All posts by Kairi Rintanen

Rauma Church of the Holy Cross

Rauman Pyhän Ristin kirkko

The Franciscan monastery was here probably already when the town received its city rights to make trade in 1442. This church has served both catholics and lutherans.

The impressive wall paintings are from when the church was inaugurated in 1512.

A few years later, during the reformation of 1538, the monks had to leave the country. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church 100 years later, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire in 1640.

Rauma Church of the Holy Cross (Rauman Pyhän Ristin kirkko) has the oldest votive painting of Finland.

I tell you the stories of the war trophies as we visit the church on my historical tour 😉

The music in this church building was a magnificent combination.
In the video: Ave Maria e organo concert on July 15th, 2020
Saara Kukko (mezzo-soprano) and Henri Tuominiemi (organ and piano)


The needs of local foreigners

Mona Elo (left) carried out, Kairi Rintanen wrote down the International Rauma survey of foreigners. The lack of information in English was perceived as the biggest shortcoming in the survey. Photo: Juha Sinisalo

Here is a quick translation to our media report about the survey we had in June. The article was published on July 14th, 2020 in Länsi- Suomi newspaper and it’s online version. Available online here.

Foreigner moving to Rauma needs local support network: International Rauma survey reveals everyday problems

“I’m sitting at home now, because I don’t know the language and I don’t know where I can find information about cultural events. Before moving here, I lived a socially active life. Actually any activity is good.” 

This is how foreigners living in Rauma commented in a survey that was conducted on Facebook and Instagram by the International Rauma (founded by Mona Elo).

The survey of Elo, a Danish student studying international trade at SAMK, was conducted at the beginning of June during one week and involved 100 foreigners living in Rauma.

Elo originally founded the International Rauma group to improve the connection between the international students and companies in Rauma. Since then, the group has expanded to include non-students.

Local contacts important

According to the survey, more than 2,000 foreigners live in Rauma. They are mostly young (more than half are aged 31-40). Based on the survey, they would like to meet local people, learn more about the Finnish language and need more information about hobbies.

They need more guidance in English, for example at a health center.

Noëmie Le Forestier, a French woman, who was at the yard of the art museum with her child, agrees that more information should be available in English. She made a French-language website to help other people moving to Rauma.

– I was pretty lost when we moved here a year ago, says le Forestier.

About one-seventh of respondents were unemployed: they felt they needed more courses to enter the job market.

– Many jobseekers needed help to make a job application and CV, Mona Elo states.

International Rauma was already organizing a seminar in spring, where foreigners would have had the opportunity to get a feel for local companies and hear tips on entering the labor market.

– Corona postponed the Thonkathon event. It is open to everyone and will now take place in the autumn, Elo says.

Demand for a spare grandmother

According to Kairi Rintanen, an Estonian who wrote about the survey to the media, foreign families also need a local support network, a Finnish family member who would teach how to make Finnish food and find, for example, baking powder on the store shelf.

– That is not a need for a young babysitter, but for a grandmother type of a person who would teach life wisdom and play with children every now and then.

Rintanen has in her mind been running the paid “Rent a Grandmother” service.

– If there are extra grandmothers somewhere, we need them, she smiles.

Getting out of home

Some of the foreigners have come to Rauma alone. According to the survey they would want to have company for a sports activity or a local trip. Joint outdoor activities would give an opportunity to meet other people.

Foreigners also need guidance on everyone’s rights. Some were unsure of where to get their fish and pick berries and mushrooms.

– Here would be an opportunity for nature guides to sell tours to local foreigners, Rintanen suggests.

In addition to International Rauma, the Rauma in English and Rauma Guide pages on Facebook share local information in English. The pages are edited by foreigners living in Rauma.

The international community of Rauma gets together every second week. The first events of the Thursday Mingle have so far taken place in Amarillo from 17.30-20.

Rintanen is a Rauma guide and also has a blog Rauma Guide.

Author: Maarit Anttila, Länsi-Suomi newspaper
in cooperation with Kairi Rintanen, your rauma.guide page blogger 😉

Flea markets in Rauma

Now that people had time to clean their cupboards during the corona break and they feel like selling and buying new things, second hand shops are very popular again!

Rauma is a small town, hence people do not have an access to huge shops and they go to the flea markets, especially to buy the kids’ clothes and old Finnish dishes. For some it is an ecological way of life.

Besides the shops listed here for tourists, there are a number of online Rauma flea markets on facebook. The best known online market in Finland is tori.fi, that is totally free to use.

  1. Retriika, Hakunintie 10
  2. Ratamakasiini, Hakunintie 6
  3. Torin Kymppi, Kuninkaankatu 25 (old town)
  4. Mimin Kierrätysaitta, Aittakarinkatu 12 (good for children’s clothes)
  5. Eveliina, Monnankatu 39 ( a little bit away from city center, but still a busy place in Kourujärve living area)
  6. Kirpputori-Kahvio Radanvarsi, Rautatienkatu 6 (near the railway; couple of flea markets next to each ohter in old railway warehouses)
  7. The flea market of the salvation army is now called Peippo Kirppis. Located near the old town, at Savilankatu 9
  8. The three flea market shops (Ala-puoti, Ylä-puoti and Soffakammari) of the Finnish Red Cross, Karjalankatu 15 (this is a place I take old clothes to and the Red Cross gets money as they sell it). Now called Kirpputori Puoti ja Wanhat Tawarat?
  9. Lokki kirpputori, Satamakatu 2 (near the central park) Keskuspuisto
  10. Kasitien kirppis, not in Rauma, but Kangasnummentie 1, Eurajoki (people say they have found good deals)

    So how does it work if you want to sell at kirppis (the Finnish word for flea shop)? You rent a box for a week for about 20 euros. You tag your products with a paper, that refers to the product / size, its cost and box number. The cashier collects your papers, when people buy and weekly gives you the money. All money you make is yours, but make sure you sell more than you pay rent, hahaa. No need to pay taxes from this revenue.
    Sometimes shopkeepers sell your things for you and they get 40% of the sales. This way you do not have to pay the cupboard rent, neither make your box look nice.
    The flea market owner makes extra money buy selling things bought from old houses and with a coffee corner.

    Other common ways to sell in Rauma are on such facebook pages:
    FOR KIDS
    Children’s clothes and toys: lastentarvikekirppis ..rauma ja lähialue..
    Children’s clothes and toys, with strong admin intervention: rauman lastenkirppis

    SELLING/BUYING everything
    A page in English. 800+ members rauma “buy & sell”
    Sell/buy/give away. 12 000+ members myydään ostetaan annetaan vaihdetaan (rauma ja lähialue)
    Rauma ja lähialue: Myydään, ostetaan, annetaan, vaihdetaan with 7000+ members.
    Myy/osta/vaihda – Rauma ja lähialue with 3800 members
    Free to give away page on facebook: ANNETAAN Rauma ja lähialue

See the map here (Rauma’s flea markets, second hand shops)

Pictures from Eveliina flea market->


Another source listing the same flea markets.

What is your experience with the flea markets in Rauma?
What is the one you like? Why?
Am I missing any?

Nationalities in Rauma

According to Tilastokeskus there are over 2200 foreigners in Rauma (as of 2018) in a town of almost 40 000 inhabitants.


Most of the foreigners are building the third nuclear power plant in Eurajoki. Many are working as subcontractors at the Rauma Marine Construction and other industrial sites.

People from Poland, Estonia, France, Turkey, Latvia, China, Bulgaria and Germany are most represented countries in Rauma. And Africans in general.

I have no idea what the former Soviet Union means in this table, cause it is not Estonia 🙂

Which country are you from and do you regularly meet people of your nationality?

We have the Estonian club in Laitila each Saturday. Originally it was meant for kids to speak in their language and play, while moms were having coffee. Now we have a more variable program. We plan to start teaching kids Estonian language.

Source: http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/fi/StatFin/StatFin__vrm__vaerak/statfin_vaerak_pxt_11rv.px/table/tableViewLayout1/

Hiking trails in the archipelago

The best hiking trails in Rauma can be found in the biggest islands in Rauma archipelago: Nurmes and Reksaari. The marked hiking routes can be explored either independently or with an instructor. Resting places along the trails have lean-to shelters (laavu), outhouses, campfire places and firewood. There are both easy and more challenging hiking trails in the archipelago.

Read more from rauma.fi page

Lakeside saunas

Now that people spend a lot of time outside, it is good to know where to go for a lakeside sauna. The saunas are all closed now, but most of these yards are open for public to grill and spend outdoor time. Public gatherings are not allowed in this corona time.

The city of Rauma has seven lakeside saunas, which are open for public during the summer time, from June to August. The saunas are also available for rent during 1.5.-30.9, with the lakeside sauna of Tenhonperä being an exception.

The saunas of Lappi and Kaljasjärvi are usually available for rent all year around, but now closed due to the corona virus situation.

Lakeside sauna of Kaljasjärvi – the sauna is closed due to corona, but it is ok to go for a lakeside grill.
Tuesday and Thursday at 18-21 Sunday at 16-20.
Fee 2 € /adult and 1 €/ children.

Lakeside sauna of Narvijärvi, Puusaun – this sauna has an outdoor hot tub
Wednesday-Sunday at 16-22, Friday 16-23
Fee 6  € / adult and 3,50 € / child

The opening times and fees of last year ( 1.6.2019 onwards):

Lakeside sauna of Mantereenpää
Tuesday and Thursday at 18-21 Sunday at 15-19.
Free of charge.

Lakeside sauna of Noitajärvi
Tuesday and Thursday at 18-21 Sunday at 15-19.
Single payment 2 € (over 10 years)
Family pass 30 €, adult pass 20 € (june-august)

Lakeside sauna of Lillonkari
Tuesday and Thursday at 18-21 Sunday at 16-20.
Free of charge.

Lakeside sauna of Pitkäjärvi
Tuesday and Thursday at 18-20.30 Sunday at 14-18.
Free of charge.

Lakeside sauna of Tenhonperä
Tuesday and Thursday ti at 18-20.30 Sunday at 14-16.30.
Free of charge.

Pictures of Tenhonperä sauna.

Source of this text: rauma.fi

A list of almost 10 other saunas in Rauma!
https://www.visitrauma.fi/en/services/other-services/sauna-facilities/

The most wellknown is Löylymestari in Syväraumanlahti near the small yacht harbor.
The mixed sauna is spacious, and it can accommodate approximately 40-50 bathers at a time. There are separate dressing and shower rooms for women and men. Beverages can be bought from the cashier. There is a spacious jacuzzi and a hot tub on the terrace (available on request) and from the dock you can go to swim. During the winter time, there is a hole in the ice for winter swimming.

Swimming pool of the Johtola sauna.

A sauna with a pool at Johtola
This unique milieu has the atmosphere of cartridge time. The sauna can accommodate up to 10 persons. The sauna also has a large swimming pool. Sauna catering can be ordered when making a sauna reservation.

And something unque -> Tall Ship Brig Gerda’s sauna
Brig Gerda is Finland’s largest seaworthy sailing ship and additionally the only square-rigged sailing ship in Finland. The ship is anchored in the harbour of Poroholma Holiday Centre. Gerda’s sauna is suitable for 6 persons. Captain’s cabinet can accommodate 10 persons. There is also a swimming pier. You may bring your own food and drinks to the premises.



Medieval underground

Visit the medieval part of Turku at Aboa Vetus museum. The city had a big fire in 1827, but its medieval stone cellars and paths can still be seen, cause these were buried under the ground when a garden was built. The oldest parts dating back to end of 14th century.

The information is easy to read (Finnish, English, Swedish). Kids have a play area after each stand. There is a modern cafe place in the museum house. I did not have time to go to the art museum, though.

Museum website Abo Vetus

Nearby Naantali Spa

Although not in Rauma, Naantali spa is one of the best known spas in Finland. It is luxurious and one of the closest to Rauma.

Hopefully Rauma gets its own spa one day, just like it had one over 100 years ago.

I met families with 3 different holiday budgets. A family of 4 had paid a website price of about 200e for the Moomi room in the spa building. The timeshare owner that paid 150e for 5 nights for 2 and extra for the breakfast and spa. And another lucky one with his employer’s discount price of 250e for 2 nights for the 2 room flat in the nearby residence. An additional -50% for the extras such as 10e per spa visit and breakfast for adults makes it close to 200e per night, I guess.

The hotel had a restaurant on the down floor. Two play areas for kids staying at the hotel, although restaurant visitors were trying to get in too. Several pools and hot tubs at the spa, also outside. And it did not feel cold!
Holiday Club often invites people to the hotel with a 50e per night deal, but it includes a marketing event for such timeshare investments in hotels (as mentioned before).

hotel website

Gardener’s wonderland

It does not have to be a touristic spot to visit. I love walking in the flower shops / greenhouses and this one looks so special. Viherkäine OY has design products for home, antiques, flowers, trees and sometimes there is a café corner.

A local couple with a gardening background, Kari and Kirsi Sjöroos , found a nice onion field in the Rauma city center. They bought the premises and turned the greenhouses into a shop in 1988.  They opened a company called Viherkäine OY, which means “green” in Rauma language.

They offer gardening services to private and business clients. Their machinery clean the city roads. The retail side is just a side business and hence it does look quiet in there. I hope they get more customers now that the post packages can be collected from there.

And I just walk there and wonder like Alice in Wonderland. Where am I? Is it ok to walk here without buying anything 🙂

You see two sculptures of the local Rauma artist Kerttu Horila in the following gallery.
The company website

Teresia, Rauma’s first business lady

He was smart and she was pretty. Rafael Lönnström was asked to move his ammunition factory further away from Helsinki in 1930ies. He chose Rauma. Far enough (from Russia), but not too far from civilization. His wife Teresia could take shopping trips from Turku to Stockholm.

After the war, the main focus of operations shifted to water fixtures, and the Lönnström companies developed into a major player in metal industry in Rauma. Their factories used half of the electricity produced in Rauma! Remember, electricity came in 1900 and there wasn’t enough of it.

Rafael Lönnström died from illness in 1943 and Teresia managed the business another 30 years. She sold her share to the huge Huhtamaki Group business, which ten years later sold it further on.  The current successful water fittings factory Oras and BHW waste management companies in Rauma had a boost from this business deal.

As the business flourished, the company built housing for its workers around the factory (incl. 5 two-storey houses on Syväraumankatu Street and 7 white wooden houses known today as Weekday Houses).

Teresia and Rafael Lönnström Home Museum on Syväraumankatu 41 in Rauma. Website

More about the business history: 1930ies ->; 1950ies->

The way they met was romantic, but it’s another story. Go see their home and you still feel their presence.

She adopted her sister’s daughter, who worked as an accountant for the company. She died only a few years after Teresia. They traveled abroad, loved photography and collecting arts. She left huge funds to the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Foundation for Economic Education.