University of Turku main campus buildings: map and history

How many students in the world enjoy the opportunity to spend a large part of their study-time in a Pub? How many Pubs in the world enjoy housing top-notch research equipment?  Well, one of such unique places is UTU Publicum (or Pub. – as your study app Tuudo is going to call it). Publicum houses the Faculty of Social Sciences and is conveniently connected to Educarium, which houses the Faculty of Education, next comes Arcanum… But wait, where do all these strange names of UTU main campus buildings come from?  

UTU Campus Map

To help you get an idea of the university buildings location I created a graphic map. It also features most of the Student canteens where you can get a nutritious meal for a fixed and affordable price. You can check out this blog post for a very thorough exploration of all university cafes and restaurants.

The Central Square and the main buildings on the University Hill were inspired by Athens’ Acropolis and designed by a famous Finnish architect – Aarne Ervi.  In line with the idea, most of the campus buildings got their names from Latin and Greek.  You can easily survive without knowing what lies behind these mysterious names, but I couldn’t, so buckle up for a linguistic ride back in time!  

University Hill | Yliopistonmäki 

On top of the Tiedonportaat, “Stairs of Knowledge”, opens the busiest academic area of the University, the University Hill. The Central Square is enclosed by the Main Building, Feeniks Library, and the building of Natura.  

Feeniks Library | Feeniks kirjasto

Opposite the Main Building, there is one of the university library buildings – Feeniks. Cultural materials and linguistic collections are located here. It is also a nice place for self-study with a great panoramic view. Feeniks, or Phoenix, is a mythological bird from Greek folklore gifted with the ability to get reborn from ashes, but many of us know it thanks to Harry Potter books. I can’t help thinking about Hogwarts every time I pass by Feeniks, which adds a lot to my study motivation! 


Right behind Feeniks there is Aurum, which houses the Faculty of Engineering and Aurum student Gym. Aurum means “gold” in Latin, it comes from the Greek word Aurora, “the golden goddess of the dawn”. This also helps to remember the Finnish word aurinko, which means “the Sun”.  

Aurum Gym is not the only student Gym, there are a total of 8 gyms and sports halls in Campus Sport system, all of which you can access with one membership. Joining Campus Sport, you also get access to daily sport events and training. You can learn more by visiting Campus Sport website.  

Genius Guides the Youth | Genius ohjaa nuoruutta

The sculpture is the centrepiece of the University Hill. It was designed by the sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen and completed in 1961. The 3-meter-high sculpture depicts a woman guiding a young man surrounded by a large fountain pool. 


Natura building UTU campus

Natura comes from a Latin translation of the Greek word physis, which was defined as “the innate way in which plants and animals grow”. As you may have guessed, the building houses the Faculty of Science.  

But even if you’ve got absolutely nothing to do with Chemistry or Biology, you’ll definitely visit Natura building at least once, since it also houses Student Centre Disco, which, despite its party-vibe name, courageously deals with all the paper-work, such as verifying your foreign degrees and certificates. 

Quantum and Agora

Take a video tour of Quantum

Natura is conveniently connected to Quantum, the second building of the Faculty of Science. The word Quantum comes from Latin, meaning “an amount of something”. But if Math is not your forte, no worries, just opposite Quantum there is Agora, and this is the place you will visit for sure during your studies at UTU! 

UTU main campus building: Agora

In ancient Greece Agora was “a public open space used for assemblies and markets”. At UTU, Agora houses the Faculty of Technology and The Centre for Language and Communication Studies. So, your Finnish Language journey will most likely start in this very building!  

Arcanum and Calonia

UTU main campus building: Arcanum

Coming down from the University Hill, you’ll get to Arcanum and Calonia.  The word Arcanum came from Latin Arcanus, meaning “secret”. Arcanum houses the Faculty of Humanities, while Calonia houses the Faculty of Law.  Calonia got its name after Matthias Calonius, Finland’s most renowned jurist. Despite being poor and lacking in family connections to obtain an academic title, Matthias Calonius became a lecturer and then professor at the Faculty of Law at the Royal Academy of Turku.  
Both Arcanum and Calonia have their own libraries, and lovely co-working areas.  

UTU main campus building: Calonia

Educarium and Publicum

The two last university buildings with unusual names on our list are the Faculty of Education – Educarium, and the Faculty of Social Sciences – Publicum.  

The word Publicum comes from Latin meaning “property belonging to the public”. The basement floor of the building also houses the laboratory for cognitive research.  

UTU campus buildings: Educarium and Publicum

Take a video tour of Educarium

School of Economics | Turun kauppakorkeakoulu

Just across the road from the University Hill, there is the School of Economics. The word economics is derived from a Greek word oikonomia, which means “household management”. Students from different faculties have classes in this building, so you are likely to visit it at least a few times even if Economics is not your major.  

Take a video tour of Turku School of Economics


Medisiina, coming from Latin medicus – “doctor”, houses the Faculty of Medicine. It is located separately from the main university buildings and next to Turku central hospital. You can learn more about it on UTU website.

University key

As an UTU student you are going to get your own university key! You can find the keys in university libraries or at the IT help desks free of charge – you’ll need to activate it with any university printer (you will find the instructions next to the printers and the boxes with the keys). Once you activate your key, you can enter study campus buildings even at the weekends! This key will allow you to use university printers for free as well. 

It’s just the beginning!

University of Turku goes far beyond the city center campus. For studies in Finnish, UTU has a campus in Pori and Rauma. To explore university botanic garden, archipelago research institute, and much more, visit UTU website. You can also see UTU campus tours on UTU YouTube channel!