The building dates back to the latter half of the 19th century. In the old days it was commonly know as the Snickari house, named so after the detailed wooden carvings featured on the facade – “snickare” is namely Swedish for carpenter.
This was the first settled area in Naantali. The proximity of water and the harbour attracted craftsmen and merchants in particular. Also bootleggers and inn-keepers found the location opportune – Naantali’s first alcohol store was opened here. The produce from Naantali was always known for its good quality.
Snickari also served as a home for many families. One of them was a rich merchant’s family with two daughters, Karolina and Katarina. The latter fell in love with a poor fisher’s son, which her father did not approve of. During one of Katarina’s sercret escapades to the fisherman’s island, her little boat was caught in a storm, taking Katarina with it. Her sister Karolina is said to be still peering to the sea at night from the upstairs window, calling her sister’s name into the wind.
The last resident of the house, apothecary’s widow Charlotta Valstedt, left the property to the city of Naantali by will in 1895. After that the building has been occupied e.g. by a haberdashery, a photo studio, and various restaurants – the latest of them being Restaurant Snickari, opened in 2017.
Old view from the Snickari house towards the Naantali church and restaurant Kaivohuone (Photos: Åbo Akademi University collections)