Raahe - Be a Part of Its Story

The story is told by the rhythm of its coastline; the fabric of its history and the song of the families that make it their home. It's a story whose prologue is known and whose introduction plays out each day in the actions of its residents. But, the story itself is waiting to unfold, for it is the story of Raahe's future.

Look at the archipelago that shares the town's name: it carves out a lacy border that belies the hardy nature of the industries that support its residents. Every Finn in this town bears the heritage of Raahe's history as a foundation while staying anchored by their present-day existence. Yet their eyes are fixed on the future. Their children remain the hope that justifies their efforts.

Raahe was founded in 1649 by Count Per Brahe. He was the Governor General of Finland at that time and needed a trading port. It was first named Salo but was renamed Brahestadt, in 1652, after its founder. (Brahestadt is translated to Raahe in Finnish.) Raahe is a town in Finland; located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Bothnia, in a region called Ostrobothnia.

Raahe is one of ten "wooden towns" remaining in Finland. After a destructive fire in 1810, Raahe was rebuilt according to a new design intended to minimize the risk of future fires. It was rebuilt with a unique town square (called Pekkatori) which features closed corners to meet the straight lines of the town's streets.

Raahe's planned destiny of being a port town in Finland was its first profitable purpose, but with industrialization, it became a steel town, and that is where its current identity lies today. It is also still a port: the sixth busiest in Finland.

Visitors to Raahe should begin at its beginning: the waters of the Gulf. The pulse of its waves seems present in every street and building. No matter how densely industrial the town has become, the waters still seem to glisten on every street. Visitors will find confirmation they are in a northern country, no matter which season they visit. Temperatures average from 10 degrees Fahrenheit to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the course of the year. If you want to visit during a warmer time of year, the best months to visit are July and August.

The majority of people in Raahe speaks Finnish. Visitors to town of Raahe may want to try some of these Finnish food favorites:

Leipäjuusto, also called "squeaky cheese, " is a dessert cheese found in grocery stores. It is heated in a pan and served with local berries on top.

Ruisleipä -this is dark Finnish sourdough bread.

Lohikeitto - creamy salmon soup with vegetables and potatoes

Poronkäristys - This is sauteed reindeer meat. Reindeer are eaten all year round in Finland. It is prepared thinly sliced and sauteed in water or beer.

Karjalanpiirakka - these are also called Karelian pastries. They are filled with mashed potato or rice pudding.

Salmiakki - This is a licorice candy flavored with Samiak salt. It is very popular in the area, and you will find its flavor in many other dishes.

Here are some of the popular sites to visit

Saloinen Museum

Here you can view exhibits that more fully explain the culture of Raahe and its surrounding area. There are 18 buildings in this complex, and each tells the story of a different type of peasant from the area's past and the story of their livelihood.

The Raahe Church

Also known as the Holy Trinity Church, this old, red granite church is the oldest church in the area. A further glimpse into the past is found in the church's three cellars, which were built in 1810. The present church owner uses the buildings for storage, but they -and the church- are still viewed by tourists.

Raahe Museum

This is the oldest museum in Finland. It was founded in 1862. It now has seven divisions-two of its divisions (the Packhouse and Crown Granary are open all year long. The Packhouse is devoted to telling the stories of the Age of Sails. In the Crown Granary is the world's oldest diving suit (nicknamed "the Old Gentleman."

Per Brahe Statue

In the town square stands the town's tribute to its founder. It was erected in 1888.

During your visit to Raahe, you will learn of its history and bear witness to its present. Perhaps you, too, will then be able to glimpse its yet-unfolded future.

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