Friday, September 26, 2008

Turku Castle

Finland has several old castles, and this is the one I remembered best, Turunlinna. (Cool round wall on the left, huh?) The castle is 700 years old, although (if memory serves) it was used most during the 1500s.

Tell me the pictures above and below don't look like something out of a movie. I swear, the entire time we were there, I could imagine stories and characters and all kinds of fun stuff. I wanted to write a story set right there.

Above: writings and pictures that were once painted over and later restored.

Here's the dungeon, made all the more eerie by the silhouettes of weapons.

Here I am with Dad on the other side of the dungeon. Look over the railing and see where the prisoners were kept—along with a round hole with a seat in the stone that was used as a latrine.

A "fun" bit of ambiance above . . . fake rats in the prisoner cell.

Some of the brick structure. There were a lot of gorgeous rooms, many used for state visits and banquets.

Several chests like this are on display with amazing carvings and cool hinges.

A banquet room with a tapestry. Many walls had tapestries like this along with paintings of important figures from Finnish history. Many of these big rooms are still in use today for wedding receptions and other important events.

Here's a fun shot of old meets new: Standing on a modern staircase in the middle of the castle tower with the original old stonework for walls.

We had to go through several of these old "hallway" tunnels and staircases. They're dark and narrow . . . not the best thing for someone with mild claustrophobia.

Above: the castle chapel, where occupants came to worship.

We walked into a room and found this funky mannequin in the corner, which startled us. A few minutes later, we went to a different area, where there was another figure next to the wall. I was reading aloud from the tour booklet (rather loudly), and when I glanced up, realized that the figure was a real person. I think I yelped. Rather loudly.

Some of several wood carvings. Many of them were religious, others looks war-like.

This room was originally a shooting range. It was later used as a banquet hall, and finally turned into a bigger chapel. The elaborate booths on either side are where the (Swedish) king and queen would sit.

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