Sea view from Kylmäpihlaja light house island.
Art Lab: Irene Rogan and Emelia Association, Lace diatoms, 2015
Rauma is a town with 39 000 inhabitants located in the west coast of Finland. The city was founded in 1442 and it is the third-oldest town in Finland. The area is large 1100sqkm of wich 500 square kilometers of land area, so the city itself is small. (Compare with New York 1200 sqkm of which 780 square kilometers land area .) Rauma has two UNESCO world heritage sites; middle age wooden centre Old Rauma and bronze age burial cairns Sammallahdenmäki. For more information, visit Rauma's own website.
Rauma tourist information
Customer service Pyyrman, Valtakatu 26100 Rauma
tel. 02 834 3512, e-mail: matkailu (at) rauma (dot) fi
Unique Old Rauma is an unparalleled example of an old Nordic town of wood and it still is the largest uniform wood town area in the Northern Countries. The area of Old Rauma is about 30 hectares and the number of existing buildings, both dwellings and shops, is about 600. There are about 800 inhabitants. The oldest inhabited buildings date back to the 17 th century. The structure of the town has up to these days had a medieval character – narrow and winding roads and alleys as well as irregular lots. Within its historic limits this part of town has preserved its entirety, where dwelling, working, and social life are combined into an operating unity.
Old Rauma with the lively and colourful market place as its pulsating centre is even today the centre of the whole town. There are nearly 200 different shops on the area. Many of the most significant sights of Rauma also lie in Old Rauma. The Church of the Holy Cross, the former sanctuary of the Franciscan Monastery (from the 15 th century), is still actively used by the congregation. The Rauma in the Old Town Hall (1776) invites you to wonder maritime articles and 600 lace models. Marela, the house of ship owning families and Kirsti, the seamen’s home, are life–close museums. Kitukränn again is the narrowest street in Finland.
The Rauma Art Museum is situated in one of the best preserved houses in an 18th–century building group. The house called Pinnala was built in years 1795 and 1827. The Rauma Art Museum is known e.g. for Rauma Biennale Balticum representing contemporary art of the countries around the Baltic sea and the contemporary art exhibitions for children. Representing and recording also the art of Rauma and the Rauma district form an essential part of the operation.
When the fashionable Europe wore lace–decorated bonnets at the end of the 18 th century, the well–known Rauma lace employed most part of the townspeople. The counted number of bobbin pillows was 600. In the beginning of the 19 th century lace models and fine bobbin thread were imported for pacemakers. Due to the development of Rauma bobbin school was established. However, the use of bonnets started decreasing in 1840 s and this also the bobbin lace–making, too. Laces were transferred from garments into linen. In 1890 s factory–made laces conquered the world.
After a small recession lace–making was revived at the beginning of 20th century. Since that Rauma has kept its lace reputation high up. In recent years the lace–making has been studied yearly by hundreds townspeople as a hobby! Since 1971 Rauma has a Lace Week at the end of July, when lace exhibitions gather enthusiasts from further.
Rauma dialect (or Rauma Language, as the townspeople call it) belongs to south–western dialects, which are spoken in Finland Proper and in Satakunta in Rauma district. However, the pure Rauma language is only spoken in Rauma district. There is no certain knowledge of the origin of the Rauma language, but it must have been strongly affected by the status of Rauma as a functional harbour town. Due to the influence of seamen, the Rauma languages has plenty of words from Swedish and English, but also Estonian, Russian and French languages.
Sights / Museum
Lönnström Art Museum and Home Museum
Rauma Art Museum
Rauma Maritime Museum