After being named one of the cultural capitals of the European Union for 2011, the city of Turku in south west Finland has been subject to quite some attention. The city is of course famous as home to a thriving ship building industry, but it was a revelation to many to discover that the Finnish city was home to cultural attractions as well as industries.
Actually, Turku is one of Finlands greatest cities, and is also the most ancient Finnish city. The city lies in the south west coastal region where the Aura River opens its mouth, and is located in the confines of the Finland Proper, which is in the Western Finland Province.
It is said that Turku was established by the end of the 13 t h century. Turku was for quite some time the most vital city of Finland, it served as capital city for some time in the 19 t h century, and after that it was the biggest city in terms of population. The present days have seen a rather diminishing importance to Turku, the city is perhaps not as happening as Helsinki, but still Turku is the capital of the region as well as the major center for industry, business as well as culture.
The historical significance of Turku is notable, as is the beautiful island groups that are located in the vicinity of the city. Turku is also best visited duri gt the summer season, as this is when the weather is best, and a host of events and festivals are organized, in addition to numerous music events, related to rock, jazz, chamber music and metal. The renaissance fair that is organized at this time gets many visitors.
The main attractions of Turku
The Turku castle
Turku Castle (Turun linna),
+ 3 5 8 – 2 – 2 6 2 0 3 0 0 ,
Open Everyday 10 A M -6 P M; The hours open are reduced in March to October, when it is also closed on Mondays.
Turku castle is one Finland’s most famous attractions and is very popular with tourists visiting Turku. The castle is as old as the 13 t h century, and is quite well preserved, renovations have been also made.
The castle grounds always have some exhibition going on. The 2 dungeons are a major highlight, as well as the stately banquet halls, as well as a muceum which showcases the history of medieval Turku, in restored rooms here. Guided tours in English are available, and are given on an hourly basis. A good explanation of the castle and its history can be had. Entry charge is € 7, extra for guided tour € 2.
Among the most important of Finland’s Cathedrals, the Turku Cathedral stands towering over the city and the river, and is a must visit. The stately cathedral is a very popular destination with tourists.
Tours are given 9 A M – 7 P M in the mid Sept to late April and 9 A M to 8 P M rest of the year. Entry is free of charge.
There is a host of other attractions like museums, art galleries and architecture specimens. Make sure that if you get a chance you attend the music festivals and other events that normally take place in the summer.
The rock festival is said to be the oldest festival for rock in the world, and is held in the island of Ruissalo in the beginning of the month of July.
Turku Jazz festival is held every spring season, and has some major artists performing.
Down by the Laituri
Another music festival that has bands performing all around Turku. The festival is mostly held in the banks of Laituri at the start of August.
Uuden musiikin festivaali
Uuden musiikin festivaali is an electronic music festival that takes place in the beginning of August.