Elaborately decorated wooden houses, idyllic street views. Enchanting Old Rauma was chosen to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991 as a unique example of a living and well maintained old Nordic wooden town.
This vivid neighbourhood of 800 inhabitants is a well-preserved and living entity, the heart of the city, where people live and work year-round. The newly renovated market place is an important representation of the lively everyday life of the area. Old Rauma has been largely developed during the past few years.
Idyllic cafés with their cosy summer terraces and more than a hundred versatile specialized shops attract visitors to the area.
Fascinating medieval features
Medieval features, such as narrow and meandering lanes and irregular plots, are still perceivable in the town structure of Old Rauma. The densely built area of almost 30 hectares has about 600 buildings, most of which are privately owned. Gorgeous gates and board fences bordering the yards are typical in the townscape. Every house has its own rich and colourful story which the people living in Old Rauma still continue today.
The best way to explore Old Rauma is on foot. You can smell the lilac or the smoke of atmospheric wood heating coming from a chimney. At the same time, you can observe the carpenters’ elaborate work in the detailed facades and gates. Some buildings in Old Rauma have features from the 18th century, and some features from the beginning of the 19th century remain. However, most of the buildings have received their Neo Renaissance style exterior during the busy restoration period in the 1890s.
The Church of the Holy Cross
In addition to the wooden house idyll, the banks of the Rauma river and especially the Church of the Holy Cross, built in the late 15th century, are integral to the old town area. Originally the church was built as the church of a Fransiscan monastery and in the two-aisle grey granite church you can admire impressing medieval wall and arch paintings.
Unique bobbin lace town
Bobbin lace making is an old tradition in Rauma and lace has been made in Rauma at least from the mid 18th century onwards. The Lace Week has been held every year in Rauma since 1971, and the lace exhibitions attract lace makers and guests from all over Finland and from abroad, too.