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.

Old Rauma open yard

Tapio Niemi and his wife have a private museum in Old Rauma. They open it for the public to see for free. Often do I get a request from visitors to see a yard in the old town. So when you come for a tour, I try to get you to see the pearls of Eteläpitkäkatu 30.

The homes those days weren’t so overloaded with things, I guess. But it is wonderful to see all that. Feels like a home, not a museum.

The storage rooms had a toilet on second floor, with dirt falling on first floor. The excrement of domestic animals were collected there as well. Remember, the sewage system came in 1935. Imagine sitting there next to your neighbor and discussing daily politics. Or why else would it be 4 seats next to each other?

It is called a WÄLMLÄ HOME MUSEUM, but they have no website.

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

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