History and houses
Luostarinmäki, which may be literallt translated as Cloister Hill, is the only large area of wooden houses in Turku, which survived the Great Fire in 1827. The first houses were built at the end of the 18th century and even the youngest buildings are 200 years old. They are still located in their original sites. The first Luostarinmäki inhabitants moved to Turku from the nearby countryside. Most of them had the skill to build their own houses. In time many craftsmen moved to Luostarinmäki and had their workshops there as it was cheaper than in the town centre.
The houses were inhabited still in the late 1930’s. At the time the houses were owned by the city of Turku, which leased the rooms at moderate prices. The houses were in a sad state of disrepair, and had even been condemned to be pulled down.
The Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum
The decision to preserve the area and found the Handicrafts Museum was made in 1937. The houses and the area were restored and given the appearance of early 19th century. The Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum was opened on 29 June 1940. Crafts and town life of preindustrial times are illustrated in furnished workshops and homes.