History of Turku Cathedral

Turku Cathedral is regarded as Finland’s most valuable monument of architectural history. The construction took place in stages up to the first decades of the 19th century. The greatest changes in appearance happened in the 15th and 16th centuries. Most of the present interior dates back to the restoration after the Great Fire of Turku (1827).

You can book tours in the Cathedral and around Turku in different languages from the city's travel info Visit Turku. Their phone number is +358 2 262 7900. Visit Turku provides information also about museums and events in the area. More info about Visit Turku and their services you can find from their web page here.

Virtual tours

The history of the Cathedral is vast. Some information about it can be found e.g. on two tours in Citynomadi.

Click here to find Citynomadi-service and a tour through Turku Cathedral. (You can select the language by clicking the flag on the left upper corner of the map.)

Click here to find out more about the graves in Turku Cathedral in Citynomadi-service. (Here you can also select the language by clicking the flag.)

More history of Turku Cathedral you can read on the page behind this link.

Most common questions

Back of the church hall. There is a model of a ship hanging from the ceiling

"What is that ship that hangs from the ceiling?"

Especially in the coastal area's churches one can often see a model of a ship hanging from the ceiling. There were many sailors living in those areas during the past centuries. It was a custom to pray the God and ask for a safe voyage, when a new venture was started. If the trip was successful (or sometimes before it), the mariners could build a miniature model of their ship and give it as a gift to their home church, that is to God. Fires have destroyed Cathedral's original model ships (if there were any). This one is a gift from Laivapäällikköyhdistys in 1960s. It is a whale hunting ship "Turku", which sailed the seas in the 1800s. (Hence the Russian flag.) The gun holes on the side of the hull were painted to avert pirates.