The Fredrika Cottage

The Fredrika cottage is a typical two-room cottage with a part of the timber frame dating back to the 1600s. The original name “Ryttars”, or Rider refers to the fact that the cottage was originally a soldier farm given as compensation for military service. In 1694 the soldier´s widow from Pjukala was reported of having a illegal tavern in the cottage, therefore the house can be considered as the oldest pub in Pargas .

The Fredrika Cottage is a museum café since 1977. The name refers to Fredrika Tengström (later Runeberg) who together with her mother, moved to Pargas in the autumn of 1827, escaping the devastation of the Great Fire of Åbo (Turku). The Tengström family lived in the cottage which belonged to the cobbler Ekström. In Pargas Fredrika also met her future husband, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who was emplyed as teacher to the grandchildren of Fredrika’s uncle, the Archbishop Jacob Tengström.

Fredrika_Johan_Runeberg 1863
Johan and Fredrika Runeberg 1863.

Fredrika and Johan were both interested in literature, and they frequently met at literary gatherings at the Archbishop´s vicarage. They went for strolls to Munkviken and went sledging together. In Pargas there is a tale of how the two met by a spruce tree on the road between the vicarage and the Old Town. Johan is said to have been sitting beneath the tree, waiting for Fredrika. Fredrika and John fell in love and the following year the couple got engaged in Pargas. Runeberg later became known as the Finnish national poet and Frederika distinguished herself as a journalist and writer.