Turku Cathedral - the oldest part of which dates to 13th century - stands tall. So tall, that it makes the big Xmas tree in front of its stone steps look almost tiny.
Right next to the medieval cathedral there is a lightweight construction that shines through the darkness like a huge lantern.
Cots of Darkness, designed by Reino Koivula as part of the 876 Shades of Darkness project in which works of art that have been lighting up the darkness during Turku's year as European Capital of Culture. The construction is temporary and it is on display only until the end of 2011. On the opposite shore of river Aurajoki you can get a glimpse of the other cot Kokka, or Bow, that resembles half a boat sunken on the ground. It is possible to enter the cots as well but only in the late afternoon.
I walk to the other side of the river, or as the locals in their own dialect say, tois puol jokke, a saying which has its origins in the time when Turku's old city centre was right here, next to the ancient cathedral. Those days, by crossing the Aurajoki river you stepped out of the city centre.
Alright, which door to use to enter the impressive stone building? The left door handle, straight and somewhat dull without its knit graffiti serving as a woollen overcoat is warm to the touch.
However, this door is locked...
What a door handle. Welcome to Turku Art Museum...
The museum is well worth a visit in itself, but also to see the Swedish artist Carl Larsson's excellent exhibition Dreams of Harmony that shows where the ideal of an artistic Swedish home originates. What a couple Carl and his wife Karin made; without her Carl Larsson would not be best known for the beautiful watercolours that romanticize their home and lifestyle. The second floor now displays Crème de la crème, masterpieces from the museum's own collection, as well as contemporary art.
Checking out the street corners and the artworks, I meet a Falcon and Sirius (left). No idea where the architect Carl Ludvig Engel got the ideas for the names, but it's nice to think that there's more names to the area than just the street names.
Great that urban artist Meiju Niskala and the team of artists came up with this, to add a bit of history with a modern twist on the streets!
Declaration of Christmas Peace is pronounced at 12 o'clock noon on Xmas Eve, from the balcony of Brinkkala House above. Since Christmas Peace isn't there just yet, the area is now reserved for Xmas shopping, with local producers presenting their goodies, especially handicrafts. Even Santa Claus has joined the band playing Xmas carols for the slowly moving crowd.