Turku Castle turns into tourism hotspot again

03 Aug 2020, 01:06

  DF Report by Gishnizjani Golnar

Turku Castle. DF Photo.

All you have to do is to cross some distance from the city centre and follow the Aura River. In the middle of the way, there stands an astonishing building that will dazzle your eyes. Faced with the grandeur of the building, Turku Castle, you will have no choice but to go inside and travel through history. The castle built in the late 13th century is one the most important symbols of Finnisah history.

It is also the country’s most visited museum that attracted more than 200,000 visitors in some years. Anna Perälä, the curator of exhibitions and education at the Turku Castle, told the Daily Finland that the number of visitors in 2019 was 144,000. But the COVID-19 crisis caused a temporary closure of the castle as 2020 began. She said, “The number of visitors declined by half in the first half of this year compared with the number in the corresponding period of 2019.”

After the castle reopened in early June, “We welcomed more visitors. We hope that many of the private events and group bookings that were postponed in the spring and the summer will take place in autumn,” Perälä said. “But we must follow health protocols until the situation becomes completely normal and coronavirus is considered a threat no more.” She said, “Surfaces are cleaned effectively. Visitors are guided through different routes to avoid contact in narrow passages. All guided tours and group events for July have been cancelled to make sure that the castle does not become too crowded.”

Although doors to the castle reopened two weeks ago, many Finns who decided to do not travel outside the country started visiting it. A young tourist coming from Finland’s north said that the Turku Castle is an amazing place to feel the country’s history. Her friend noticed that the castle narrates the period of Swedish power in an interesting way. She said visitors should be patient enough to go through every single corner of the place and have, preferably, snacks with them so that they do not get hungry during the journey.

A Turkish family with a toddler, who moved to Finland in 2019 after having lived in Nordic countries for about five years, said the castle is one of the most beautiful historical attractions in the north of Europe. “It is, however, not an attractive place for kids. They easily get bored and start nagging.” The family thinks that people should not take their little children to the castle. Another family with two children visiting the castle said the only problem of the castle is the steps and hallways. They are somewhat small, steep or winding and children need to be careful. “All Finnish families should visit the castle and let their children become familiar with the history of the country.”

The number of people who decide to spend one of the sunny summer days in the castle shows that this would be one of the most popular places for tourists during the rest of the summer. The curator said, “We expect more domestic rather than international tourists. But the number of visitors from different countries is increasing now, because of new regulations and the reopening of the borders.” Perälä said that besides two new exhibitions in June, groups can book tours normally from August, adding that “but we do not plan to hold any big events.”