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World Heritage Sites

Along the Bothnian Coast road or in the proximity of it there are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old Rauma, Sammallahdenmäki, The Kvarken Archipelago and Struve Geodetic Arc. Being accepted as a Cultural Heritage site requires that the site is a masterpiece of human creativity or otherwise bears exceptionally significant evidence of an existing or extinct culture. A site can be a building representing a significant historical period or typical dwellings of a certain culture. A Natural Heritage site can be an outstanding example representing major stages in the history of the earth or significant on-going ecological and biological process. It can also represent an exceptionally beautiful scenery or be a haven of an endangered species. Further information on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Convention is available here.


Old Rauma

Old Rauma is a typical Scandinavian wood-built town. It forms a uniform area of historical, single-storey buildings, a street network partly dating from medieval times and a viable urban community, complete with dwellings, shops and services. Old Rauma was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1991.


Old Rauma’s uniqueness as a historic town quarter was gradually recognised at the beginning of the 20th century. The town expanded outwards, Old Rauma was saved from modernisation. Strong conservationist action in the 1960s influenced the 1981 town plan, which preserved the valuable environment and building stock of Old Rauma.


Most of the wooden buildings which are 100-200 years old have been restored and refurbished in the past three decades. The interiors of the houses have been modernised and Old Rauma has become a highly desirable residential area. Householders maintain their properties under the guidance of the town authorities.


You can get to know the Old Rauma architectural heritage and traditional crafts on the Old Rauma web pages:  http://www.oldrauma.fi/index_sf.html
The web pages of Rauma Town introduce the area of Old Rauma:  http://www.rauma.fi/info/vanha_rauma.htm (in english)
Virtual Old Rauma [Rauma Town] http://www.rauma.fi/kmos/mallit/



Sammallahdenmäki, which is located in the Lappi parish in Lower Satakunta, was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1999 as the first archaeological site in Finland.


The site consists of 33 stone burial cairns forming a kilometre-long chain of clusters along a sizable outcrop of bedrock. The complex is a representative sample of the different kinds of burial cairns used during the Bronze Age: low and round small cairns, large mound-like cairns, and round cairns with stone circles. Towards the west, one can catch a glimpse of reedy Lake Saarnijärvi, which used to be an arm of the sea in the Bronze Age.


The best-known archaeological features of Sammallahdenmäki are the wall-like “Long Ruin of Huilu” and the quadrangular “Church Floor”. The “Long Ruin” is 24 metres long and 8 metres wide. The “Church Floor” is unique in Finland and in all of Scandinavia. It is a stone structure that resembles a flat floor and measures roughly 19 x 18 square metres.


More about Sammallahdenmäki (National Board of Antiquities)



http://www.nba.fi/en/museums/world_heritage_in_finland (in english)

Information on World Heritage Sites on the Rauma Tourist Information web pages:


http://www.visitrauma.fi/ (in english)



The Struve Geodetic Arc

The Struve Geodetic Arc represents history of science and technology on the World Heritage list. The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of triangulation survey which was carried out between 1816 and 1855 under the guidance of F.G.W. Struve, a German astronomer. The aim was to determine the size and shape of the Earth. The Struve Geodetic Arc is formed by station points located in ten countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Russian Federation, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine).  The six station points in Finnish territory are located in Pyhtää, Lapinjärvi, Korpilahti, Tornio, Ylitornio and Enontekiö.


One of the protected station points of the Struve Geodetic Arc is located in Alatornio near the Bothnian Coast Road. The station point located in the church tower of Alatornio church was measured in 1842. Engravings made during the time can still be seen on the walls of church tower bell room in the 1797 built church. The coordinates of the station point in TORNEA, Alatornio are 65°49’48” and 24°09’26”.


Struve Geodetic Arc – A tour de force in land surveying before the satellite era
[National Land Survey of Finland] http://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en/activities/organization/history/struve-geodetic-arc (in english)



The Kvarken Archipelago

In July 2006, the Kvarken Archipelago was included on UNESCO World Heritage list. The area is the first Natural Heritage Site in Finland. The Kvarken Archipelago is an extension of Sweden’s “High Coast”, another world natural heritage site. Together, these two areas form a complementary geological complex featuring land uplift unlike anything found elsewhere in the world.


Land uplift in the Kvarken is very intense, on the average 8 mm per year. The archipelago is constantly changing shape. New islands emerge from the sea, bays are transformed into lakes and shipping lanes become shallower.  The land surface increases by a hundred hectares a year.


The Kvarken World Heritage site includes both private and state-owned areas, some of which are nature conservation areas. The National Board of Forestry coordinates the administration, management, development and marketing of the site.


The Kvarken Archipelago [The National Board of Forestry web pages]

http://www.kvarkenworldheritage.fi/visit-kvarken/ (in english)


The Kvarken Archipelago – A World Natural Heritage Site [Länsi-Suomen ympäristökeskuksen verkkosivut] http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=188288&lan=fi


The Kvarken Archipelago becomes the first Natural Heritage Site of Finland [The Ministry of Environment web pages] http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=192900&lan=fi

A map of the area (The Ministry of Environment web pages)



World Heritage links:

World Heritage Sites (the National Board of Antiquities web pages)

http://www.nba.fi/fi/museot/maailmanperintokohteet_suomessa (in english)


World Heritage Sites on the Ministry of Education web pages http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Kansainvaeliset_asiat/kansainvaeliset_jaerjestoet/unesco/maailmanperinto/?lang=fi


Suomen maailmanperintökohteiden esite pdf-tiedostoina
Maailmanperintö suomi2010 (2.27 MB)

Maailmanperintö-esite_ suomi 2010


The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Finland
Maailmanperintö ruotsi2010 (2.27 MB)
UNESCOs världsarv i Finland

Maailmanperintö-esite_ruotsi 2010


World Heritage Sites on the map [Google Maps]: