Old Raahe is an old, idyllic wooden part of the town of Raahe in North Ostrobothnia. If you are planning a trip to northern Finland, you should visit the old town of Raahe. The area is located on the coast and comprises about 200 commercial buildings and 150 wooden residential buildings that date from the 19th century. It is one of the oldest and best preserved wooden towns in Finland.
The area was designed as a commercial and cultural hub and a tourist point where Raahe visitors could experience the historical heritage and wealth of the town. Since it is under the protection of the renaissance site plan, the old town has been conserved to present day in good condition and stuns tourists with its beauty and uniqueness.
The history of Old Raahe
The old town covers the northern part of Raahe’s plan area based on the site plan from 1650. In 1810, the city was ravaged by a devastating fire that destroyed 60 buildings, which at that time accounted for three quarters of the city. Since the fire spread chiefly over the central area of Raahe, most of the old town was turned into ruins. Most of today’s buildings date back to the reconstruction period and are a combination of wooden classicism and empire style.
The plots of land were sold to merchants and shipowners who built houses according to the style standards of that time. The beautiful and imposing houses made Raahe’s old town a major tourist attraction. Some of the buildings have lost their residential status over time and became commercial buildings. About 150 buildings have preserved their residential purpose to present day.
The old town area boasts two major market squares with national significance. The Myhrberg Park’s has a long four-century history, being one of the three surviving 17th-century markets in Finland. Pekkatori Square is one of the most valuable 19th-century markets in the country. The square is famous for the impressive statue that lies in the middle of it. The memorial is dedicated to the founder of Raahe and governor of Finland, Pietari Brahe.
In 2019, a foundation was created aiming at promoting and supporting the renovation and maintenance of the wooden town. Also, Raahe’s town hall wants to implement some changes to the site plan to increase the attractiveness of the old town area for businesses and tourists.
Where is Old Raahe located?
The old town is a lively and compact area that can be explored by food, bike or car. Grab a snack and wander around the streets and large squares, admiring the 19th century architecture. Some of the wooden buildings have been turned into museums, so don’t hesitate to visit them, learning more about Raahe’s history and culture.
If you don’t like exploring the town alone, you can book a guided tour. A local guide will show you the main attractions of the old town and tell you the history of Raahe in a detailed and captivating manner. You will learn about the glorious sailing ship age, the lifestyle of merchants and shipowners, the great fire from 1810, the reconstruction period and many other interesting stories. A tour can have maximum 30 participants. You can can buy a ticket here.