Kuusisto Castle

Kaarina, Finland

Kuusisto Castle was a medieval episcopal castle built in the beginning of the 14th century. It was the main residence of Finnish Catholic bishops until 1522, when the last bishop Arvid Kurki drowned when fleeing from Danish soldiers.

Kuusisto heyday was in the in the beginning of the 15th century, when bishop Maunu Tawast spent lot of time and money to enlarge the castle. The castle was ordered to be demolished during the Protestant Reformation in 1528 by the king Gustav I of Sweden. Stones of the castle were later used in renovations of Turku and Kastelholma castles.

Excavation and reconstruction work on the remaining ruins began in 1891.

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Details

Founded: ca. 1300
Category: Ruins in Finland
Historical period: Middle Ages (Finland)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Phil Oleynik (3 years ago)
Despite the ruins are not as impressive as the castle itself would be, I can only address this notice to the Swedish people who destroyed it by the order of the King Gustav Vasa. On the site there are multiple boards with historical description and truly nice drawings of the castle as it was centuries ago. Nearby is one of the oldest log houses in Finland.
Sumudu Samarakoon (3 years ago)
Nice place to visit. Kid enjoyed it. No entry fee. Could be nice if some historic information were displayed.
Jere Lehtila (3 years ago)
Free visit which includes few trails in the forrest and the old castle site that was definitely worth to visit. The site is clean and there is a cafe & bathrooms, so you can spend some time there if you want. The castle ruins history takes you back in to early 14th century.
Ossi Sariola (3 years ago)
Historical site, beautiful nature, a short trip from the highway.... A great place to picnic or stop by. Otherwise, not very developed or informative site.
Niko van Eeghen (3 years ago)
Nice place to walk around, and sit by the sea. Not much to do though, so after 20 mins you will likely be done. There is a place to grill if you feel like it, but I couldn't spot any wood to burn.
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".