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The Turku Museum Centre: Great cultural variety in a historic setting Given that it is the oldest city in Finland, it is only natural that Turku can also pride itself on being the location of a magnificent castle, dating back to the 1280s. The castle is an exciting visitor attraction in itself, but also serves as the perfect starting point for those keen to explore all that Turku has to offer.
the peak season, we offer popular guided tours in English, daily, and we have many different guided tours on different themes available on request throughout the year,” the curator explains.
By Pia Petersson | Photos: Turku Museum Centre
Part of the Turku Museum Centre, Turku Castle stands on the banks of the river Aura, overlooking both the archipelago and important trade routes. “During the centuries, the castle grew, and in the 1560s it became a Renaissance palace for the Duke of Finland. The castle has served as a prison, a stronghold for the army, an administrative centre for the crown, as well as a home and workplace for many,” museum curator Susanna Lahtinen explains. Today, the castle welcomes 145,000 guests per year, many of whom take the opportunity to also pay a visit to the other points of interest, which together make up the Turku Museum Centre. There certainly is enough to please everyone in this coastal city, which boasts a wide range of museums. “In addition to the 94 | Issue 111 | April 2018
castle, there are a number of very different museums and galleries here at the Turku Museum Centre: The Pharmacy Museum and House Qwensel, The Biological Museum, Kurala Kylämäki Village, Luostarimäki Handicrafts Museum, the Old Great Square Art Galleries, and Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art,” says Lahtinen. Over the centuries, Turku Castle has provided the setting for many of the dramatic events that form part of Finland’s history, from sieges to great fires and bombings during World War II. These days, it is all a bit calmer, and the main activities that take place around the castle are of a more cultural nature. “During events here at the castle, when history comes alive, visitors can follow history reenactments, listen to old music and performances, or enjoy the lectures given by specialists. During
The Turku Museum Centre certainly offers great cultural variety and a fascinating insight into the history of the city. “All the museums here at the Museum Centre of Turku are intriguing in their own way and together offer everything from medieval cultural history to contemporary art,” Lahtinen concludes.
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