Thursday, 28 July 2016

Travel Tales – Going Medieval: Ruins of Kuusisto Castle and Medieval Churches

On our recent road trip (previous part here), we also visited a couple of Medieval sights. Among these were the ruins of Kuusisto Castle near Turku. It used to be an episcopal castle (bishop’s residence) and was built around the early 14th century... only to be ordered to be demolished in 1528 by the King Gustav I of Sweden. All that is left now are ruins, but they’re rather impressive and hugely interesting just the same. It’s a beautiful place and well worth a visit.

We also happened to drive by a couple of Medieval stone churches. Considering how sparsely populated Finland was at the time (still is, one could say), it is amazing to think that such buildings were constructed in this remote corner of the world. Yes, well, this was the time when great cathedrals were built, and these stone churches do seem very modest in comparison. But I’ll have to say that I prefer their simpler, more austere style, and somehow it just seems to be a better fit for Finland. Still, these churches must have been real marvels when they were built.

The church in Nousiainen. It looks much smaller from the outside and in pictures, I was astonished to walk in and see how large it actually is.

The church in Rusko was already closed when we got there, so we only got to look at it from the outside. Nearby was a picturesque old stone bridge.

The Lieto church. All these churches have undergone various kinds of renovations and restorations, so none of them is in the condition it was when first built but rather exhibits various layers, items etc. from various centuries (e.g. the murals on the walls were often painted over during the reformation, but efforts have been made to uncover them).

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