Turku has something to offer for both urban visitors and those interested in the treasures of history. Today, Turku, a city of high technology, is home to three universities, the University of Turku, the Turku School of Economics and the Åbo Akademi. Turku is a prominent harbour, fair and commercial city. It also serves as an important link between east and west and important stop along the King’s Road. As the provincial capital, Turku is the regional and administrative centre of Southwest Finland. The See of the Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop is located in Turku, and it also has the oldest Court of Appeal in Finland. Turku is a popular venue for congresses and other major events. Turku Hall in Artukainen seats nearly 12,000 spectators. The city has a busy cultural life.
Turku Cathedral is the mother church of the Lutheran Church of Finland, and national shrine. It is regarded as the most highly valued monument in Finnish architectural history. The Cathedral is still regularly used for divine service. The church was consecrated as a cathedral in 1300, when the reliquary of Finland’s first bishop, Bishop Henry, was transferred there. The history of Turku Castle goes back to the 1280`s. In the course of the centuries, a fortified base built for the royal governor of Finland and his troops gradually expanded into a massive grey stone castle.
Enjoy the Archipelago
In summer, a water-bus sails daily from the River Aura to the Naantali and the city recreation areas on the nearby islands. The Archipelago Ring Road, which connects the northern and western archipelago of Turku by means of ferries. You can now travel through the worlds most beautiful area in just one day. Sail to the archipelago on board a genuine, nostalgic steam ship, the last of its kind in Finland. Enjoy the delicacies of the ship’s kitchen on a breakfast, lunch or dinner cruise.
Turku – Finland’s Christmas City
In Turku, Christmas is celebrated from the first Sunday of Advent to the middle of January. During this time, Christmas events are arranged all over the city. In many Finnish families, the real Christmas begins on Christmas Eve at exactly 12 o’clock. This is when the inhabitants of Turku gather in front of Brinkkala House – and hundreds of thousands of Finns at their radio and television sets – to listen how Turku declares Christmas Peace to the whole of Finland. Turku is the only town in the Nordic Countries, where the tradition of Christmas Peace declaration has survived almost uninterrupted from the Middle Ages to the present day. More attractions in Turku: Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum, Sibelius Museum, Sailing ship Suomen Joutsen, Museum ship Sigyn, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku Art Museum and The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum.