Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Town of Rauma, 550th Anniversary - Idyllic, culturally rich seaside town 27.3.1992

Rauma, founded in 1442, is an idyllic seaside town steeped in culture. Rauma offers its 37,000 inhabitants high-quality modern services. Rauma provides a spacious and safe living environment. Whether you choose a home in the town centre or a more country-type dwelling, good basic public services and high-quality education, cultural and leisure services are available to you. The town is a dream come true for shoppers and gourmets. Especially during the summer months, the marketplace is a popular meeting place. The heart of the town is Old Rauma, which is the largest preserved coherent medieval wooden town area in the Nordic region. In 1991 the area was selected for UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Thank you Ella for giving me this nice FDC dated 27.3.1992, commemorating the 550th Anniversary of the Finnish town of Rauma. I am sure you loved this place when you lived there.Situated on the Gulf of Botnia, Rauma is one of the oldest harbours in Finland. Built around a Franciscan monastery, where the mid-15th-century Holy Cross Church still stands, it is an outstanding example of an old Nordic city constructed in wood. Although ravaged by fire in the late 17th century, it has preserved its ancient vernacular architectural heritage.  
Old Rauma is the wooden city centre of the town of Rauma, Finland. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area of Old Rauma is about 0.3 km², with approximately six hundred buildings (counting both proper houses and smaller buildings like sheds) and about 800 people living in the area. The town of Rauma expanded outside the Old Rauma proper only in the early 19th century. The oldest buildings date from the 18th century, as two fires of 1640 and 1682 destroyed the town. Most buildings are currently inhabited and owned by private individuals, although along the two main streets and around the town square they are mainly out side in business use. Rauma, a small trading centre which developed around a Franciscan monastery, attained the status of a town in 1442. Like a few other towns in Swedish Finland that dated to the same period, Rauma possessed an administrative organisation. The development of Rauma was threatened by a series of fires and a royal edict in 1550. Its citizens, like those of the towns of Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari, were forced to leave in order to populate Helsinki, the new foundation of the King of Sweden, Gustavus Vasa; it wasn't until 1557 that they were authorised to return. Other fires in 1640 and 1682, as well as an isostatic uplifting that increased the distances from the city to its wood export port, left their toll on the evolution of Rauma's urban landscape. In the 17th century, a customs fence was erected around the city, and this limited its expansion. Planning regulations, which were based on an orthogonal layout, also influenced the city's development. When the troops of Peter the Great invaded Finland during the Great Wrath of 1713-1721, Rauma was subjected to much damage. During the final years of the sailing ship era in the 1890s, Rauma enjoyed great prosperity. For a while, it possessed Finland's first sailing fleet. The majority of the buildings in the historic city are inspired by the Neo-Renaissance style. 
Locations of special interest include the Kirsti house, which is a seaman's house from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Marela house, which is a shipowner's house dating to the 18th century but with a 19th century facade, both of which are currently museums. Other sights include the rare stone buildings of the Old Rauma: the Church of the Holy Cross, an old Franciscan monastery church from the 15th century with medieval paintings and the old town hall from 1776. Another church in Rauma, the Church of the Holy Trinity, also from the 15th century, burned in the fire of 1640. The stamp on the cover shows most of these buildings.

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