Seili – Hospital Island with a View

Seili is known for its history as home to Finland’s best-known leper hospital and mental asylum in the 1600s and 1700s. Seili church and surrounding graveyard still remind of the destinies of Seili’s patients.  The mentally ill were treated on Seili until 1960s, when the former asylum was converted for the use of the Archipelago Research Institute, Centre for Environmental Research of the University of Turku.

The long presence of humans has haft clear effect on the landscape of the island. The first fields were cleared in the Middle Ages and grazing animals have altered the surroundings. Currently Seili’s natural environment consists of the lush and rich herb-rich forest in the southern parts, the open heritage landscape in the center and the rugged north dominated by coniferous trees. The rarest habitats on Seili are the large hazelnut bush herb-rich forests on the southern part and rocky grasslands in the center.