Rauma (Swedish: Raumo) is a Finnish city founded in 1442 in
southern Satakunta. It has a population of 39,015. The city covers
an area of 1,110.13 km², of which 496.02 km² is land, 13.71 km² is
inland waterways and 600.40 km² is sea. The Rauma region consists of
Eura, Eurajoki and Säkylä. At the end of 2009, the region had 65,794
Rauma is located on the eastern shore of the Bothnian Sea, surrounded by Eura, Eurajoki, Laitila and Pyhäranta. The city is located 49 kilometers south of Pori and 94 kilometers north of Turku.
Rauma is the fourth oldest city in Finland after Turku, Porvoo and Ulvila (the fifth oldest if Vyborg is included). Rauma is a port city, thanks to which the Rauma dialect has been influenced especially by Sweden and England, but also by France, Russia and Estonia. The Rauma dialect (“giäl”) is a southwestern dialect that is clearly different from the Turku dialect. Rauma is a monolingual Finnish-speaking municipality.
Rauma is the only one in Finland with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Old Rauma, the largest unified and well-preserved old wooden house area in the Nordic countries, which is a lively and beautiful city center; full of museums, shops, restaurants and homes. Another of the sites is the Bronze Age cemetery area Sammallahdenmäki.
Rauma is known for its dialect, lace-making, marine and forest industry. Rauma received the City Center of the Year award in 2009 and the Cycling Association of the Year award in 2010.
The city of Rauma is considered to have been founded
on April 15, 1442, when Charles Knuutinpoika Bonde granted the
bourgeoisie of Rauma the right to trade and enjoy all the benefits,
privileges and freedoms afforded by law and justice to the burghers
of Turku on behalf of the then King of the Kalmar Union, Christopher
Bavaria. Rauma had already been the commercial and religious center
of the region before the privileges were granted. The church of the
Holy Cross and the ruins of the Church of the Holy Trinity,
originally built as the church of the Franciscan monastery in Rauma,
remain from this period.
In 1550, King Gustav Vaasa founded the city of Helsinki. The king and his advisers thought that a few large growth centers would be better than several small towns for the kingdom, so the bourgeoisie from Rauma was also ordered to move to Helsinki. Part of the bourgeoisie obeyed the king's order, but many remained in Rauma; especially when only men moved to Helsinki. Drunken burghers from Rauma were chased for several years from around Rauma, most of them were fined and the most awkward were threatened with the death penalty. The situation calmed down considerably after the bourgeoisie received permission to return in 1557.
In the 16th century, the city burned down many times, but nonetheless, shipping was worthwhile and Rauma bourgeois and sailors traded with their own ships in Sweden, Germany and the Baltics, as well as in the North Sea. Timber and tableware were exported, and salt, fabrics, and beverages were imported on the return ships. From the end of the 16th century to the 18th century, the development of the city was at a standstill due to the policy of centralizing the Swedish Empire. Among other things, foreign sailing was banned for 130 years, starting in 1636, when goods could only be exported to Stockholm and Turku. In addition, competing cities were established at the same time, such as Uusikaupunki south of Rauma and eight other cities in Ostrobothnia. The last fire that destroyed almost the entire city took place in 1682.
Rauma's sailing ship period was at its best in the 19th century, when its sailing fleet was the largest in Finland. Most of the wooden houses in Old Rauma also date from the same period. At the end of the 19th century, Rauma invested funds received from the sea in development: a railway was built from the city to Kokemäki and a museum and a teacher's seminar were established in the city.
In the 20th century, Rauma changed from a shipping and school city to an industrial city, as a result of which there were no more sailing ships there after the 1950s. Industrial and population development was rapid, especially after World War II. As a result of rapid growth, at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, almost the entire old wooden house area was threatened with demolition. In the end, however, only one building on the edge of the market square was demolished and replaced by a new brick house. Old Rauma was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991.
In 1821, a spa was established in Rauma in connection with a well-known health source in the previous century, where traditional water treatments were given. The Rauma spa was still popular in the 1830s, but the dilapidated buildings were demolished in 1857.
A spa hotel is planned for the Fåfänga area, with the design phase ending in summer 2015.