Life at the villas of Ruissalo
The villa culture of Ruissalo and the entire Finland started in the mid-19th century. The bourgeoisie of Turku spent their summers at their villas walking and playing games in the scenic environment of Ruissalo and enjoying music and each others’ company.
Along with bowling, a popular party game was croquet. People also played tennis in the courtyards of the villas and occasionally cooled off at bathing huts. Nature and water were integral parts of summer life at the villas.
The summer villa encapsulates an idyllic image of Finnish summertime: carefree and tranquil life in the countryside, where people usually moved to for the entire summer. Spending the summer at a villa was a part of the bourgeois lifestyle of the 19th century. Everyday chores were performed with the help of servants, farmhands and gardeners, but the masters of the house also contributed to keeping the villa presentable. Those without their own villa could enjoy the Ruissalo summer on the public promenade Yleinen käytävä, which later got the name Kansanpuisto. The promenade became the summer trip destination of the people of Turku.