The Cultural Guild of Houtskär
and the Archipelago Museum

Houtskär is a small part of the city of Pargas, which is situated in the southwest Finland, as it's westernmost part. Houtskär consists of about 700 islands of different size. Inhabitants living on the islands was by the turn of the years 2010 - 2011 about 560 persons.In addition to these permanent residents, there are about 800 holiday homes with their part time residents.

The diversified nature and the in species rich vegetation are owing to the calcareous soil, good climate and traditionally managed agricultural land.  Houtskär is included in its entirety in the archipelago's biosphere reserve and partly in the Archipelago Sea National Park.

There are a grocery store with hardware sections, bank, post office, health station and a church, consecrated to St. Mary in the Näsby village center. At Houtskär, the orchid "Adam and Eve", Houtskär's parish flower grows. The orchid is protected and can not be found in many other places in Finland.

Av BishkekRocks - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

At various times of the year, dances are arranged, which is an old tradition that is kept alive with both older and younger participants, who dances couple dances from "humppa" to schottis, to live music.

We don’t speak ordinary Swedish in Houtskär, not even Finn-swedish. Instead, we speak a special dialect, houtskärska, which very much resembles the German language, because it has three genders. The people of Houtskär speak this dialect with each other, and many older locals have never learnt to speak Swedish properly. It can be very difficult for an outsider to make any sense of a discussion between two locals, because they usually speak so fast and the words sometimes sound very strange.

Read more about Houtskär  - VisitHoutskär

The Houtskärs kulturgille (the Houtskär cultural guild) maintains an Archipelago Museum - please pay us a visit.