Get familiar with the history of Turku
Where in Turku was a lake situated hundreds of years ago? Where was the bridge that collapsed or the house that the disappeared into river? Explore the Turku returns to the map cultural exercise route to find the answers!
The length of the route is 8.4 km.
Luostarin välikatu, running through the Great Old Square, was the town’s artery in the Middle Ages. The street ran from St. Olaf’s Dominican monastery to the town centre and to the Cathedral.
After the fire of 1827 C.L. Engel drew up a new grid plan for the city, but he left the old medieval centre untouched. Luostarin välikatu remained to remind us of the narrow streets of the past.
Today Luostarin välikatu is a unique remnant of the Middle Ages. The street has served as a background for many films and inspired many photographers.
The houses and courtyards in Luostarinmäki illuminate the way of living in the 18th and 19th centuries. The very first inhabitants built small dwellings which were later extended to include extra rooms and outhouses.
The only way into the courtyard was through a gate that had a sign above it indicating the address of the house in question. However, not all streets had names or the houses addresses before the fire of 1827 in Turku. The only information as to which address you were in, was the name of the quarter and the number of the plot.
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.
Welcome to the museum!
The Qwensel House is the oldest remaining wooden building in Turku. The museum features a bourgeois home from the 18th century and a pharmacy from the 19th century under one roof.
The entrance to the museum is in the courtyard, where you will find ticket sales and the museum shop.