Category Archives: Culture

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

Flea markets in Rauma

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. Flea Market of The Salvation Army, 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)
  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)

See the map here

Pictures from Eveliina flea market->


Another source listing the same flea markets.

There are several more flea markets, but I have to add those later.

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.

Democratic leadership

The city government of Rauma is represented by such professions as a chef, a nurse, a police constable, a pharmacist, a school lecturer, a curator, a product engineer, a stevedore and a number of salesmen and entrepreneurs. As a rule, the city government meets every Monday.

chairman of the Rauma city government Kalle Leppikorpi

The chairman of the city government is a social democrat Kalle Leppikorpi. We see him in the newspapers commenting on city decisions and we see him at the store working as a security guard the other half time! So I caught him with a camera to ask a few questions.
Rauma city government members (see here)

He said he liked working that way, partly as a spokesman and partly doing something else. He has small kids at home, whom he can take care of from now and then when mother is busy.

Finland is a country of gender and profession equality. All of the professions are respected and paid accordingly. If it were only politicians at the city government, their decisions could be far from realistic.

Rauma city council has 43 councilors and they get together on the last Monday of each month. 18 members of the city council are members of the currently Finnish leading Social Democratic party (that is led by Antti Rinne).

Rauma city council members (see here)

The Prime Minister of Finland, Antti Rinne, is actually planning to visit Rauma quite soon, on August 9th. He has a speech at the Rauma Marketplace (in front of the town hall) from 6 pm to 7 pm. People sing and coffee is served.

Meet Kerttu Horila herself!

You have seen the human like sculptures in Rauma .. woman with a handbag sitting in front of the Art Museum, three women swimming in the channel, the lady reading a bible at the church .. and so many more places. One is hidden behind a fence. I show this at my tour.

But now during this lace week you can see so much more as she opens her yard and studio to the public! Definitely go visit her place at Länsikatu 7 in old Rauma . She might even be sitting on her terrace.

It’s not just figures. They have fantastic expressions! Modern and surprising. A little bit theatrical.

I only saw one price tag, so I guess she does not sell any of her work these days and hence her studio is usually closed.

Kerttu Horila’s CV