The construction work of summer villas began once the patches of land in Ruissalo were rented out in 1847. No sketches remain of the oldest villas but it is believed they were designed by city architect P.J. Gylich. The oldest villas are wooden and have two storeys. They represent the Empire style and resemble country manor houses. Examples of such villas include Villa Ekars, Villa Oskarsberg and Villa Minnet.

A balcony or a veranda facing the sea was usually built on the summer villas. For farming, it was also necessary to construct buildings for cattle and sheds close to the villas. Bathing huts and gazebos emerged in the surroundings soon after. The most well-known and remarkable villa architect operating in Ruissalo was Georg Theodor Polichron Chiewitz who came from Sweden.

                                                                         Bathing hut in Ruissalo


Currently, there are over two hundred villas in Ruissalo and they are objects of protection. If you would like to take a tour of beautiful villas, you can walk along the Pikku-Pukki promenade from Kansanpuisto park.

Soiri-Snellman (1985) Ruissalon huvilat.
Soiri-Snellman (1995) Huvilaelämää 1800-luvulla.

Villa Gustafsberg. Image: Turku Museum Centre/Sanna Kupila