Raahe Seminar is one of the teacher’s seminars built in Finland at the end of the 19th century. The first seminary in Finland was built in 1863 in Jyväskylä, followed by four other seminars. In 1890 teachers who wanted to upgrade their qualification had to obtain a seminar degree. The new rule led to an increased demand for seminaries. Hence, four other seminars were founded including Raahe’s women’s seminary.
The history of the Raahe Seminar
Raahe’s seminar operated from 1896 to 1971. The seminars built at the turn of the 19th century were different from those founded in the 1860’s. A major difference was that the second-phase seminars were not joint. They were made only for people of the same gender. Raahe’s women’s seminar started to accept male students in 1951. Moreover, the seminars differed in architecture.
The first-phase seminars were made of wood, while Raahe’s seminary and Rauma’s men’s seminary were made of brick and wood and were significantly larger in size, consisting of a variety of buildings for different purposes. The decree allowing the construction of Raahe’s women’s seminar was issued in 1896. The construction started in 1897 and lasted for two years.
By May 29 1971 when the institution closed, 3,177 teachers had graduated from the seminar. In 1972, the seminar’s buildings started to house the Raahe Computer Science Institute. The institute operated as an independent entity until 1997 when it became part of Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Most of the buildings on the seminar’s premises have been preserved to present day and serve as a museum and a venue for events.
Where is the Raahe Seminar located?
The seminar is located in a park-like environment, being a perfect place for students at that time to walk, run or read a book under the tree’s shadow in the free time. The main building has a unique architecture as the lower floor is made of brick and upper floor of wood. There is also the former apartment of the director’s daughter located in a separate wooden building.
Besides, there is a training school, the managers’ residence buildings, a sauna, a bakery, a lunch restaurant, and a daycare center. The beautiful garden has been preserved through centuries and can be enjoyed by tourists nowadays. The area of the seminar has been used for educational, cultural and entertainment purpose. Festivals and cultural events are held throughout the year, including the Christmas Market.