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"Old Town of Rauma - Another World Heritage" Rauma by gubbi1

Rauma Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 221 photos

Lucky me I knew that Rauma has a beautiful old town, so I did not miss to visit this beautiful place. With the unstable weather and the idea to have some time in the city I decided to stay overnight in a Hotel in Rauma. I checked the web for a Best Western and reserved a room. It was a good idea not to stay on a campsite here as it was a short walk from the hotel into the old town. At the reception of the hotel I got a map. Based on this map I planned my walk so that I would see as much as possible. It was not the museums that I was coming for, but the architecture of the houses and how it looks like in general as it is said that Rauma is a living old town.
My walk at the evening brought me to most of the picturesque places in the old town, like the market square, the church and many cosy side streets flanked by beautifully colored wooden houses. With the intensive evening light of a day with changing weather it was a brilliant atmosphere.

Notice that the old town of Rauma was declared as a world heritage by the UNESCO. It is one of few places in Finland carrying this status and in my opinion Rauma deserves it.

Let me please refer to the official page of the UNESCO and their description why they decided to make Rauma a world heritage. Here a copy from their page:

"Brief Description

Situated on the Gulf of Botnia, Rauma is one of the oldest harbours in Finland. Built around a Franciscan monastery, where the mid-15th-century Holy Cross Church still stands, it is an outstanding example of an old Nordic city constructed in wood. Although ravaged by fire in the late 17th century, it has preserved its ancient vernacular architectural heritage.

Long Description

Rauma is an outstanding example of the traditional wooden architecture and urbanism in this part of Europe, and one of the most beautiful and extensive of all those that have survived to the present day.

The city, located on the Gulf of Bothnia, is one of the oldest harbours in Finland, mentioned first in 1441. It is built around a Franciscan monastery where the mid-15th-century Holy Cross Church still stands. This is the former monastery church of a Franciscan friary, which was built in the mid-14th century. There are medieval wall and vault paintings in the choir of the two-aisle stone church. The church nowadays serves as the town and rural parish church of Rauma.

The city, which was constructed in wood, was ravaged by fire in the late 17th century and a new city was built. Despite some changes made in the 19th century, Rauma has preserved its ancient appearance as the modern city has grown up outside the original core.

Apart from the old Franciscan church and the ruins of the 15th-century Holy Trinity church, the only monument in the old city is the City Hall, built in the 18th century. However, the old city of Rauma's great wealth is its vernacular architectural heritage (houses, workshops and shops). The majority of the buildings in the old city have been sensitively restored as part of a comprehensive development plan.

Old Rauma is the largest unified historical wooden town in the Nordic countries. It covers an area of 28 ha and contains 600 buildings, most of which are privately owned. The lively business area is concentrated around the market square. In addition to dwelling houses there are different kinds of outbuildings, old animal sheds and granaries. The plots are bordered by gates and fences (plank walls).

The appearance of the buildings has formed gradually during several phases of building and renovation, over the past centuries. Characteristics from the 1700s still remain in some buildings, whereas others have the appearance of the 1820s and 1830s. The majority of the buildings, however, received their current neo-Renaissance exterior during the active period of renovation in the 1890s.

Kirsti is a typical two-room Old Rauma house from the 18th century furnished as a seaman's home from the turn of the last century.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful and world heritage
  • Last visit to Rauma: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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