If you’ve been following my blog from the very beginning, then you know that I have been to Turku a couple of times. But it has always been in the summer (I don’t calculate work trip since I’ve hardly seen the city during that visit). That is why I wanted to go to Turku in the winter. And not just any winter! No, I wanted it to be a magical white winter, when Turun linna (Turku castle) would look like a beautiful winter postcard. Well, at least that’s how I imagined it.
I was planning this trip already last year but unfortunately most of the winter weekends were grey, gloomy and depressing. It wasn’t white picturesque view I’ve had in mind.
Luckily this year winter was more generous than ever. I haven’t seen so much snow in years! Finnish landscapes were finally looking like the pages from a winter fairytale. I was thrilled! So, I ordered bus tickets right away… In case weather decides to change its mind.
If you are also thinking to visit Turku by bus, then I suggest you check onnibus.com, they have really nice offers. If I remember correctly our tickets did cost 28 euros (two persons, Helsinki-Turku-Helsinki). And it took a bit more than 2 hours.
We arrived at Turku bus station and from there we took a Nr 1 bus that goes to Satama (Harbor). One-way ticket cost 3 euro (per person). Twenty minutes or so later we were finally in Turku Castle.
This castle was founded in the late 13th century. And it is one of the oldest and the largest surviving medieval building in Finland.
I’ve been here before. Almost eight years ago. I went to Turun linna with my group from the Finnish courses for beginners’ program. But we had a very tight schedule then and we couldn’t stay in the castle that long. I was sad and disappointed because of it… And I was hoping to come back one day. Took me long enough… But I was back at last, and now I had all the time in the world! Or at least until museum closes.
* entrance fee for adults – 12 euros; audio guide is free of charge
The museum cashier offered us a tour that was starting in five minutes. But unfortunately, it was available only in Finnish language, so I decided to skip it and take an audio guide instead. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand Finnish perfectly well but for some unknown reason historical information stays better in my head if it’s presented to me in English, Russian or Latvian.
* * *
Walking from one room to another, I was listening to the audio guide and I was imagining people that were living here centuries ago. How they were dressed, what was their daily routine, what they ate, what music they were listening to… I’m always feeling dreamy when I get in touch with the history.
I came close to the window…
…and I started thinking… was some other girl coming to the same window 400-500 years ago? Was she a daydreamer like me? Was she wondering how the world would look like after she is long gone? I doubt that she would ever guess that her home will turn into a museum. Were the museums even existing that time? Don’t think so.
* the star-vaulting of the Nuns’ Chapel from the latter half of the 15th century; miniature model by Th. Lindqvist 1950
I was quite tired by the end of our tour. We walked a lot! And it surprised me because castle doesn’t look that big from the outside… but it seems endless as soon as you get inside! It’s like a huge labyrinth! Nowadays there are signs with the directions and helpful museum staff that shows you where to go, how to reach the nearest exit or which chamber to see next. So, how it worked in the 15th century? Were there guards showing the way? Or special servants? Taking important visitors to see the king, using shortcuts through the secret passages to deliver messages… It would be a real adventure to travel back in time and learn more about the medieval period in Finland and find out more about courtly life of Turku castle inhabitants.
Hope you enjoyed it!
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