History of the Qwensel House

Noble living

Qwensel is an old bourgeois house. Its living and working quarters date back to the 18th century and give you a glimpse of the noble life in the days of subsistence economy. This house is one of the best preserved of its kind in the Nordic countries.

The house is located on the western shore of the river Aura. Per Brahe planned the area for officers of the Court of Appeal, county governors and the nobility.

The house is named after its first known owner Wilhelm Johan Qwensel, who bought the plot in 1695. He came from Stockholm to work for the Court of Appeal.

Discover more about Per Brahe (Wikipedia)

Finland’s pioneer in surgery

Another notable owner of the Qwensel House was Josef Gustav Pipping, a doctor of medicine. He was Finland’s first professor of surgery. He was so accomplished in his field, that he was ennobled as Pippingsköld. He owned the Qwensel House from 1785 until his death in 1815.

Pipping remodeled the house in the rococo and Gustav (after the King of Sweden Gustav III) styles, which were in fashion at the time. The current furnishings represent that period.

Lady Fortune and the merchant navy officer

The area around the Qwensel House was spared in the fire of 1827 and has since been known as the “Fortune quarter” (Fortuna-kortteli). Merchant navy officer Nils Friedrich Tjäder bought the house the year after the fire. He built a new wing for his business, turning the building into a merchant house. Today, this part of the house is home to the Pharmacy museum.

Discover more about the Great Fire of Turku (Wikipedia)

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