Porvoo Old Town

Porvoo, Finland

Porvoo was first mentioned in documents in the early 14th century, and Porvoo was given city rights around 1380, even though according to some sources the city was founded in 1346. Porvoo is famed for its old town (Gamla Stan in Swedish), a dense medieval street pattern with predominantly wooden houses. The town was mainly destroyed by fire in 1760 and current buildings were built after that.

Today Porvoo old town is a pictoresque tourist attraction. Many of the boutiques and services are located on Jokikatu and Välikatu Streets and around the church, but it's also worth looking a bit further. In the sidestreets and lanes it's easy to take a step back in time and forget the modern world. The small idyllic parks and sleepy cobbled streets among the houses entice the visitors to linger and reflect on the past.

The Old Town came close to being demolished in the 19th century by a new urban plan for the city. The plan was cancelled due to a popular resistance headed by Count Louis Sparre.

The red-coloured wooden storage buildings on the riverside are a proposed UNESCO world heritage site. Already by the early 19th century the authorities understood the value of the old town, and so with the need for growth a plan was made for a 'new town' built adjacent to the old town, following a grid plan but with houses also built in wood.

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Address

Jokikatu, Porvoo, Finland
See all sites in Porvoo

Details

Founded: 18th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Finland
Historical period: The Age of Enlightenment (Finland)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ragun Chandran (7 months ago)
Normally people visit Old town Porvoo during summer but it's a whole different place when you visit during winter, especially during Christmas break. This medieval town is a good spot for day trips.
Lija Mezinskaja (8 months ago)
Lovely little town with nice souvenir shops and beautiful views
Robson Robinson (9 months ago)
A place to visit when travelling around. Very nice place with a touch of Finnish heritage. Those wooden houses are fantastic.
Matti Rassi (9 months ago)
Beautiful old town of Porvoo is a "must see-place"in Finland.
Hamed Davoudabadi (9 months ago)
Beautiful, classy and calm area, mutta with high prices in the stores. Also don't expect so much creativity in the gift shops.
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