Rauma’s town council has been in several buildings before the people of Rauma built this baroque style stone house in 1776. It is similar to one in Porvoo.
The 18th century town halls in Rauma and Porvoo are the only ones in Finland which have remained in their original form. Rauma’s building is the second oldest stone building in Rauma after the Church of the Holy Cross (1512).
In 1776 Rauma was a town of 1500 people, half of whom were working age people. Each was required to bring grey stones for the construction of the building.
The town council moved away from the second floor into a new building in 1902 and the police department moved out of the first floor in 1930ies. Rauma museum occupies the whole building since then.
Why Rauma got a museum so early? In 1891, during the renovations of the Holy Cross Church, many things needed to be stored somewhere. Hence the idea of a museum was born.
Funny, the museum walls say the town had 15 city councilors, chosen among the biggest tax payers. But those wealthy men were not interested in such additional tasks given to them. The only revenue they received was a free rent of a cabbage field for 8 years. Haha. Imagine telling this to your current city mayor 😊
Collecting taxes to the Swedish king was an unpleasant thing to do and the youngest clerk got that job. The Swedish copper coin from the 1700s and 1800s could be 19 kilos heavy! Look at the picture.
The second floor is about the history of Rauma and Finland. The first floor has an exhibition of Rauma bobbin lace. Now that it has temporarily moved into the premises of Marela house museum, the Town Hall museum holds an exhibition of church lace.
The first floor has a nice souvenir shop. Toilets are on the ground floor. You can see the windows of the lockup (prison).
By the way, while in Rauma, visit 3 museums for the price of 8 euros! (Raathihuone- old town hall, Kirsti seaman’s house museum and Marela shipowner’s house museum).