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Photographer's Note

During my summer trip, I went to Turku castle

Turku castle was probably founded in 1280, i.e. at the very time when an old trading site on the Aurajoki river developed into a town, the oldest, and for a long time the biggest, in Finland. Its name was 鶴o in Swedish and Turku in Finnish; the latter derives from a Slavonic word meaning 'market square'. The castle was built on an island in the estuary in the form of a rectangular fortified camp with four gates. The pattern was an ancient one, and can be traced back ultimately to the citadels built by the Romans in antiquity. In Turku, the idea was apparently that the camp should be possible to both fill and evacuate quickly, for instance prior to the third crusade in 1293.

The citadel had probably outlived its usefulness by the beginning of the 14th century, when three gates were walled shut and it was converted into a closed keep. Extensions were successively built using granite from nearby, and by the beginning of the 15th century, it had both a keep and a bailey. The keep, which had over forty rooms, was subject to a rigid hierarchy and only select guests were allowed entry to the 'Royal Suite' at the furthest end of the north wing; this consisted of a vaulted hall and an inner chamber. The king of the realm naturally resided in Stockholm most of the time, but the suite in Turku castle still deserved its name, as no other castle in Finland was so often visited by the monarch. When the first king of the Vasa dynasty resided in Finland for eleven months in 1555-1556, the entire kingdom of Sweden was ruled from his hall in Turku castle. The importance of the castle is also evident in the fact that it was subject to nine sieges before the end of the 16th century, mainly due to internal strife within the kingdom.


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Additional Photos by Dan Leung (Kenny10pin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4744 W: 0 N: 5667] (19301)
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