Turku costume museum

The upper level of the castle holds a museum with household goods including the fashions I'll show here from Finland.

The upper level of the castle holds a museum with household goods including the fashions I’ll show here from Finland.

I’m going to take a bit of a break from my Viking costume posts (you can read more by following the Garb from a Thousand Lakes tag) to return to a few posts from my trip to Finland, and some of the things I saw there that might be interesting to the readers of this blog.

In an earlier post I showed you the exterior of Turku Castle.  This time around I’ll share a few photos from inside the castle, from a museum gallery on the upper floor of one of the castle wings.

It took a good amount of walking up many flights of stairs to get here, but the room, as you can see in the photo above, is huge.  (this photo wasn’t even taken from the end of the room either!) It runs from one end of the castle to the other, and has gorgeous arches  which define the walls and ceiling.  Between each of the arches are individual showcases featuring aspects of Finnish household life including kitchen ware, and housewares, but i was most interested in the display that ran the length of the right hand side – all about fashion throughout the ages. There are also table displays in the center of the room running it’s length featuring smaller items like fans, hair combs, plenty of jewellery, and similar things.

This post is very image-heavy, so continue to read behind the jump.

Photo quality

There were some lovely examples in the museum gallery, however I had a few problems, which is why I have few photos to share of high quality. First I was in a big rush to get through this part of the castle, because right after the castle we had to head back into the downtown area to catch a tour bus which was going to provide us with a nice tour of Turku’s downtown area and neighboring areas. The tour was also set to include a stop at Turku Castle, but because it was the day before Midsummer’s Eve, the castle would be closing early, and we wouldn’t be able to see inside when the tour came around.

Additionally, I found t hard to get good photos because of the lighting and layout of the room. Each cabinet was glass-fronted, and well-illuminated within, but this meant that the light from the cabinet across the other side of the room was constantly reflecting in the glass of the display I as trying to photograph. it was only near the end of the display that I figured out how to counteract this, but by then it was really too late to go back and get better shots of the displays I had already looked. at. Like I mentioned – this is a very long space! I didn’t even have the time to look at the displays on the other side of the room!


One other minor frustration – language. For the most part we were spoiled, throughout Finland it was rarely a challenge to communicate, as English is widely spoken. However in some cases, like this, signage was only in Finnish and Swedish, which is largely incomprehensible to me apart from a few recognizable words. While I was able to understand the dates posted near each of the costume displays, I couldn’t read any of the additional information sharing details about the display.

Clothing from within the castle museum

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The castle was really nice, and we did return on Midsummer’s day to walk around the exterior and wander along the river to re-visit some of the sights we had seen on the tour and on our boat trip to the nearby town of Naantali. The tour we took was available through the Turku information centre, and by purchasing a Turku Card for the day, we wer able to visit both the Castle and the  Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum and gallery plus attend the tour for one price. (21 Euro per adult)

The tour was interesting, it took us past the new hospital, the old hospital enarby, throughout the university grounds (bot the Finnish and Swedish universities) and to buildings near the univiersities which had some historical significance and had been gifted to the universities. We also went past an adventure park with a sculpture garden (which we had hoped to return to, but quickly ran out of time) and the Turku Cathedral. We had visited the Cathedral on a previous day, but it was nice to have a bit of a tour within the space from our guide – however I’d consider a seperate trip there valuable, ecause we were quite rushed to get in and out within the time frame of the tour.

Accessories from within the castle museum

The tour also took us past the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum and shared a bit of history, past the Old Great Square area with buildings saved from Turku’s massive fire, and past old wooden houses which were built to acomidate people who were left homeless after Russia took over the previous Finish city of Vyborg and area.

I think that I am nearly done sharing photos from beautiful Turku, so if you would like to see more, please consider following Happy Sushi Belly as well, where I’ll have more photos, but with a focus on culinary delights instead of costume, clothing, and crafts. I’m also sharing some beautiful photos of my trip to Finland scattered throughout the blog between photos of delicious treats, savory dishes, and unusual meals.

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