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Temporary exhibitions

The Jug and the Church Bell - Shipwrecks from the Middle Ages


The Jug and the Church Bell exhibition shows us medieval shipwrecks which can tell us a lot about the history of trading, international connections and shipping in Finland in the Middle Ages. Medieval shipwrecks are important sources of knowledge in many ways. They provide us with additional information about a historical period of which we have few written sources.

The highlight of the exhibition is the Egelskär shipwreck from the 13th century. It is the first and only ship-wreck in Finland which has been dug up and examined in its entirety. The finds from this shipwreck include one of the oldest church bells ever found in Finland, a large number of German pottery wares and the big-gest cargo of Norwegian whetstones ever found in the Baltic Sea. Another very interesting find is a barrel of small steel bars: it is not every day that we come across unused raw materials dating back over 700 years! The cargo found in the shipwreck provides us with internationally valuable information about medieval material culture and a unique perspective on medieval trading networks in the Baltic Sea area. Many of these objects and remains of the shipwreck can be seen in the Jug and the Church Bell exhibition.

The exhibition also tells us about other medieval shipwrecks in Finland. The Baltic Sea is famous for its many well-preserved shipwrecks. Few of them, however, date from the Middle Ages. In Finland, five have been found so far. The shipwreck of Turku Castle, found under the Linnankatu street in Turku and the Lapuri shipwreck, discovered in Virolahti, have been dated to the 13th or 14th century. The Lapuri shipwreck was originally thought to be from the Viking Age. The Vidskär shipwreck site in Korppoo, with its bronze vessels and ship fragments, has been dated to the 14th or 15th century as has the Svartså shipwreck in Porvoo, found when dredging work was carried out in a river in 1971.

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Castles and knights in the Knight's Workshop

An interactive Knight's Workshop has also been set up for younger visitors. In the Knight's Workshop children can carry out hands-on experiments: they can find out what a suit of armour feels like, try to piece together tournament armour, learn about coats of arms and Finnish castles, and deliver the cargo of the sunken Egelskär ship to its rightful owners. At the centre of all this is a Knight's Castle where children can relax, play or read books. The Knight's Workshop is located in the introductory hall of the main exhibition in the Maritime Museum of Finland and it is open until 18 January 2015. The opening and closing hours are the same as those of the museum.

Vidskärin kannu. Stefan Wessman.

Egelskärin kirkonkello. Erik Tirkkonen.

Touching the Ground

13.5.2014 - 21.9.2014

In early autumn 2012, three garbage diving events were conducted in Nauvo, the Aura river in Turku and in Hanko. The events were part of the Marlin project, which focuses on monitoring the marine litter situation in the Baltic Sea. The idea was to remove garbage and wrecked goods that have piled up at the bottom of the sea and river over the years. The diving events were arranged jointly with Nauvo guest harbour, Turku-based Ursuk Oy, and the AWARE project in Turku and Hanko. The exhibition showcases photos that were taken of the materials raised from the bottom of the harbour areas during the diving events.

Photographer: Anna Liukas

The Baltic Marine Litter Project (MARLIN) is a two-year project with the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation as the leading partner. Other partners include FEE Latvia, Keep the Archipelago Tidy and Keep Estonia Sea Tidy. The project is funded from the EU's Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme.
 Marlin Bikes. Photo: Anna Liukas.

Bikes. Photo: Anna Liukas.