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Naantali

Naantali

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Naantali (ˈnɑːntɑli; ) is a city in south-western Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, known as one of the most important tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 centres of the country. The municipality has a population of
, and is located in the region
Regions of Finland
Finland consists of 19 regions called in Finnish and in Swedish. The regions are governed by regional councils, which serve as forums of cooperation for the municipalities of a region. The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition,...

 of Finland Proper, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) west of Turku
Turku
Turku is a city situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. It is located in the region of Finland Proper. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland...

.

The town encompasses a land area of km2. Most of this area is located on the islands, but the majority of the population lives on the mainland. In fact, most of the island is beautiful forest and farmland, while the mainland consists chiefly of residential areas.

History


One of the oldest towns in Finland, Naantali was founded around the mediaeval Brigittine convent Vallis gratiae, the church of which still dominates its skyline. The charter was signed by King Christopher
Christopher of Bavaria
Christopher of Bavaria or Christopher the Bavarian; as king named Christopher ; Danish and Norwegian: Christoffer af/av Bayern; Swedish Kristofer av Bayern was union king of Denmark , Sweden and Norway .-Biography:He was probably born at Neumarkt in...

 of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, the then ruler of Finland, in 1443. The convent got trading rights and other privileges, and the town around it began to grow. It also became an important destination for pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

.

In the 16th century, as Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 gave way to Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 as the official religion of Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, the convent was closed, and the town plunged into a depression. This lasted until the mid-18th century, when the town got a tollgate
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 and a customs chamber. In the two centuries of economic stagnation before that the town had become famous for its knitted stockings, a craft carried on from the times of the convent.

The year 1863 saw the founding of the spa at Cape Kalevanniemi, which raised the town's status as a holiday venue. In 1922, the Kultaranta estate on Luonnonmaa
Luonnonmaa
Luonnonmaa is an island in the city of Naantali, in south-western Finland. It forms most of the city's area, but only a fraction of its population as it is rather sparsely populated. It previously belonged to the rural municipality of Naantali , but the municipality was annexed to the city of...

 was made the official summer residence for the President of the Republic, after Finland had gained its independence five years earlier.

The municipalities of Merimasku
Merimasku
Merimasku is a former municipality of Finland. It was, together with Rymättylä and Velkua, consolidated with the town of Naantali on January 1, 2009.It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Finland Proper region...

, Rymättylä
Rymättylä
Rymättylä is a former municipality of Finland. It was, together with Merimasku and Velkua, consolidated with the town of Naantali on January 1, 2009....

 and Velkua
Velkua
Velkua is a former municipality of Finland. It was, together with Merimasku and Rymättylä, consolidated with the town of Naantali on January 1, 2009....

 were consolidated with Naantali on January 1, 2009.

The per capita tax income of the town is the second highest of all towns in Finland, and the highest in the province of Finland Proper
Finland Proper
Finland Proper or Southwest Finland , is a region in south-western Finland. It borders the regions of Satakunta, Tavastia Proper, Ahvenanmaa and Uusimaa.- Municipalities :...

.

Name


The name Naantali is the Fennecised version of the Swedish name of the town, . The Swedish name was given as a direct translation from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Vallis Gratiae which literally means "The Valley of Grace".

Tourism and points of interest


This interesting divide between urban and rural is perhaps one reason as to why the city has been named the most popular tourist centre in the country in numerous surveys. Another factor affecting this is the proximity of both Turku, the region's administrative centre and largest city, and of the archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

.

There are some important points of interest in the city, such as the Moomin World
Moomin World
Moomin World is the Moomin Theme Park especially for children, based on the Moomin books by Tove Jansson. Moomin World is on the island of Kailo beside the old town of Naantali, near the city of Turku in Finland Proper region....

 theme park on the island of Kailo.

Naantali Spa Hotel, the largest spa in Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

, and the Naantali’s medieval convent stone church. The city's popularity as a tourist venue is highlighted by the fact that the official summer residence of the President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

, the Kultaranta estate, is located on Luonnonmaa.

The archipelago sea
Archipelago Sea
Archipelago Sea is a part of the Baltic Sea between the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland and the Sea of Åland, within Finnish territorial waters...

 boat traffic is handled by S/S Ukkopekka. Old steamship cruise Naantali-Turku
Turku
Turku is a city situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. It is located in the region of Finland Proper. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland...

-Naantali.

Naantali hosts an international music festival
Music festival
A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

 every June, and the traditional Sleepyhead Day carnival
Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

 in July.

Other industries


In addition to tourism, the city's main industries are electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 production, oil refining, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, and services. The Port of Naantali
Port of Naantali
Port of Naantali is a port located in the south-west of Finland, city of Naantali, where the mainland meets the beginning of the Turku archipelago. The port is the third largest public port in Finland, measured by total tons. The Port of Naantali's main volumes deriving from the liquid and dry...

 is the third largest in Finland in terms of goods traffic, and the city is home to a power plant and an oil refinery owned by the government-controlled company Fortum
Fortum
Fortum Oyj is a Finnish publicly listed energy company, which focuses on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and the north-west of Russia. After acquisition of Russian energy company TGC-10 in year 2008, Western Siberia has become an important operating area for Fortum. The head of the company...

 and Neste Oil
Neste Oil
Neste Oil is a Finnish oil refining and marketing company producing mainly transportation fuels and other refined petroleum products. Neste Oil shares are quoted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.- History :...

.

External links