Friday, June 1, 2012
400th Anniversary of the founding of Pori (Bjorneborg)
The son of King Gustaf Vasa, Duke John, established Pori at the mouth of the Kokemäenjoki river in 1558. At that time, Finland was under Swedish rule. For a Finnish town, Pori was quite large, with a population of 1,500 in 1766. In 1809, Finland became part of Russia. This did not affect the people of Pori much; they continued living as they were used to. Pori was an important port, the key export items being fish and timber. In 1852, the town of Pori was reduced to ashes in a single day. After the fire, the city was rebuilt, better than ever: the town got a new town plan, and many new houses were built of stone. Thus there are historically valuable buildings in Pori, including the Juselius Mausoleum and the City Hall.
After the fire, industry began to flourish as well: a match factory, machine shops, a cotton mill, and sawmills were founded. The railway line between Pori and Tampere was opened in 1895, at a time when the population of the city had already increased to 12,279. A hundred years ago Pori was already a significant centre for culture: the first Finnish language theatre company was founded in Pori, libraries and museums were established, and several newspapers were published in the city. Ever since Finland gained her independence in 1917, Pori has been an important, growing city of industry and ports. My friend Pia gave me this FDC commemorating 400th Anniversary of the founding of Pori (Bjorneborg), a town steeped in history. The stamp and the cover were issued on 8.3.1958.