Linnanpuisto – Castle Park

In 1900 City Gardener Mauritz Hammarberg suggested that a park should be built around Turku Castle, since it was the first thing a person coming from the sea would notice. An open air museum with demotic buildings such as granaries was built in 1906. As soon as the park was finished it turned out to be inadequate, so Hammarberg’s follower, landscape architect Söderberg, made a plan in 1907 for the expansion of Linnanpuisto.

In the Finnish gardening magazine Puutarhalehti in 1909, Söderberg describes how he tried to come up with a solution that would be in tune with the castle. Because the park was surrounded from three sides by a busy harbour, Söderberg saw fit to close these sides with thick dividing plantings in order to prevent smoke and noise from getting into the park. Söderberg’s architect’s education shows in this plan, on which he has drawn many decorative buildings into the park. The park could be entered through an arched wooden gate leading to an oval yard which was surrounded by flower beds and two single trees. Söderberg defined his own style as natural, which was expressed in the soft lines and beautiful bending of the paths. The paths meandered from the gate through white birch groves to vantage points and between dark evergreen trees to sunny lawns. Here and there the stone benches surrounded with perennials offered walkers a place to rest. As Söderberg was planning the plantings he said he was aiming at domestic species. Exceptions were made with some individual plants, which were mainly planted in front of the entrance. Otherwise simple and modest plants that would adapt to the environment were favoured. Söderberg specifically mentions lilacs and species of Filipendula genus for bushes. Specialties of the park included a Renaissance style temple and a 20 metre long pergola covered with creepers.

Though the Linnanpuisto of the time was based on this impressive plan, and apparently was also realized in an impressive manner, it seems that its maintenance was neglected, since some indignant citizens complained that the park looked like a dump. In 1929 Turku celebrated its 700th jubilee year which meant that public areas needed to be cleaned up and decorated. In spring of the same year the renovations of Linnanpuisto started with the transfer of Bagarla manor house from Perno, the re-outlining of the paths of the garden, and the planting of lots of lime trees and bushes. The renewal work of Linnanpuisto was continued in the beginning of the 1930s. Because of the severe unemployment during that time the work was conducted as relief work and 60 men participated.

The bombings of the Second World War damaged the castle as well as the park around it. Repairs began in 1950.

Surface area: 2.6 hectares

Maintenance classification: A2 Recreational green area

Location on a map

Trees: Linnanpuisto has very diverse vegetation with around a hundred different arboreal and herbaceous species. There are, for example, ornamental shrubs, perennial groups, Arolla pines, maples, oaks, and horse chestnuts in the park.