Raahe Travel Guide

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The Town of Raahe is situated between the diversified industrial regions of Ylivieska and Oulu, next to the main high way and the railway routes.

Raahe`s logistical location is excellent. The harbour of Raahe operates all year around and it is one of the busiest ports in Finland. The distance to the international airport of Oulu is 75 kilometres.

Raahe is a historic town. Count Pehr Brahe, Queen Kristina`s govenor general, discovered the excellent Raahe harbour and founded the town in the name of Salo in the year of 1649. In 1652 the name was changed to Brahestad and later on Raahe.

The old town of Raahe is one the best preserved wooden towns in Finland. The old town is integrated part of Raahe.

Saloinen and Raahe were united in 1973. In the beginning of 2003 a strong Raahe came to existence. The annexation with the neighbour Municipality of Pattijoki and the City of Raahe took place 1.1.2003.

The population of Raahe is 22.825. The total area of the town is 535,7 sq.km. Of the total area 8,4 sq.km is water.

The total population of the Raahe District, including municipalities of Raahe, Pyhäjoki, Siikajoki, Ruukki and Vihanti, is 36.

101 (31.12.2001).

Trade and shipping in Raahe has a long history, they were main sources of livelihood until the foundation of Rautaruukki Steelworks in the early 1960 decades. Rautaruukki was founded in Saloinen, the neighbouring municipality of Raahe.

Metal industry in Raahe region works in co-operation. A good example of joint work is Steelpolis Group. Raahe is also getting new strength from research. Pehr Brahe Software Laboratory aims to develop and produce research and development services of software solutions and applications.

Raahe has always been a school town, but especially today it is a town of know-how regarding high technology (ITC). Over 1000 students study in Oulu Polytechnic, Computer Engineering unit in Raahe.

In Raahe people can feel the presence of the sea - a placid expance of snow in winter and blue paradise in summer. Welcome to Raahe, the town of sea winds.

Old Raahe

Old Raahe is one of the wooden towns in Finland. The decision to preserve the old Raahe took effect in 1977. Since then about hundred main buildings have been renovated. The renevated quarters consist of 152 old dwelling houses and approximately 240 rear buildings.

Old Raahe is not an open-air museum but a living part of the town. It is an excellent example of past millennium construction history and living conditions through the centuries up to present.

Old Raahe adds historical depth for modern Raahe, a town of steel and information tehcnology.

Pekkatori square is a pivotal part of old Raahe. This square, representing the closed corner square type and conforming to the ideals of Italian Renaissance, was included in the town plan drawn after the fire of Raahe in 1810.

Soon after the fire, several exceptionally unified business buildings representing the construction practice of the 19th century were built around the square. The buildings have been maintained & preserved with meticulous care up to the present day.

In the middle of the square there is a statue of count Pehr Brahe, Queen Kristina`s governor general, made by Walter Runeberg. The statue was erected in 1888.

 The worlds's oldest diving suit

in the museum of Raahe

"The Old Gentleman of Raahe" is a rare treasure. It is believed to be the oldest diving suit in the wold. The suit was donated to the museum by Captain Johan Leufstadius (1829-1906), master mariner, merchant and shipowner of the seaport of Raahe on the West Coast Region of Bothnia.

Captains papers state that the suit material is calf´s skin and that the suit dates from the 18th century. At that time Raahe - like several other ports on the Gulf of Bothnia - was a busy shipping and ship building center, where diving operations would certainly have been needed. The suit is undoubtedly Finnish. The foot parts are in fact traditional Finnish countryman's boots with the kind of upturned toes.

A clue to the suit's antecendents refers to a Swedish Admiralty sketch dating from 1727, which is kept in the Swedish States Archives. The sketch represents the diving suit made of metal plates and it has a certain resemblance to the Old Gentleman of Raahe, and it is possible that it was used as a model.

New Gentleman

The restorer of Raahe Museum, Mr Touko Turunen, tailored a perfect copy of the old suit in 1988. New Gentleman of Raahe has been used as a diving suit several times. It is possible to see a video film form one of dives done using the new dinving suit.

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