Turku Castle is a medieval building in the city of Turku in Finland. Together with Turku Cathedral, the castle is one of the oldest buildings still in use in Finland. Turku Castle is the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. It was founded in the late 13th century and stands on the banks of the Aura River.
The castle was ruled in different stages of its history by the castle sheriff, commander, regent, duke or governor-general. Its significance as a defensive fortress and administrative centre varied throughout the ages according to the political situation. Only once did the castle actually figure in the defence of the realm. This was when Russian invaders from Novgorod destroyed Turku in 1318. On the other hand, it frequently played a role in internal struggles for power within Sweden-Finland and the Kalmar Union. Not until the end of 16th century did it really enjoy peace. The castle lost its status as an administrative centre in the 17th century after Per Brahe's period as governor-general of Finland came to an end.
Many accidents have assailed the castle, especially numerous sieges. In 1614, when King Gustav II Adolf visited the castle, a tremendous fire destroyed the wooden structure of the main castle almost completely. After this the main castle was abandoned and used partly as a store, partly just stood empty. A new accident beset the castle in the summer of 1941 soon after the Continuation War had begun when an incendiary bomb hit the main castle.
Thank you Ella for these five lovely maxi cards of the ancient castles of Finland.