The catastrophe known as the Great Fire of Turku was the largest conflagration in the history of the Nordic countries. Three quarters of the city were destroyed in the fire that started on 4 September 1827, at 9 o’clock in the evening. The fire raged through the night, in some parts of the city until 6 September, and the soil was hot for weeks afterwards.1 The city of Turku had burned down at least thirty times before, but the fire of 1827 was the last one, making room for a more modern, spacious city structure that was meant to prevent such disasters from recurring. As callous as it may sound, the fire benefited the process of modernization.2