Finnish coffee

Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Was it 6 cups per day, I can’t remember. I try to manage with 4 and not drink coffee after 18 ‘clock.

Their is no gathering without a Finnish coffee and coffee bread.
Shops attract people by offering free coffee . Old coffeepots work well on advertisements. I have about five such pots to sell, if you want to. 15 eur?

Finnish coffee, either President or Kulta Katriina usually, tastes weird to a foreigner. But you get used to it and even addicted to it.

Coffees are of light and strong taste. Quite cheap. Sometimes 3 packages for a price of 10 euros.
The Kahvipulla is about 2.60 eur.


The World’s Top Coffee Consuming Nations

  • Finland – 12kg per capita per year.
  • Norway – 9.9.
  • Iceland – 9.
  • Denmark – 8.7.
  • Netherlands – 8.4.
  • Sweden – 8.2.
  • Switzerland – 7.9.
  • Belgium – 6.8.

history of FINLAND

People have lived in the region of Finland since the Ice Age, circa 8800 BCE. Habitation first settled along water routes, and since then busy trading traffic has always passed through the region. The name of Finland’s oldest city, Turku, means ‘place of trade’.

The first written sources that mention Finland date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Around that time, crusades brought Finland into the sphere of power of the Roman Pope and the medieval network of Hansa traders.

The Catholic Church spread to the region of Finland from Sweden, while the Orthodox Church did the same from Novgorod, currently Russia, in the East. The struggle for control of the region between Sweden and Novgorod ended with the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323. With the treaty, the Catholic faith was established in western Finland and the Orthodox faith in eastern Finland. This religious boundary still exists, although the Reformation replaced Catholicism with Lutheranism.

Easternmost part of Sweden 1323–1809

After the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323, most of Finland was a part of Sweden. For about 500 years, Finnish history is Swedish history. The region of Finland was Sweden’s buffer against the East, and the borders shifted many times in various wars.

Finns consider themselves Western Europeans because the time as a part of the Kingdom of Sweden strongly tied Finns to the Western cultural heritage. For example, Finns fought in the Thirty Years’ War with Swedish troops in Central Europe. At the same time, however, there were also connections to eastern trade centres and the Orthodox Church.

Important events

1523 Gustav I becomes King of Sweden and withdraws Sweden from the medieval union of the Nordic countries

1543 The first ABC book written in Finnish is published in Finland

1550 Helsinki is founded to compete with Tallinn for Baltic Sea trade

1640 The first university in Finland is established in Turku

Finland as a part of the Russian Empire 1809–1917

Russia captured the region of Finland from Sweden in 1808–1809. The Emperor of Russia, Alexander I gave Finland the status of a Grand Duchy. Most of the laws from the time of the Swedish rule remained in force. During the Russian rule, Finland became a special region developed by order of the Emperor. For example, Helsinki city centre was built during Russian rule.

Starting from 1899, Russia tightened its grip on the Grand Duchy of Finland. Finland did not take part in World War I, but nationalism also had an influence on the region of Finland. Finland was granted its own parliament in 1906, and the first elections were held in 1907. Finland declared independence on 6 December 1917, and the Bolshevik government that seized power in the October Revolution in Russia recognised Finnish independence on 31 December 1917.

Important events

1812 Helsinki becomes the capital

1827 The old capital Turku is destroyed in a fire, emphasising Helsinki’s standing

1860 Finland adopts its own currency, the markka

1906 Universal and equal right to vote, also for women

6 December 1917 Finland declares independence

Early years of independence 1917–1945

In the early years of independence, Finland’s position was fragile. Soon after independence, a bloody civil war broke out in Finland. The war was fought between the Reds or labour movement and the Whites or government troops. The Whites received support from Germany and the Reds from Russia. The war ended in the Whites’ victory.

Finland was strongly in the German sphere of influence because the Soviet Union became the biggest threat to the security of the state. In the 1930s, many right-wing and far-right movements were popular in Finland, as in other parts of Europe.

In August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed that Finland belonged in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. During World War II, Finland fought on two occasions against the Soviet Union on the German side. Finland lost both wars, but the Soviet Union never occupied Finland.

Because Finland was able to defend its territory in wars soon after gaining independence, Finland’s wars in the 20th century have been considered as a time where the independence of the State of Finland became established.

Important events

1918 Civil War between the Reds and Whites

1921 Act on compulsory education makes it mandatory to attend six years of elementary school

1939–1940 Finland is thrust into World War II when the Winter War breaks out between Finland and the Soviet Union

1941–1944 World War II continues as Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union

Rebuilding, industrialisation and the Cold War 1945–1991

As a defeated party, Finland had to pay the Soviet Union heavy war reparations in the form of goods. The war reparations included, for example, trains, ships and raw materials. Finland financed the building of the goods with loans and aid. The production of the war reparations helped Finland evolve from an agrarian country into an industrialised country. The industrialisation started a migration from the countryside into the cities.

In 1948, Finland and the Soviet Union signed an Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, where the countries promised to defend each other against external treats. In practice, Finland was in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence throughout the Cold War, and the country’s foreign and domestic policy were guided by fear of the Soviet Union.

Important events

1948 Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between Finland and the Soviet Union

1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki

1968 Finnish comprehensive school institution founded

Part of Europe 1991 onwards

The collapse of the Soviet Union and loan-based economic growth in the 1980s caused a recession in Finland in the 1990s. The worst time of the recession was in the early 1990s; many Finnish people were unemployed, companies went bankrupt and the state had little money.

In about 1995, the Finnish economy started to grow, the most important company being mobile phone company Nokia. Finland joined the EU in 1995 and was one of the first countries to adopt the euro as its currency.

Important events

1991 Worst economic crisis in Finnish history

1995 Finland joins the European Union

2000 Finland takes 1st place in children’s literacy in PISA studies

2002 The euro is adopted as the cash currency in Finland

2007 Nokia sells 40% of all mobile phones worldwide

Source: Finnish history

Finnish population and religion

The population of Finland is approximately 5.5 million. More than a million people live in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Finnish and Swedish are Finland’s national languages. Swedish is the native language of just under 300,000 people. Russian, Estonian, English, Somali and Arabic are quite common.

Most Finns are Christians. The largest religious community in Finland is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko), to which about 70% of the population belongs. The Orthodox Church of Finland is the second largest religious community. Slightly over 1% of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church enjoy a special status in Finland. They are entitled to levy taxes, for example.

The roots of many Finnish holidays lie in Christianity. Read about the Finnish holidays here.

Read about Finnish customs in here.

Top 10 taxpayers of Rauma

You were hoping to see the list of rich people, but I show you which companies paid the most income tax to Rauma budget instead.

The salaries and incomes (dividends, sale of real estate, inheritance etc) of people are public in Finland! So maybe I just bring out one name to give respect for the support he has given to the town in taxes. One of the owners of Oras, Pertti Paasikivi, made 48 times the average Rauma income. He paid 39% of his revenues to the city budget in 2017.

In Rauma, as many as eight companies paid over € 1 million in corporate taxes in 2017. The largest, Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki, paid 5 million euros taxes. ( 3.8 mEUR a year earlier).

Rauma’s corporate income tax is 20%. It is the difference between taxable income and deductible expenses. In 2017, companies in Rauma paid 31.1 million EUR in corporate income tax. Here is the list of 10 biggest Rauma companies in terms of taxes paid.

The first one: Länsi- Suomen Osuuspankki

OP Länsi-Suomi (officially known as Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki) is one of OP Financial Group’s largest banks and the leading bank in its business area. The bank has 6 offices and 5 meeting places in four cities and six municipalities, as well as network, mobile and telephone services. The bank has more than 142,000 customers, half of which are owner-customers. More than 200 employees.

2. Rolls-Royce OY AB / new name is KONGSBERG!

The Rauma propeller equipment business is now done under the name of Kongsberg Maritime Finland.

British Rolls-Royce sold its loss-making shipping business to Kongsberg, a Norwegian defense equipment company, for £ 500 million. Read about the merger here.

In Finland, Rolls-Royce’s shipping business includes a factory that manufactures ship propellers in Rauma, which employs some 470 people. There are also activities in Turku and Kokkola. The company employs approximately 500 people in Finland.

The business to be sold includes engines and supplies for the oil refining industry. According to the Kongsberg press release, the deal did not include Bergen engines or Rolls-Royce fleet products.

In the future, the Rolls-Royce group will focus on three sectors: civil aviation technology, defense equipment industry and energy equipment and nuclear technology. The reason for the abandonment of the Rauma mill is the poor profitability of marine technology, which is the result of a decrease in oil and gas prices. Investments in search and production vessels have also decreased. The investment in Rauma’s production facilities is nearly 60 mEUR (Kauppalehti).

In 2011, Rolls Royce brought more than half (n 16.4 mEUR) of Rauma’s corporate taxes. “The city of Rauma can thank the propeller manufacturer Rolls Royce as a true benefactor,” wrote newspaper Länsi- Suomi. Other good corporate tax payers in 2011 were Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki, Alfa Laval Aalborg, Raumaster, Steerprop and Osuuskauppa Keula.

3. Raumaster OY

Approximately 70 per cent of Raumaster’s net sales for industrial conveyor systems come from exports. The company was founded in 1984.

Talouselämä magazine’s traditional 500 largest companies in Finland listed 8 companies from the Rauma region in 2018. Of these only one company received the perfect 10 points – the Raumaster Group. The company made EUR 8 million net profit with a turnover of EUR 115 million.

4. Forchem OY

In 2017, Forchem, a tall oil refinery in Rauma, paid a corporation tax of nearly 1.8 mEUR, a million more the previous year. The company’s net sales in 2015 were 135 mEUR and the number of employees was 45. Forchem is one of Rauma’s largest companies in terms of turnover.

5. Oras OY

Oras Group, which manufactures kitchen and bathroom fittings and valves, employs 1443 people in 20 countries. Oras Group is owned by the family company Oras Invest.

The Group has two strong brands, Oras and Hansa. The group’s headquarters are in Rauma and factories in Rauma, Burglengenfeld in Germany, Kralovice in the Czech Republic and Olesno in Poland.

The factory in Burglengenfeld in Germany will be closed soon and its production will be shifted to the Polish plant. The role of Rauma will be stronger as the production is shifted to the rest of the factories. There are about 500 employees in Finland.

Oras Group’s net sales for 2018 were 228 mEUR and operating profit was 7 mEUR. Net sales decreased by 7%. In the Nordic countries, Oras faucet products were well traded, but sales in the Hansa brand in Central Europe declined. “We lost market shares in cheaper price groups. In advanced tap products, the market share remained good in Central Europe. Demand for Oras Touchless taps is growing in Europe.”

6. LähiTapiolan Lännen Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö

LähiTapiola Lännen operates in South and Central Satakunta and Vakka-Finland as a leading and financially sound insurer in home, farm and corporate insurance.

The company has 61,000 customers and 95 employees. In 2018, non-life insurance indemnities were paid to customers in the amount of EUR 724 million, an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year. The company is the market leader in car insurance.

7. Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo OY

The turnover of Kivikylä Kotipalvaamo increased by 13% in 2017 to EUR 64 million. It was a good result in the meat business, where competition is tight. “The company was not even doing the discounts and campaigns.” In 2017, the company employed 285 people.

Since 2010, the company has been the name sponsor for the Lukko ice hall. Co-operation has given Kivikylä its national visibility.

8. Alfa Laval Aalborg OY

Alfa Laval Aalborg operates in designing and manufacturing of oil-fired boilers and exhaust gas economizers for ships as well as heat recovery systems for land-based industrial power plants but also waste heat recovery solutions for process industry.

Turnover for 2018 was 50 million euros. Rauma employs a total of 65 people.

Alfa Laval Aalborg is part of the Swedish Alfa Laval Group, but the company’s history dates back to 1964, when Uusikaupunki’s Shipyard started manufacturing boilers in Uusikaupunki. Subsequently, as a result of the acquisition, the company became the owner of the then docking company Finnyards, becoming part of Pipemasters Oy. In 1994, the product range also included heat recovery systems for power plants. The Danish company Aalborg Industries A / S acquired Pipemasters Oy in 1997. The company changed its name to Aalborg Industries Oy. As a result of the acquisition in 2011, the entire Aalborg Industries Group was transferred to Alfa Laval and thus formed the current Alfa Laval Aalborg Oy.

9. Osuuskauppa Keula

Osuuskauppa Keula runs a number of shops in Rauma. The company is owned by its 30,000 customers.

Keula’s net sales for the past year (2018) were 152 mEUR, of which operating profit was 4 mEUR. The company employs 500 people.

The company’s business areas are supermarket and specialty goods, ABC business and restaurant business. In Rauma they have one Prisma, 7 S-market shops, 9 Sale shops, Kortela ABC gas station-shop, service station Talliketo, 6 ABC-automatic gas stations, Emotion cosmetics shop, hair salon Rauman HiusPrisma, Amarillo bar-restaurant, 2 Presso cafes, PizzaBuffa, Laitilan Tupa restaurant at the Laitila gas station and Hesburger burger sales points at Prisma supermarket, ABC Kortela gas station and Laitila Business Center.

Keula’s market share in Rauma’s food trade is about 52% (2019). Rauma Prisma supermarket area will be expanded by 3000 m2. The renovation costs 10mEUR. The current Prisma of about 13,000 square meters was opened in 2007. The investment proved to be very profitable and the last long-term bank loan was disbursed in January 2019.

Keula was established 115 years ago. In 1903, Otto Palen, a man from Rauma, invited 30 craftsmen and professionals gathered at the temperance society (the association of sober people) on Kalatori market in Rauma. As a result of this unanimous meeting, the Rauma cooperative society was established. Three years later they bought on Kauppakatu the city’s most beautiful house. In 1913, the Rauma Cooperative had already 9 stores.

10. RTK Palvelu OY

RTK-Palvelu Oy is a Finnish specialist in real estate services, employing over 3,000 professionals in over 30 locations. Turnover is n 115 mEUR.
RTK Service is part of the Finnish Contineo Group, which provides nationwide cleaning, real estate and industrial services and customer-oriented personnel services. Contineo also offers sporting entertainment and a variety of restaurant and event services. The Group includes RTK-Palvelu Oy, RTK-Henkilöstöpalvelu Oy, Rauman Lukko Oy and Helmiranta Wellness and Experience Center.

The top taxpaying companies. The taxable income and the taxes they paid to Rauma city in 2017.

Rauma port

Rauma is known as Finland’s largest export port for paper. The port area belongs to the town of Rauma, but it is operated by an international port operator Euroports.

The latter employees 550 people in Rauma.

Rauma port in a nutshell:

  • Finland’s largest paper exporting port
  • Western Finland’s largest container port
  • The most important articles: Chemical and mechanical forestry industrial products, containers, project transportation and bulk goods
  • Exports and imports of about 6 million tons
  • Channel depth 12 meters!

Vessel traffic in 2018 according to the port of Rauma:

In 2018, the total traffic at the Port of Rauma was 5.84 (-1.9 %) million tons and 263 000 TEU’s (-5.5 %):
– 4.14 million tons (-1.2 %) of export goods,
-1.60 million tons (-6.4 %) of import goods
-domestic traffic of 0.09 million tons

1 158 vessels visited the port in a year ( 9 vessels less than in 2017).

Positive increases in volumes in export could be seen especially in paper and general cargo. Approximately 1/3 of Finnish paper is exported via port of Rauma. Shipments of sawn goods were less than expected, thus halting a positive growth. The most significant growth in import was in round wood.  A decrease in the export of liquids and grain and in the import of oil products, general cargo and grain could be seen.

According to Tanja Angelova, the administrative director of Port of Rauma, the overall traffic volumes and container volumes have decreased a bit in 2018. Larger vessels have though been able to enter the port thanks to the deepening of the berth.

 “Even though we are behind in volumes compared to 2017, we do believe that we can increase the amounts again in 2019. We already have all the operating conditions for this,” she wrote in a press release.

“The completion of the expansion of the container terminal was the most significant event of the year 2018 together with the start of the construction of a new expansion area.”

An old picture of the harbor from 1890 lent from the internet site

Check here which vessels are at the deck right now

Kirsti house museum

This is the most lovely house museum in the Old Rauma and it is open in summer only.
It has been in the ownership of the same family for 200 years until the city bought it in 1970ies .
Each room is decorated in a certain area- from 1920ies .. up to 1960ies.

You can see where a family of 4 lived in the same room and grandma in the back room (lace making equipment on a table).
You can see the room from 1920ies from when there was no electricity, but an oil lamp on the wall.
You can see the part of the house from 1960ies, where kitchen was modernized. The heating stove was thrown out to make space for the in- the- house- toilet. Kitchen had a running water and an electric stove. TV also came in the 60ies and had the central location in the room.

Some interesting facts from the past!
Electricity came in 1900, but first it was used at the town entities and later it was sold to the households.
Houses were connected to the city’s drinking and sewage water system in 1930ies.
First cars in Finland in 1900, but mainly used by rich Russian travelers or Swedish companies that transported their products through Finland to Russia. They had cattle as well til the 1950ies.
Television came in the early 1960ies.

Visit the website of Kirsti museum

Poroholma 5* camping area

Rauma used to be a well known spa town in the mid 1700ies and 1800ies. Rich people from Finland would come to drink the magic waters of the Kaivonpuisto spa. They would stay in one of the summer residents near the seaside or in the old town of Rauma.

Not much is left to remind us of the spa time, except the renovated “outdoor terrace” of the Kaivonpuisto park that is now located at the Poroholma seaside area (left on the picture).

Poroholma is a 5 star camping area built around an old summer resort from 1880ies. The seashore has moved kilometers away from where it used to be near the old town border.


Although a seaside town, Rauma is rather an industrial town. Spa industry would bring more tourists and activity to the town all year round.


There is a famous 3-day festival on the St John’s Day that brings along 35 thousand young people at the end of June.
Raumanmeren juhannus – info

Read more here
More pictures here

Bronze age burial site

The archaeological site of Sammallahdenmäki consists of 36 stone burial cairns. Visit this place with a guide. It feels so peaceful in there. End up the tour with a lunch at Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo meat factory.

Sammallahdenmäk is located in Lappi, 20  km from Rauma City center (direction Tampere).

The site, dating back to Bronze Age, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999.

The complex presents a good sample of different kinds of burial cairns used during the Bronze Age:
– low and round small cairns,
– large mound-like cairns,
– round cairns with stone circles.

Towards the west, one can catch a glimpse of reedy Lake Saarnijärvi, which was still an arm of the sea in the Bronze Age.undefined

The best-known archaeological features of Sammallahdenmäki are: 1. the wall-like “Long Ruin of Huilu”
(measuring some 24 metres long by 8 metres wide).
2. the quadrangular “Church Floor
(unique in all of Scandinavia; a stone structure that resembles a flat floor and measures roughly 19 x 18 metres square).

There is so much more to it than the pure untouched nature! Listen to how the people lived those days. How they moved around when there were no roads. The stone piles were actually a sign to men on sea about the families who lived there.
What they ate and how they stored food for the winter. What their cottages were like. What they did on a spare time.

Just for a comparison, the world’s oldest shipwreck found recently dates back to 2400 years. You can see how the ships looked like those days. Imagine tradesmen come over to the rocky Finnish coast, selling bronze or metal tools or jewelry, asking for food or a bed in return. Or animal fur or skin. The locals always took a protective approach when seeing strange ships, in case people came with bad thoughts.

UPM paper mill

I am quoting a very nice article from the paper factory’s website, which says it all about the UPM Kymmenen paper mill, the energy production and the amazing waste management that they have in cooperation with the city.

The forest industry has been the cornerstone of the Finnish town of Rauma for over 100 years. The UPM Rauma mill has an indisputable role in sustaining the vitality and appeal of this small coastal town.

Each year, tens of thousands of tourists travel to the town of Rauma on the west coast of Finland. Rauma is most famous for its historical wooden house district, called Old Rauma, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. Amidst the district’s idyllic alleyways, houses and backyards, one can still sense the spirit of a medieval town.

Despite the historical surroundings, life in Old Rauma is as modern as in the newer parts of town. For example, all Rauma’s districts use district heating produced in the UPM Rauma mill site next to the town.

The forest industry has been the main source of income in Rauma for several generations. The town’s first saw mill was established in 1912 and a pulp mill followed soon after that. Rauma’s first paper machine started production in 1969. This strong start led into one of the largest concentrations of Finnish forest industry, that at one time employed up to 4000 people. Today, the traditional mill site consists of a paper mill, pulp mill, tall oil distillation plant and a power plant, which employ altogether over 700 people.

The UPM Rauma paper mill is mainly known for its three paper machines that produce coated and uncoated magazine paper for magazines, catalogues and marketing materials.

But there is more to the mill than paper: it generates heat, treats wastewater and creates stability for the town by providing reliable employment. The mill also collaborates with various other parties and helps attract other businesses to Rauma. A stone’s throw away from the historical centre of Rauma, there is a busy exportation port waiting for new freight to be transported all around Finland.

In 2014, over 5.5 million tonnes of goods were exported. Being close to the port creates clear savings for UPM. Instead of storing paper reels in the mill, the company transports them with specially designed trucks directly to the port warehouse to be loaded onto ships. “This arrangement improves our cost efficiency and competitiveness. The less the paper reels are handled, the less they get damaged. This is very important to our customers”, says Timo Suutarla, general manager at UPM Rauma.

Providing district heating and clean water for the town

Also located in the UPM mill site is the Rauman Biovoima energy company that generates district heating for the town and acts as its partner. It ensures that the people of Rauma have heating and warm water throughout the year. Over 99% of the district heating used by the town is generated locally next to the paper mill.

The power plant is among the top users of recovered fuel in Finland. It utilises forest residue from the surrounding region, commercial and industrial packaging waste and energy waste from Rauma.

In 2013, the power plant invested in recovered fuel usage by acquiring equipment to improve the receiving, handling and storing of recovered fuels. Thanks to its investment, the plant has been able to replace almost all imported fossil fuel with renewable Finnish fuels. Using domestic fuel creates savings, thus further increasing UPM Rauma’s cost efficiency. In addition to district heating, Rauma also benefits from the mill’s wastewater treatment plant.

In addition to its own, UPM Rauma treats all wastewater produced by the town. The figures are dizzying: the plant can process 1.2 cubic meters of wastewater in a second. This means that the average annual wastewater created by one household can be treated in one minute.


Word of the exceptionally efficient wastewater treatment has reached other businesses as well. “HKScan, a large Finnish meat processing company, decided to construct their new poultry processing facility in Rauma partly because of the wastewater treatment plant”, says Suutarla.

The efficiency of the plant is demonstrated by the environmental status of the Sea of Bothnia, which has in recent years seen significant improvements. The positive change has also been widely noted among high-ranking Finnish policy makers. However, those who take most pleasure in the healthier sea are the ordinary people who have cottages or boats on the coast — and in this historical marine region, there are plenty of them.

Important wood buyer and employer

The Rauma paper mill’s annual production capacity is nearly 1 million tonnes of paper. This requires plenty of raw wood material, which is almost exclusively sourced from Finland, mainly from areas around Tampere and Turku.


“Finland’s forests grow by approximately 100 million cubic metres a year. Rauma has an important role in its utilisation, as we annually use about 1 million cubic metres of the new growth”, Timo Suutarla says.

Wood sourcing has a notable effect on employment in various fields, including transport, forest planning and clearing. UPM Rauma employs 520 people directly and over four times more indirectly.

In Rauma, everybody knows somebody who works at the paper mill, and it has often provided livelihood for many generations of local families.


UPM Rauma

  • Production capacity: 970,000 tonnes of paper 150,000 tonnes of fluff pulp PM4 is Finland’s largest paper machine.
  • Raw materials in paper production: Over 1.3 million cubic metres of spruce and 165,000 tonnes of pulp annually
  • Employees at the mill site: 720. Indirect employment effect of UPM Rauma: 2,100


The company logo, the griffin, was designed by Hugo Simberg in 1899. It is probable that the griffin was chosen as the company logo because it represents a guardian of the northern forests. The griffin logo is the oldest continuous company logo in Finland.
UPM stands for the United Paper Mills.

Bobbin lace

The South West town of Finland, Rauma, is known for its bobbin lace history from the mid 17th century onwards. Why? Not only women, but also kids and old men participated in lace-making. Seamen would do it when bored on long trips.

bobbin lace pillow in Kirsti museum

Rauma was known as a lace making town and in its peek time almost all women in Rauma made laces, which were known for its high quality and the finest yarn from Netherlands. Out of 1500 inhabitants 200-300 had it as a profession. The other professional Finnish lace-makers were from the town of Orimattila and Tytärsaari island.

We do not know when and how lace making started in Rauma. The knowledge might have come with the seamen, the Franciscan monks or the noble Dutch woman. In historical documents lace-making in Rauma is first mentioned in 1740’s.

The fashion of lace trimmed cap (called tykkimyssy in Finnish) created a high demand for the lace starting from 1700’s into the beginning of the 1800’s. The peak time was the end of 1700’s and beginning of 1800.

At the end of 1700’s lace was popular and sold to such Finnish regions as Pohjanmaa in Western FInland, Hämee and Uusimaa in the South of Finland near Helsinki. In 1807 it was exported to Sweden, Norway, Russia and Copenhagen.

It went out of fashion in 1840’s with the noblewomen because of the new hairstyle. Old women in rural areas were the last to wear the lace trimmed cap on church visits til the end of 1800’s.

Thereafter the main use of lace was in bed linens, pillow slips and tablecloths. But those were not profitable enough to make, so the business of bobbin lace making started to regress. In 1890’s lace was made in factories and Sabina Lundström was one of the few professional lace makers left in Rauma.

In 1901 an architecture student Carl Frankenhaeuser was researching the Rauma church. As he went home in Porvoo and told his mother, a well-educated widow Thella Frankenhaeuser, about the regress of the nice Rauma lace, the woman took great interest in enlivening the lace-making. She got new lace samples and yarn to Rauma women. Years later another organization took over her role as a mediator of Rauma lace and started schooling the lace makers as well (1920 til the war started in 1940).

In 1948 a society of Rauma amateur lace makers was established (Nyplääjät ry), which takes care of preserving the traditions. Rauma Adult Education Center organizes the lace making courses these days.

picture of 2 lace trimmed caps from website


This year the festival takes place between Saturday 20th and Sunday 28th of July, 2019. SEE THE RAUMA LACE WEEK PROGRAM HERE
Next year Rauma is celebrating Rauma Lace Week for the 50th time!

The city is filled with exciting events and exhibitions throughout the 9 festival days. The Lace Week consists of 50 exhibition destinations, children’s programme, concerts and live music, all kinds of live performances, handicrafts and arts, traditions and history, wellness and sports events, street markets and the city carnival Night of the Black Lace.

One of the highlights of Lace Week is a friendly battle in which contestants vie for the title of the town’s fastest lace-maker.

Initially, Lace Week was a set of exhibitions during which skilled bobbin lace-makers could display their works, but it has since developed into a wide-ranging communal event.

The most anticipated event of the week is the Night of the Black Lace, when market stalls and merry locals fill the streets of Old Rauma. The warm evening air is filled with the cheerful chatter of friends and music from lively dance halls and outdoor concerts. All shops and boutiques in the Old Rauma area have longer opening hours, and it’s also a busy night for bars and cafés.

Most of the festivities take place in the heart of Old Rauma. The program of the lace week .


The lace shop of Rauma (see here) Pits-Priia is located at Kauppakatu 29. The shop is open on Saturdays throughout the year from 10am to 2pm, and weekdays during the summer months from 10am to 3pm. The shop sells lace products, gifts and equipment for lace makers. There is an exhibition of lace art and you can see a lace maker at work. Another place to learn about the lace history is the Raatihuone (town hall of Rauma) and the nearby Marela house museum. Vanha Rauma is relatively small ( 29 hectares) and every place can be called “nearby”.

Rauma in nutshell

The city of Rauma was founded in 1442, that is 50 years before Columbus found America 🙂
It is the third oldest city in Finland (after Turku and Porvoo).

It is the 27th town in size with its 40,000 residents.

Rauma is a home to 2 Unesco World Heritage Sites such as ..
1. a unique Nordic wooden town Old Rauma
2. a Bronze Age burial site Sammallahdenmäki


Other numbers:

  • Land area 495 square kilometres, sea area 626 km 2
  • Distances: Helsinki 240 km, Tampere 140 km, Turku 92 km, Pori 50 km
    80 inhabitants per km2 land
  • 114 Swedish-speaking, 0.3 % of population
  • 1710 other nationalities, 4.3 % of population

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