive floor and the service floor are in 17th-century style and furnished to match. The middle floor, where the actual living quarters were, was modernised during the 18th and 19th centuries, and the rooms in this part of the castle reflect the interior-decoration styles of that time.
Government of Finland bought Louhisaari in 1961 and opened it to the public couple of years later.
Nowadays it’s open in summer time. Admission to the museum only in the company of a guide, tours in Finnish at half hourly intervals.
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.