Today we had a small sightseeing in the Old Town. My host and her eldest girl showed me the most well-known sight: the old shorehouses (those red ones by the river). The shore houses are now red, but they got their colour only in the late 18th century. Red ochre paint was used to paint the shore houses in honour of King Gustav III's arrival from Sweden. All of the houses along his route were painted, in order to make them more beautiful. The red ochre also helped protect the logs from wind and sun damage. Exotic fruits, wines and spices were brought to Porvoo, and the shore houses also served as intermediate storehouses for coffee an tobacco. Today the shore houses are used as private living quarters and storage space.
Porvoo is second oldest city in Finland. The current wave of settlement began in the 13th-14th centuries. Porvoo was grated city status in the mid-14th century. Porvoo has fought for its very existence on serveral occasions over the centuries. At the beginning of the 16th century, Danes arrived by sea to destroy the city. The Russians burned Porvoo twice. In 1760, a Porvoo housewife made fish soup, and the fire it caused destroyed the majority of the buildings in the city. The last misfortune was the arson in 2006 that greatly damaged a key landmark of Old POrvoo, the cathedral. At the beginning of the 19th century, Finland was annexed to Russia as an autonomous grand duchy. Tsar Alexander I convened the first diet in Porvoo in March 1809. In Porvoo Cathedral, he gave a sovereign pledge in which he ratified the country's religion, its constitutional laws and the rights of the estates.
In the fourth picture I'm looking at the hill on the other side of the river. On that hill there used to be a castle/fortress a few hundred years ago. It's special to my host as she used to date her husband on the side of that hill when they were teenagers
And in the last picture I'm sitting in the car heading back to host-home. I just wanted to show you that I was put in a seatbelt - my hostfamily really wants to take care of my safety!