Last weekend we made our first visit to Turku, Finland’s original capital and home to the Turku Castle.
Overlooking the Aura River, building is believed to have begun on the site as early as 1280 AD.
While the original buildings have been added to and renovated over the years, progress has been interrupted at times by fire and the effects of war.
It wasn’t long after we arrived that I decided that this is my favourite castle of those I have seen inside.
Obviously modern luxuries have been added, but its also the only castle I have ever felt I would actually like to live in.
I especially loved the white walls, wide wooden floor boards and countless window nooks.
It wouldn’t be a proper castle though without dungeons and dark corners, such as this one where we found eery beekeepers casting shadows.
There’s a chapel in the castle, with medieval religious icons, carved from wood, on display.
Some were missing arms, a result of having them cut off during the conflicts that occurred at the time of the Reformation.
Adjoining the main building is the Children’s Castle, where in the Knights Hall, there are costumes to try on, including robes, armour and helmets.
There’s ornate robes, armour and chain mail for the adults too, so no one misses out.
We struck it lucky on our visit, which happened to coincide with a Medieval Fair and included a marketplace in the castle square.
Stall holders were dressed in traditional clothes with many demonstrating their chosen craft on site.
Outside, there was a temporary camp set up, for sword-fighting men in heavy armour and those providing talented displays of horsemanship.
Miko’s favourite show was the jousting as we joined the crowd of spectators cheering loudly under the hot afternoon sun.
After hours of watching and exploring, it was time to say goodbye as headed off for dinner.
The next day on the train for Helsinki, we played snap with Miko’s favourite deck of cards. More than a year old, they were perfect for the occasion, helping us continue the theme all the way home.