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

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Artur Arsenal (18 months ago)
I rally love the Old City in Porvoo, very relaxing place for walk. Very nice old wooden buildings. A lot of cool places for coffee break.
Teemu Siika (2 years ago)
Beautiful and traditional, mainly wooden townhouses in the old town of City of Porvoo.
Vic Sawyer (2 years ago)
Attractive with good eating facilities
Jukka Laaksonen (2 years ago)
Christmas time was supposed to start this weekend. There was not any program at the time we were there, but the old town is always worth of another visit.
Olga Mikuliak (2 years ago)
Very nice, cosy, little bit noisy place with restaurants, interesting places to visit, view, enjoy, take pictures. Very beautiful!!! Recommended!
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