Have you seen the tail of a whale in the Aura River close to the Varvintori Square. Somewhere near that place was located the old Turku shipyard where this whaler, the barque Turku, was built in 1852. Turku sailed and whaled in the Pacific. The Turku Ship Masters’ Association presented the scale model of Turku to the Cathedral as a votive ship in 1968.
Votive ships are seen in churches close to the coast. It was customary for mariners to build a miniature model of their own ship and donate it to their home church in thanks for making it home after a long voyage. The votive ship in the Cathedral was made by Åke Sandvall and was based on the original drawings of the barque. Åke Sandvall also built another votive ship in St. Michael's Church in Turku.
Fires have destroyed the earlier votive ships in the Cathedral. Hannele sent this nice card to me.