Favorite thing: This is the "Suomen Joutsen" ("Finnish Swan"), which is a beautiful 100-year-old ship that is docked in Turku almost all the time but which was also used as a school-ship for the marines of this country....
Turku has strongly suffered during the Second world war. Up till the end of war the city was a base of the Soviet submarines, which were acted in Baltic.
After war all the basic sights were restored, and now it is one of the most beautiful city of Scandinavia. Now Turku is the large industrial and cultural center, the fifth on a population city of the country and the largest winter port.
There is a residence of archbishop of Evangelic Lutheran church of Finland (from XVII century). There are two universities - Swedish (from 1918) and Finnish (from 1920).
In 1808 Abo surrendered to Russian armies without fight and since then more then a century was in structure of Russian empire. In 1809-1812 (actually up till 1819) it was the capital of the Great Finnish princedom, in 1811-1917 - an administrative centre of the Abo-Bjorneborg province.
In August of 1812 the Russian emperor Alexander I came in the city. He met the Swedish crown prince Bernadot there and approved the treaty between Russia and Sweden.
Old Abo was wooden and practically was completely burned down in 1827 then it was built up anew under plans of architect K.L.Engel in neo-clasic style with a rectangular lay-out and wide streets.
From 1713 and till the ending the of Northern war in 1721 the city was occupied by Russian armies. They came there again in 1742 and up till the conclusion of peace-treaty the city was a residence of a Russian general-governor.
Under the treaty provisions, in the end of the Russian-Swedish war of 1741-1743, the border of Russian empire with Sweden was removed to the West up to the Kjumene river (Kumijoki), the structure of Russia included the strengthened cities of Southeast Finland Friderichsham (Hamina), Wilmandstrand (Lappenranta), Neishlodt (Savonlinna) and others.
Originally the city was settled down in some kilometers to the north, on a present place - from the beginning of the XIIIth century. From the middle of XIII Abo - a stronghold of Catholicism and the center of the Swedish administration in Finland. In 1280 a construction of a fortress began. In 1318 russians from Novgorod again made an attack to Abo and burnt it completely. In 1509-1523 it was in hands of Danes. Abo received the city rights in 1525.
In the beginning of the Russian-Swedish war 1590-1593 Russian armies approached to the city, but could not take it. In 1640 the first Finnish university was established there. In 1828 the university was transferred to Helsingfors. In the beginning of XVII Abo became a residence of Swedish general-governor in Finland.
"Turku" in-Finnish means "a tender, a market" (with a loftily-poetic shade). It is the oldest city in the territory of Finland. Originally on this place there was a Finnish trading settlement Korojnen.
For the first time it was mentioned in 1154 in the Arabian sources and already in the XIIth century it was a brisk center of trade. According to russian Novgorod annals, in 1198 the settlement was burnt with a team of russians from Novgorod led by prince Mstislav Davydovich. The Swedes who won these territory in 1229 carried a residence of bishop there and gave the name - Abo to this settlement.
The province of the Western Finland is a special, Sweden-Finnish part of the country - first of all, from the point of view of history and culture as it is located close to Sweden though has no overland border with it.
They say that the most part of the population speaks in-sweden there, and settlements have two names - Finnish and Swedish, and Swedish is used more often.
Favorite thing: The Cathedral of Turku is worth seeing. There's also a museum upstairs so you might want to visit it, too. The cathedral itself is very beautiful and has several smaller parts (I think they are not chappels though but the look like little rooms... tombs?)...
Favorite thing: When you visit Turku, you should absolutely visit the medieval castle. There are guided tours in there, but you can also choose to wander around by yourself. It's an amazing place with lots of paintings etc. There's also a small church inside the castle.
Fondest memory: During our stay in Turku, there was a big market along the Aura river with different stalls offering food and drinks. We could see for example how they grill salmon, which was very interesting and nice to see. I still can smell it... yummy !!!!
Favorite thing: There is very useful tourist information in Turku. It is in the city centre by the river, lots of information is free and they will help you with any questions you have, you can even use for free the internet for short time to check your e-mails.
The "Kauppatori", the market, is the place i "felt" the most in turku.
It is really nice to walk around the stalls and stop sometimes to buy something.
Here you can find fruit, good fish but also t-shirts and other stuff.
Don't miss it if you go to turku.
Favorite thing: To see some of the more beautiful parts of Turku, get down to the river Aura and see the Forum Marinum with its ships, the restaurant boats, the cathedral and just the generally nice and green atmosphere. You can walk all the way to/from the harbour if you like.
Favorite thing: Another place on the shore is Saarronniemi where you may have baths in the sea around the year. But in summertime it's at its best. It is situated on Ruissalo island close to the downtown. By bus 8 you may reach it in 20 minutes.
Favorite thing: Stroll along the river Aura which is one of the best ways to explore the town. Between the Cathedral in the east and Turku Castle in the west many interesting old buildings and museums can be found. Near the Castle is the Forum Marinum with a few museum boats including a vessel and a minelayer.