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Walking Old Rauma — Unesco World Heritage Site in Snapshots

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It’s a bit embarrassing how little I’ve been showing and telling you about my beautiful hometown Rauma. Especially about our picturesque Unesco-listed old town, Old Rauma.

I’ve just bought my first proper camera which gave me an excellent excuse for a winter walk in Old Rauma. With this post, I’m taking you for a brief photo walk to the streets of our historic old town. The following pictures are taken without having any knowledge of photography and without touching the manual settings of the camera. Practice makes perfect, right?

I’m going to start a photographing course in two weeks time. At the end of May, once I have completed the course, it could be a fun idea to have another photo walk in the old town and take new shots from same spots to see if there’s any progress.

But now, back to the point; To a walking tour in Old Rauma. It’s actually quite a funny feeling to pretend a tourist in your hometown. Have you ever tried?


Walking Old Rauma — The Unesco-listed old town in snapshots


Old Rauma was listed as one of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites in 1991. Our little winter walk starts from the Eastern end of Kuninkaankatu, which is one of the two main streets of the wooden old town. ‘The Hospital End’, some locals might say.

Old Rauma isn’t just an old wooden town which has been preserved as a museum but a lively district with 600 old buildings where approximately 800 people live their everyday lives. On the streets of Old Rauma, you’ll find plenty of small boutiques, museums, cafés and restaurants as well as exciting memories from the past.


Walking Old Rauma: historic old town on the South-West Coast of Finland


There’s a small square in front of Rauma Art Museum that is called ‘Hauenguano’. The landmark of the square is the old-style wooden well. This picture could be a bit confusing, as it’s taken from the opposite direction where we’re heading at. The art museum is the pink building which would be left on our left-hand side when heading West from our starting point.

Hauenguano is the spot in the Eastern end of Old Rauma where the two main streets unite. We’re going to take the left turning and head for the second main street, Kauppakatu, which will lead us to the market square.


Points of interest in Old Rauma: Hauenguano


Before reaching the market square, we have many interesting sites and buildings on our way. One of them is Kitukränn, the narrowest street in Finland. The 60-meter street bordered with colourful wooden buildings will appear on our right-hand side and is impossible to miss.

Kitukränn joins the two main streets of Old Rauma. For quite a while the narrowest street in Finland was a popular topic for arguments: another west-coast town Kristiinankaupunki used to claim they have the narrowest street in the country. The official measurement was done, and Kitukränn won the competition brightly with more than 30 cm.

So if you ever end up in the middle of an argument, you can nail the topic by knowing the narrowest street in Finland is located in Old Rauma. There you go!

Kitukränn is also a great place for testing skills for our unique Rauma language, ‘Rauman giäl’. At both ends of Kitukränn, an old sign is explaining how to behave on this street. (Don’t worry, even Finns don’t understand it!)


The narrowest street of Finland is located in Old Rauma
Walking Old Rauma: Kitukränn, the narrowest street in Finland


After passing Kitukränn, we continue our walk towards the market square. Just after a few steps, we’re passing a light-brown building Marela, a museum which presents the life of a wealthy shipowner at the start of the 1900s. After Marela, we’re passing the decorative yellow and blue building Katula, which is, at least to me, one of the most beautiful buildings in Old Rauma.

From there we can already spot the market square where the old town hall, built in 1776, can be found.


Walking Old Rauma: is this the most beautiful wooden building in Rauma?
The old town hall in Old Rauma
The old town hall is the most famous building in Old Rauma


Today, the old town hall houses a museum with exhibitions of the old lacemaking tradition that’s still an important part of Rauma today. During the winter, a local lace artist Tarmo Thorström creates a stunning lace artwork reflected with lights around the main door.



After stopping at the market square, we continue walking Old Rauma towards west. If we turn around at the end of the street, we’ll face a view like this.


The street view in Old Rauma


We step out of the old town for a brief moment. When we continue heading west, we’ll come to a small canal we call ‘Rauman ganal’. On the other side of the canal both, the old and new city hall buildings are standing next to each other. The old city hall is a lot more picturesque. Unfortunately, in this picture, I missed the very top of it. I guess I need to practice more.

I’ve heard rumours that the tower of the old town hall is haunted. Crazy ghost hunter as I am, I need to find out more information about this topic to give you a detailed report. Perhaps one day I’m allowed to climb up there for the whole night for a ghost hunt. Fingers crossed.


The old and new town halls of Rauma


From the canal, we turn back to the old town. This time we’ll take the other main street, Kuninkaankatu. The picture below is taken from the Western end of the street facing the market square we just passed a little while ago.

Have you noticed anything strange on the streets of Old Rauma? Do you remember how at the start of our walk the streets were covered with snow? What on Earth, am I playing tricks on you and sliding in snapshots from summer? No, I’m not. The main streets in Old Rauma are heated and thanks to the underground heating system the streets stay free of snow no matter how cold it gets in winter.

Once we reach the market square, we’ll take the left turning towards a tiny river called Raumanjoki.


The streets of Old Rauma are heated


Next to the river, we’ll find the last stop of our photo walk, the ‘Church of the Holy Cross’. This is one of the most beautiful churches in Finland, so don’t hesitate to peek inside in case the doors are open during your visit.

During the summer season, there are art exhibitions inside the cellar standing in the churchyard. You shouldn’t rush home too early — the church tower with its lights is a stunning sight at night time.


Things to see in Old Rauma: The Church of the Holy Cross
Walking Old Rauma: The Church of the Holy Cross



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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I loved your tour of Old Rauma! What a gorgeous place:) your photos with your camera are lovely.. Great job!
    And yes, I too am curious about the haunted Town Hall and how/why those sneakers got up there !
    Oh and a non stop wedding event on Valentine’s Day? What an amazing city you live in!??

  2. Thanks again Lia for your kind comments! 🙂 I actually came across with the ghost stories very recently, I need to ask about it and give you an update! What comes to the sneakers… I can’t promise I’d be able to find out why they have been up there for a year already, but my wild guess would be that someone had a fun Saturday night with a few beers! That’s how all the great ideas are born! 😉

  3. Old Rauma through your pictures looks beautiful. By the way, there are a pair of sneakers hanging near the Jyväskylä library for the last 2 years or more!

    1. Haha, apparently Finnish people love throwing sneakers around! 🙂 Thanks for your comment, it will be interesting to see how the pictures improve once I learn to use my new camera properly. But the old town is beautiful, there’s no need to be a professional photographer to prove that!

Make me happy; let's get chatty! :)

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