Finland is a country that captures the imagination of the population across the world. The beautiful snow-fed lakes and the lush pine forests are amazing and mesmerizing. Even the light of the country seems to have a particular brightness unlike anywhere else. However, the most important part is the way they protect and preserve their heritage even in the face of prosperity. The traditions of the city of Rauma are the perfect example of the industriousness of the Finns. The biggest attraction here is the UNESCO granted status of the town of Old Rauma. It is a whole town constructed out of wood, preserved lovingly since long ago.
Location and traditions
The town of Rauma is in the Satakunta region in the western side of Finland. The year 1442 saw its establishment, and it became popular very fast. The region has a colorful accent accentuating the beautiful dialect. The traditional trade of the region was making lace by the women and the nautical trade by the men. The hardy lot had a long tradition of being sailors and even now, you can see that in their overall theme for the town. There are nautical symbols everywhere, and models of ships are in the facades of churches to inside the bottles.
Prosperity and heritage
The town was quite prosperous and made its money in the trade with Germany and other European countries. The wooden structures of Rauma are direct results of the prosperity of the town. The colorful walls of the 600 buildings spread over an area of 70 acres houses about 600 people. The townsfolk here still follow the old ways and some new traditions adapted into the lifestyles. The cobbled streets with decorative iron work make the town look like a fairytale come to life. It feels like as you watch a horse will come cantering down the street and pass next to you.
Artistic imaginations realized
It is a haven for the artists and those who appreciate art. The town has some intriguing sculptures of women strewn across, made by a local artist. The bobbin lace doilies are irresistible and intricate, and people love to buy them as souvenirs. The work is painstakingly hard so don’t be alarmed if the price seems to be high. You can get many sailing inspired goodies in the town shops too. Quaint cafes and design shops in the town are the best places to soak up the atmosphere. It is better to walk than taking public transport systems here.
Savor the richness of life
Food is mostly hardy and befits the rich history of sailors. There are many restaurants where traditional fare is great, and also, several upscale restaurants cater to those so inclined. Visiting Rauma in summer is perfect. Finns like to get outdoors and indulge in physically demanding recreations built into their blood. Apart from that, the town has beautiful lakes and creeks that allow a lot of fun and frolic in the water. Visit the town in July for the Lace Week where traditions and hospitality of the locals engage everyone in the vicinity to partake of the community spirit. Food, fun and enjoyment invite everyone to join.
Image Credit: samiKoo