Luostarinmäki and its buildings

Luostarinmäki is the only continuous district of wooden houses that survived the fire of 1827 in Turku. These houses are over 200 years old and still standing in their original building sites. Luostarinmäki used to be on the edge of town, where land was cheap. This meant that craftsmen of lesser means moved to the district and lived in a rural subsistence economy.

After the fire a new town plan for Turku was drawn up highlighting fire safety, and the closely built wooden houses in Luostarinmäki were ordered to be pulled down. As a result the district started to become rundown, and many of the homeowners moved away. The city of Turku eventually bought the houses.

The district was made into an open-air museum in order to preserve the historically valuable buildings. The museum was made to include local handicrafts workshops which had begun to die out as a result of the industrialization. The trades of the craftsmen and women were kept alive by holding work demonstrations. Along with the workshops some of the old workers’ homes were furnished in the style of the 19th century to provide a glimpse into the past life of the district.

The Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum was opened to the public on 29th June 1940. The museum grounds consist of 14 courtyards and their buildings with approximately 80 furnished interiors.