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Turun kaupunki
Åbo stad
coat of arms map
Turku Coat of Arms Location of Turku in Finland
Basic data
State : FinlandFinland Finland
Landscape : Varsinais-Suomi
Administrative community : Turku
Geographical location 60 ° 27 ′  N , 22 ° 15 ′  E Coordinates: 60 ° 27 ′  N , 22 ° 15 ′  E
Surface: 306.41 km²
of which land area: 245.70 km²
of which inland waterways: 3.46 km²
of which sea area: 57.25 km²
Residents : 191,331 (Dec. 31, 2018)
Population density : 778.7 inhabitants / km²
Municipality number : 853
Postcodes : 20002-21000
Language (s) : Finnish , Swedish
Website : www.turku.fi

Turku  [ ˈturku ] , Swedish Åbo ? / i [ ˈoːbu ], is a city on the southwest coast of Finland . From its founding in the 13th to the 19th century, Turku was the most important city in Finland. Today Turku is the sixth largest city and the center of the third largest metropolitan area in the country with 191,331 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018) . It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Turku, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland , the Åbo Akademi and the University of Turku . 5.2% of the population of Turku are Swedish-speaking, officially the city is bilingual . Please click to listen!Play Audio file / audio sample


Geographical location

View of the cathedral and the center of Turku

Turku is located in the Varsinais-Suomi region in southwest Finland at the mouth of the Aurajoki River in the Baltic Sea . In front of the city is the archipelago with an extensive archipelago of over 20,000 archipelago . The Aurajoki flows for nine kilometers in an east-west direction through the city. Within Turku, its width is an average of 50 meters. At the lower reaches of the city center, the river is 2.5 to 5 meters deep, but at the level of the cathedral the fairway becomes much narrower and shallower. Other rivers in the Turku area are the Vähäjoki , which begins in the north of the city and flows into the Aurajoki in the Koroinen district , and the Raisiojoki , which flows into the Baltic Sea opposite the island of Ruissalo .

Turku has a land border with the municipalities of Raisio , Rusko , Aura , Lieto and Kaarina . Towards the sea, Turku borders on Naantali and Pargas . The greater Turku area, which includes the cities of Naantali, Raisio, Kaarina and Lieto and some other neighboring communities in addition to Turku, has a total of around 290,000 inhabitants. This makes it the third largest metropolitan area in Finland after the Helsinki region and the Tampere area.

Expansion of the urban area

New buildings in the Pihlajaniemi district

Turku has a total area of ​​306.41 km². Excluding the marine areas, there are 249.09 km², of which a further 3.46 km² are inland waters. The urban area has an elongated shape and protrudes into the inland in a wedge shape. The distance between the northernmost and southernmost point of the city is 45 km, the maximum east-west extension is only 15 km.

The center of Turku lies on the lower reaches of the Aurajoki just before its mouth. It has a checkerboard road network and is densely built up. There are green areas on some hills and along the river bank. In the districts around the center, the development consists mainly of single-family houses. Most of these districts were not incorporated into Turku until the 20th century. Many of them, such as Port Arthur , Nummi or Raunistula , were originally residential areas for the poorer workers. Today, because of their location close to the center, they are in demand and expensive residential areas. Large suburban settlements have emerged on the outskirts since the 1970s. The largest settlements are Varissuo , Runosmäki , Pansio and Jäkärlä . The northern districts of Maaria and Paattinen were only incorporated into the second half of the 20th century and are more rural.

In the south, part of the archipelago with the islands of Ruissalo , Hirvensalo , Satava and Kakskerta belongs to the city. The islands are rather sparsely populated and covered with deciduous forests. With the exception of parts of Hirvensalo, which have developed into upper-middle-class suburbs since the 1990s, the islands are mostly home to vacation homes . There is an extensive campsite on Ruissalo.

City structure

City districts and districts of Turku until 2005

Turku consists of 78 districts (Finnish: kaupunginosa ). At the same time, there is a subdivision into nine urban districts (suuralue) . The boundaries of the city districts do not always follow the district boundaries, so that some city districts are divided between two city districts. Neither city districts nor city districts have an administrative task.

The Aurajoki River divides Turku in half. The historic center of the city is located southeast of the Aurajoki and is called täl pual jokke ("this side of the river") in the local dialect . The north-western side with the modern city center is called accordingly tois pual jokke ("beyond the river"). These terms are absolute and independent of the speaker's actual point of view. Sometimes the Swedish name Åbo is used for the southeastern part of the city and the Finnish name Turku for the northwestern part of the city.

The districts of Turku according to districts (classification since 2006):

Center: I. district , II. District , III. District , IV. District , V. District , VI. District , VII. District , VIII. District , IX. District , port of Turku , Iso-Heikkilä , Korppolaismäki , Kupittaa , Kurjenmäki , Mäntymäki , Pihlajaniemi , Ruissalo , Vähahikkilä
Hirvensalo-Kakskerta: Friskala , Haarla , Illoinen , Jänessaari , Kaistarniemi , Kakskerta , Kukola , Lauttaranta , Maanpää , Moikoinen , Oriniemi , Papinsaari , Pikisaari , Satava , Särkilahti , Toijainen
Skanssi-Uittamo: Harittu , Ilpoinen , Ispoinen , Katariina , Koivula , Luolavuori , Peltola , Pihlajaniemi , Puistomäki , Skanssi , Uittamo , Vasaramäki
Varissuo Lauste: Huhkola , Lauste , Pääskyvuori , Vaala , Varissuo
Nummi halines: Halinen , Itäharju , Kohmo , Koroinen , Kurala , Nummi , Oriketo , Räntämäki
Runosmäki Raunistula: Kaerla , Kärsämäki , Kastu , Raunistula , Runosmäki
Länsikeskus: Kähäri , Mälikkälä , Pitkämäki , Pohjola , Raunistula , Runosmäki , Teräsrautela , Vätti
Pansio-Jyrkkälä: Artukainen , Pahaniemi , Pansio , Perno
Maaria Paattinen: Turku Airport , Jäkärlä , Metsämäki , Moisio , Paattinen , Saramäki , Urusvuori , Yli-Maaria


The icy Aurajoki at the level of the cathedral bridge

The climate in Turku is cold-temperate . Thanks to the influence of the Baltic Sea and the sheltered location in the south of the country by the offshore archipelago, it is quite mild by Finnish standards. For example, oaks thrive in Turku that are not found in the rest of Finland.

The annual average temperature in Turku is 4.8 ° C, the annual average precipitation is 576 mm. Most of the precipitation falls in August (77 mm monthly mean), the least in March (23 mm). The coldest month is February with an average temperature of −6.5 ° C, the warmest month July with 17.1 ° C. The summers in Turku are warm with temperatures of up to 30 ° C. The winters, on the other hand, are relatively cold. A permanent snow cover usually falls around the turn of the year. The Aurajoki sometimes has a load-bearing ice cover, the ice usually melts in March or April.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Turku
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −1.9 −2.2 1.7 7.9 15.4 19.9 21.7 20.1 14.3 8.5 3.1 −0.3 O 9.1
Min. Temperature (° C) −7.5 −8.5 −5.0 −0.6 4.5 9.6 12.2 11.2 6.7 2.7 −1.8 −5.8 O 1.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 54.9 39.7 43.0 36.6 35.2 51.9 75.8 78.7 68.1 73.5 74.4 66.3 Σ 698.1
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.3 2.5 4.4 6.1 8.6 9.6 8.5 7.1 4.6 2.9 1.4 0.9 O 4.8
Rainy days ( d ) 11 8th 9 7th 6th 8th 9 10 11 12 12 12 Σ 115
Water temperature (° C) 0 0 0 0 8th 11 15th 17th 13 9 6th 2 O 6.8
Humidity ( % ) 89 87 82 75 66 64 71 76 83 86 89 90 O 79.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Prehistory and foundation

The area of ​​today's city of Turku was already settled in the Stone Age, as archaeological finds from the districts of Kärsämäki and Jäkärlä prove. During the Iron Age , agriculture and trade were practiced in the Aurajoki river valley. This is indicated, among other things, by tombs from the Vendel period that were found near the old castle of Lieto and in the Kurala district. The Varsinais-Suomi landscape , in which Turku is located, came about from 1154 onwards through the crusade of King Erik IX. under Swedish rule. The first bishopric in Finland was Nousiainen .

During the 13th century, Turku became the first city in Finland. According to a generally accepted theory, the name Turku comes from the Old Russian word tǔrgǔ meaning "marketplace". The Swedish name Åbo means something like "residence (Swedish. Bo ) on the river (Swedish. Å )". The year of foundation of the city is traditionally 1229. However, this is due to a misinterpretation of medieval documents. In 1229, Pope Gregory IX voted . to move the bishopric, apparently from Nousiainen to Koroinen . The village of Koroinen, now part of Turku, was a few kilometers upstream. There is no evidence that the actual city of Turku existed at that time. Therefore the founding of the city is more likely to be dated to the end of the 13th century. When the level of the Aurajoki became lower due to the uplift of the land , the traders could no longer sail their ships to Koroinen and the trading center was relocated to Turku. A charter in which Turku was granted city rights has not survived. Nevertheless, it can be taken for granted that Turku is the oldest city in Finland, as the next oldest city, Porvoo , was evidently only founded in 1346.

Swedish rule

Turku Cathedral before it was destroyed by the city fire. Watercolor by Carl Ludwig Engel from 1814.

As early as the late 13th century there was a Dominican monastery and a bishopric in Turku . The Turku Cathedral was consecrated in 1300th However, it is unclear to what extent today's stone and brick church goes back to the building of that time; According to some researchers, the first cathedral could have been made of wood. Construction of Turku Castle , which was outside the city, may have begun as early as the late 13th century. The castle, the monastery and the cathedral including the bishopric made Turku next to Viborg the most important city in medieval Finland. It remained the political, intellectual and cultural center of Finland during the entire period of Swedish rule. In the Middle Ages, Turku maintained lively trade relations with the Hanseatic League , but without being a member. In particular, the lively trade with the Hanseatic cities of Reval (Estonian Tallinn ), Danzig and Lübeck made Turku the largest trading center in Finland.

Turku was subject to multiple attacks during the Swedish period. In 1318 the city was drawn into the dispute between Sweden and Novgorod . The Russians looted the cathedral and burned the city down. During the final phase of the Kalmar Union , Turku was drawn into the Swedish- Danish power struggle: in 1509, the Danes under Otte Rud attacked Turku, pillaged the city and looted a large part of the cathedral treasure. In 1523 Gustav I. Wasa conquered the city after having besieged the castle without result a year earlier. Shortly after he was crowned King of Sweden, he initiated the Reformation in his country . Martin Skytte , Bishop of Turku 1528–1550, was a moderate proponent of the Reformation. His successor was Mikael Agricola , Finland's most important reformer, who had been a student of Martin Luther in Wittenberg and who had laid the foundation for the written Finnish language with his translation of the Bible in 1548 .

In 1556 Gustav Wasa appointed his son Johann III. to the Duke of Finland. Johann and his wife Katharina Jagiellonica resided in Turku and introduced the magnificent court life of the Renaissance period to the castle . After the death of Gustav Vasa, there was a power turmoil between his sons: in 1563 King Erik XIV had Turku conquered and his brother kidnapped into captivity in Sweden.

The rule of Gustav II Adolf (1611–1632) and his daughter Christina I (1632–1654) was a time of progress for Turku. The provincial administration was founded in 1617, the court court in 1623. In 1630 a high school followed . In 1637 Per Brahe the Younger was appointed Governor General of Finland and moved into Turku Castle. In 1640 he founded the Turku Academy , the first university in Finland.

Like the rest of Finland, Turku was twice under Russian occupation in the 18th century: 1714–1721 during the Great Northern War and 1741–1743 during the Swedish-Russian War . In the second half of the century, Sweden's mercantilist economic policy resulted in numerous factories in Turku . The shipyard, founded in 1732, has over time become an important economic factor in the city. At that time the citizens of Turku were divided into three classes: the Swedish citizenship, the Finnish citizenship and the craftsmen. The population rose to 8,504 by 1791, and in 1805 it was already 11,300.

Russian rule

The great city fire of 1827. Lithograph by C. A. af Scheele
Turku Railway Station opened in 1876

In the Russo-Swedish War , the Russian troops captured Turku in 1808 without a fight. When Sweden had to cede Finland to Russia in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809 , Turku was initially chosen to be the capital of the newly created Grand Duchy of Finland . From the point of view of Tsar Alexander I , however, Turku was too far away from Saint Petersburg , which is why in 1812 the decision was made to relocate the capital to Helsinki , which had hitherto been insignificant . After Helsinki had been developed into the representative capital under the aegis of the architect Carl Ludwig Engel , the relocation took place in 1819. Helsinki's importance was finally consolidated when Turku was almost completely destroyed in the great fire of 1827. The devastating conflagration destroyed three quarters of Turku's houses in one day. As a result of the fire, the Turku Academy, like the other institutions that remained in Turku, was relocated to Helsinki in 1828 and converted into the University of Helsinki . With this, Turku had finally lost its dominant position in Finland. Carl Ludwig Engel was commissioned to rebuild Turku. He designed a checkerboard, fire-proof floor plan. Turku remained Finland's largest city for another twenty years before it was overtaken by Helsinki.

Towards the middle of the 19th century, Turku, with its large factories, was Finland's most important handicraft city alongside Helsinki. The industrial revolution experienced Turku but not until around the year 1900. The First World War had for the industry of the city positive consequences, because the export problems mainly related to the timber industry , which played no role in Turku. In contrast, thanks to its location, Turku was able to import raw materials from neutral Sweden without any problems.

After gaining independence

Map of Turku around 1920

After Finland gained independence in 1917 , the capital remained in Helsinki. Social unrest had already broken out in Turku at the end of 1917, in the course of which the socialist “red” shops were looted. In the following Finnish Civil War , the Red Guards took control of the city in late January 1918 and held it until April 12, when German troops fighting on the side of the bourgeois whites invaded Turku.

In 1918, after 90 years, Turku was given a university again, the Swedish-speaking Åbo Akademi . Two years later, the Finnish-speaking University of Turku was founded. During the Winter War and the Continuation War , various Soviet air raids took place on the city, which resulted in a total of 52 civilian lives; in addition, 1.8% of the homes were destroyed and 3.3% were badly damaged.

In the knife attack in Turku on August 18, 2017 , a Moroccan whose asylum application was not granted killed two people and injured six others.


At the end of 2005, the population of Turku was 174,906 people. Turku is the sixth largest city in Finland after Helsinki , Espoo , Tampere , Vantaa and Oulu . Espoo and Vantaa are in fact suburbs of Helsinki. The Turku metropolitan area is the third largest metropolitan area in the country after the Helsinki region and the Tampere metropolitan area.


Trilingual sign on the ferry across the Aurajoki : Turku dialect, Finnish and Swedish

The Turku people have a pronounced regional self-confidence, not least because of the past of their city. There is a saying in Turku that you cannot become a Turkuer, but only be born a Turkuer. Above all, the local dialect (Turun murre) is identity-creating. Dialect of dialect and comics are also published in the Southwest Finnish dialect .

The city of Helsinki, which does not have such a long history and which only became the capital in the 19th century, is viewed by many Turku people as an "upstart". But the rivalry with Tampere , which Turku overtook as Finland's second largest city in the 1960s, is particularly pronounced .

Population groups

Traditionally, Turku had a large Finnish-Swedish population. By 1870, half of Turku's residents spoke Swedish as their mother tongue. Over time, however, many Finnish Swedes adopted the Finnish language. In addition, immigration to Turku came mainly from Finnish-speaking areas, so that the proportion of the Swedish-speaking population fell constantly. At the turn of the century it was only a quarter, in 1950 a tenth. Today 5.2% of Turku people are Swedish-speaking. Although the proportion in Turku is below the 6% threshold set out in the Finnish Language Act, the city is officially bilingual with Finnish as the majority and Swedish as the minority language due to the numerical size of the Swedish-speaking minority (9,000 people) . Therefore, for example, all streets have a Finnish and a Swedish name.

4.2% of the population of Turku are foreigners, mainly from Russia , Estonia , Iraq and Iran . This proportion of foreigners is high by Finnish standards. The increasing number of immigrants, especially in the eastern suburbs of the city, has partly led to xenophobia , which is reflected in the relative electoral successes of the nationalist party Suomen Kansan Sinivalkoiset (Blue-White Front). While this right-wing extremist party never got more than 0.1% of the vote in all of Finland , in 2004 it was able to set up a city council in Turku, the hometown of its party leader Olavi Mänenpää , with 3.9% of the vote. This was also active in the successor organizations. He was sentenced to seven months in prison for fraud in 2017 and died in 2018. In the 2015 parliamentary elections , however, the right-wing populist party True Finns fell short of the Finnish national average of 17.7% with 16.2% in Turku.


The vast majority of the population of Turku belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church . Turku Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Turku , head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland . The Archdiocese of Turku includes the Finnish-speaking parishes of Varsinais-Suomi and Satakunta .

There is also an Orthodox community in Turku . Its main church is the Empress Alexandra Martyrs Church, which is representative of the central market square. The rotunda is modeled on the Pantheon in Rome and was completed in 1845 according to plans by Carl Ludwig Engel.

There is also a small Catholic parish in Turku, the Parish of Saints Birgitta and Blessed Hemming . Turku Church was built in 1966 and is located in the center of the city. The Catholic community has grown particularly due to the immigration of Asian and Polish immigrants. In addition to the Catholic community, the Order of the Birgit , a Catholic convent, has also settled in Turku.

A smaller group of Muslim Tatars has lived in Turku since the 19th century , and recently Muslim immigrants have also immigrated. The Turku Jewish community has approximately 120 members. The Turku synagogue is the only one in Finland besides the one in Helsinki .

Every year on December 24th at 12 noon, the Christmas peace for all of Finland is proclaimed from Turku .

Population development

The population of Turku increased constantly until around 1970. This was followed by a phase of slight decline until the population began to rise again from 1990 onwards.

Development of the population from 1891 to 2005
year Residents
1860 16,870
1870 19,617
1880 23,947
1890 30.096
1900 31,658
1910 41,993
1920 45,408
1930 53,681
year Residents
1940 065,475
1950 100,514
1960 123.285
1970 155.069
1980 163.933
1990 159,539
2000 172.107
2005 174,824


Turku is the capital of the countryside ( Maakunta / landskap ) Varsinais-Suomi . In addition, the city is the ecclesiastical center of Finland as the seat of the Archbishop of Turku , the head of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church , and the cathedral chapter of Turku.


As in all Finnish cities, in Turku the city council (Finnish: kaupunginvaltuusto ) is the highest decision-making body on local matters. These include urban planning, schools, healthcare and public transport. The 67-member council is elected for four years.

The strongest party in Turku is the Conservative rallying party , followed by the Social Democrats . These two parties have dominated Turku politics for decades, while the country's third major party, the Finnish Center Party , only plays a subordinate role, as in other major cities. The Left Alliance and the Green Bund are also relatively strong, with election results in the double-digit percentage range.

Composition of the City Council (2013-2016)
Political party Election result Seats
Collection party 25.8% 19th
Social democrats 20.3% 14th
Green covenant 14.5% 10
Left alliance 13.4% 09
Base fins 09.2% 06th
Center Party 05.9% 04th
Swedish People's Party 05.3% 03
Christian Democrats 02.0% 01
Yhteislista Sinivalkoiset 01.8% 01
Rest 01.8% 00

The City Director (Finnish: kaupunginjohtaja ) of Turku reports to and is appointed by the City Council. His job is to run the administration and manage the city's budget. Mikko Pukkinen from the Collection Party has held this post since 2006.

coat of arms

Blazon : “In blue a golden, stylized“ A ”, accompanied crosswise by four silver lilies . On the edge of the shield is a golden leaf crown set with silver pearls with alternating rectangular blue and rough red stones in the crown ring. "

The coat of arms goes back to a medieval seal from 1309. The letter "A" stands for Aboa, the Latin form of the name Turku, while the lilies are associated with the Virgin Mary , the patron saint of Turku Cathedral. The crown indicates the historic duchy of Finland, which corresponds to the present-day landscape of Varsinais-Suomi.

Town twinning

Turku has partnerships with the following cities:

What Turku has in common with its Scandinavian twin cities is that they are all “second cities” in their country with a long history. In addition, Turku has signed cooperation agreements with the Estonian city ​​of Kuressaare , with Tianjin in the People's Republic of China and with Kaliningrad in Russia .

Culture and sights


In the center or close to the center there are over ten galleries in the fields of sculpture , photography and painting . Not far from the cathedral (see buildings) , on the banks of the Aurajoki, is the Sibelius Museum, which not only pays tribute to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius , but also houses a collection of musical instruments . About 500 meters to the southwest is the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, which exhibits excavations from the 14th century and modern art.


Turku Castle

Turku Castle

The Turku Castle is located near the port on the north bank of the Aurajoki. It is one of the few examples of Finnish castle architecture and the largest preserved medieval building in the country. The castle was probably founded around 1280 and was then still on a river island at the mouth of the Aurajoki. It was rebuilt several times and received its present form in the 16th century with the construction of the outer bailey in the Renaissance style. At that time the Turku Castle served John III. , the Duke of Finland, and his wife Katharina Jagiellonica as their residence. During the Second World War it was badly damaged in a Soviet bombing raid, but it was repaired again by 1961. Today the castle houses the Turku City History Museum.


Turku Cathedral

The Turku Cathedral is the landmark of Turku and the seat of the Archbishop of Turku the main church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. At the same time it is the most important example of medieval church building in Finland. Construction of the cathedral began at the end of the 13th century, and was probably consecrated in 1300. It is unclear, however, whether it was already the stone structure that forms the core of today's church, or a wooden predecessor. The stone cathedral may not have been built until the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century. In any case, Turku Cathedral is the oldest surviving church on the Finnish mainland. In the 15th century, the cathedral was expanded several times, so that it was the only medieval church in Finland to reach the size of central European cathedrals. It clearly shows the influence of German brick Gothic . In the next few centuries the cathedral was rebuilt and expanded several times; at last it had to be repaired after the town fire of 1827. He received the spire designed by Carl Ludwig Engel. In the church there are the tombs of many important personalities, including the Swedish Queen Karin Månsdotter .

The Orthodox Church of the Empress Alexandra Martyrs

In the districts of Turku there are two other medieval churches, both mid-15th century were built: the Church of Maaria , the parochial church of 1967 eingemeindeten community Maaria . The Church of St. Catherine originally served as the Church of Kaarina , but has been in the city of Turku since 1939. Both churches are more modest in size than the cathedral, but can be considered well-preserved examples of Finland's medieval stone churches . Only the foundations of the Koroinen Episcopal Church, built in the 13th century, have survived .

The Orthodox Kaiserin Alexandra Martyrs Church is located on the market square . The classicistic round church was built between 1839 and 1845 according to plans by Carl Ludwig Engel.

Selling bread in the market hall

On the island of Hirvensalo there is the ecumenical “Art Chapel” (Finnish: taidekappeli ), a wooden church which was consecrated in 2005 and which also serves as a concert and exhibition space.

Other structures

Market hall from 1896

The market hall in Eerikinkatu, designed by the architect Gustaf Nyström, was opened in 1896. It is 118.50 meters long, 30 meters wide and 13 meters high. The original structures of the roof construction are still preserved in their origins. There are around forty stalls in the hall. In addition to local south-west Finnish specialties, traditional bread, fish, milk, meat and horse sausages are on offer here. There is also a flower shop, a hairdresser, a café, souvenir shops and other shops. The hall registers almost 2 million visitors annually.

The Turku TV Tower ( Pääskyvuoren linkkitorni ) is 122 meters high and was built in 1964.

Suomen Joutsen

More Attractions

  • historical observatory from 1819 (built by Carl Ludwig Engel )
  • town hall
  • Forum marinum (Maritime Museum)
  • The three-masted Suomen Joutsen (Finnish Swan) and the schooner Sigyn on the Aurajoki
  • The Luostarinmäki open-air museum and handicraft museum on Klosterbacken consists of a district that survived the town fire of 1827 unscathed. No structural changes have been made since then. The interior of the houses was also not modernized, so that the museum gives a realistic impression of the living conditions at the beginning of the 19th century.
  • Pharmacy Museum at Aurajoki (sales room from an old pharmacy in Oulu, in the rear part an exhibition of old pharmacy equipment)
  • synagogue


Turku was jointly with Tallinn European Capital of Culture 2011. The Capital of Culture program opened on January 15, 2011 and is under the motto “Turku on fire”. On the one hand, this should be an allusion to the many fire disasters that have ravaged the city in the course of history. On the other hand, it is to be understood as an appreciation of the artistic dynamism and creativity of Turku.

For the celebrations, a former repair hall for locomotives was converted into the new Logomo cultural center and the paths along the Aura river were restored.

In 2014 Turku was awarded the title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe .


The city's best-known sports club is Turun Palloseura (TPS), whose ice hockey team and soccer team play in Finland's top league and have won the championship several times. With Inter Turku , the city is also represented by a second club in the first football league. Both TPS and Inter play their home games in the Veritas Stadium in Kupittaa, which can seat over 9,000 spectators. TPS ice hockey games take place in the HK-areena multifunctional hall, which was opened in 1990 (now renamed the “ Gatorade Center ”).

There is also the Paavo Nurmi Stadium in the Turku Sports Park , which has a capacity of 13,000. The stadium is named after the Turku-born Paavo Nurmi (1897–1973), who won nine gold medals in running competitions at the Olympic Games. The Paavo Nurmi Marathon has been held in Turku since 1992. The orienteering club Turun Suunnistajat celebrated its greatest successes around 2000.


As a transport hub, Turku is the transhipment point and processing center for the surrounding, agricultural parts of the country. Passenger traffic is also handled via the seaport and airport (see Traffic ).

Of various shipyards, only Meyer Turku OY (formerly Wärtsilä ) is left as a large shipyard with around 2000 employees. This is one of the world's leading manufacturers of ferries and cruise ships. With the Allure of the Seas , the largest cruise ship in the world was built here.

The various universities and research institutions are also an important economic factor; Bayer Pharma , for example, employs 600 people in Turku who develop and manufacture pharmaceuticals , and the Wärtsilä Corporation, after retiring from shipbuilding, still maintains a training academy in Turku.

The start-up centers SciencePark, BioCity, PharmaCity & DataCity are actively investing in future technologies.


Turku has three universities:

The Swedish Novia University of Applied Science also has offices in Turku. There are also several vocational colleges here.

With the various universities, academies and research companies, for example in the start-up centers, Turku is an important research location in Finland.



Baltic Princess of the Silja Line and Grace of the Viking Line in the port of Turku (Turku Castle in the middle)

The port of Turku is located at the mouth of the Aurajoki in the immediate vicinity of Turku Castle. Together with the port of Kotka, it is the second largest in the country after Helsinki . Four million tons of cargo are handled annually and four million passengers pass through the port. The ferry lines Silja Line and Viking Line operate daily via Mariehamn , the capital of the autonomous province of Åland , to Stockholm . Travel with the so-called "Sweden Ships " (ruotsinlaiva), which offer restaurants, nightclubs and tax-free shops on board , has long been popular. There are weekly ferry connections to Travemünde , Hamburg , Lübeck , Antwerp , Harwich and Paldiski . In addition, water buses connect Turku with the offshore archipelago and with Naantali .

The Föri passenger ferry shuttles between the banks of the Aurajoki and can be used free of charge.

air traffic

The Turku airport is eight kilometers north of the city on the border with the neighboring municipality of Rusko . With 339,920 passengers per year (2006) it is the fifth largest airport in Finland. The airport is mainly served regionally from other cities in Finland and neighboring countries; however, some supraregional routes are also served.


Turku has been connected to the railway network since the completion of the Hämeenlinna - Tampere - Turku line in 1876. The coastal line to Karis was opened in 1899 and extended to Helsinki in 1902 . In 1924 the route to Uusikaupunki followed ; today it is only used for freight traffic. Every year around 1.2 million passengers travel between Turku and the capital Helsinki on high-speed trains of the Sm3 series . Today Turku has three passenger stations . Turku Central Station has a loading bay for car trains .

Abandoned tram

A tram operated in Turku until the middle of the 20th century , first as a horse-drawn tram from 1890 to 1892 , then as an electric tram from 1908. The tracks were maintained until the 1950s; after that they began to deteriorate until they were completely removed in 1965–1972. Many see the end of the tram as a wrong decision, as Turku lost a functioning transport system covering the entire city center. Today there are no longer any rails from the former railway. On the market square in the center there is an ice cream stand with seating in an old tram during the summer.


Turku is the hub of road traffic in south-western Finland and is connected to the capital region by a motorway ( State Road 1 ).


sons and daughters of the town

Died in Turku


  • Philip Ward: Finnish cities: Travels in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Lapland (= Oleander travel books ). Oleander Press, Cambridge, England / New York, N.Y., USA 1987, ISBN 0-906672-98-8 .

Web links

Commons : Turku  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Turku  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. Pinta-alat kunnittain January 1, 2008 (PDF; 242 kB)
  2. Statistical Office Finland: Table 11ra - Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018
  3. Geopostcodes - Turku.
  4. WMO
  5. Humidity, hours of sunshine, water temperature: wetterkontor.de
  6. Alec Forssmann: Ruinas medievales bajo el gimnasio de un instituto de Turku, en Finlandia. In: nationalgeographic.com.es. National Geographic España, March 5, 2018, accessed March 11, 2018 (Spanish, Medieval excavations under the gymnasium of the high school).
  7. ^ Karl Thiemig: Finland. Munich 1974, p. 166.
  8. Finnish police suspect a terrorist background. (No longer available online.) In: vol.at. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017 ; accessed on March 11, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.vol.at
  9. Rebekah Härkönen: Hovioikeus kovensi Olavi Mäenpään väärennystuomiota. Turun Sanomat, March 10, 2017 (Finnish)
  10. Ministry of Justice Finland: Parliament election 2015, Turku (English)
  11. The Parish of St Birgitta & Blessed Hemming Website of the Turku Catholic Church Congregation (English)
  12. Birgittalaissisaret juhlivat The Birgittens celebrate: Order of the Most Holy Redeemer 100 years and Turku Birgittens 25 years, on September 8, 2011 (Finnish)
  13. Finnish Ministry of Justice: Results of the 2012 local elections , accessed on November 6, 2012.
  14. site Turku - Turun ystävyyskaupungit , accessed on 14 March 2017
  15. Frederik Hanssen: Amazement & Saunas. Now it's the turn of the Estonians and the Finns: Europe's cultural capitals of 2011 are Tallinn and Turku. In: Der Tagesspiegel . December 27, 2010, accessed July 1, 2016.
  16. cf. Gabriele Beck: Finland: hot flashes, hell music, heaven dancers. In: diepresse.com. January 15, 2011, accessed January 16, 2011.
  17. Worms and Coburg are "Reformation cities of Europe". In: ekd.de/aktuell_presse. EKD press release, October 30, 2014, accessed on July 1, 2016 (also on Turku as title holder). - For the importance of Turku in the history of the Reformation, see the city portrait of the project “Reformation Cities of Europe”: Reformation City of Turku. Finland. In: reformation-cities.org/cities, accessed May 25, 2016; and Juhani Holma: Melanchthon's European heirs: Finland. ( Memento of the original from December 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: ekd.de/auslandsgemeinden. EKD press release, October 30, 2014, accessed on July 1, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.ekd.de
  18. Wärtsilä on the opening of the academy , accessed 2018-12-15 (English)
  19. TUAS homepage , accessed 2018-12-15 (English)
  20. Information on motorail trains Finland ( Memento from February 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (English).