History of Porvoo   A long time
Bastides bienvenue :
Villes Neuves 
Présentation générale
Grande Bretagne
Scandinavie : -Finlande - Norvège -
**Recherche : Interreg
hors d'EUROPE,
1- tableau des "modèles"
2- ..Libourne. ..Monpazier..Monflanquin.
Bastides Gironde.
Définition de "Bastide",
leurs caractéristiques,
leurs Chartes.
Le Tracé orthogonal,
la Place,
la Halle,
les Maisons,
les Cornières un problème,
les Andrones,
les Remparts : avec ou sans.
Chateau : avec ou sans
Puits et ponts
Bastides Modèles.
Contexte historique.
Présentation par :
Musée des Bastides,
Centre Etude Bastides,
Bastides Répertoire
par fondateurs:
par départements,
sur sites internet
par bastides :
            A à M
              N à V
par Thèmes
L'orthogonalité :
dans l'Antiquité,
dans la théorie.
dans les arts
Annexes sur :
les villes en étoile,
les "circulades",
Sauvetés  et  castelnaus



History of Porvoo

A long time ago...
The Porvoo Castle was built on the hill and the town was named Borgå ("castle river") in Swedish.
The Porvoo parish and the church originated in the 13th century. The church was first built of wood, later of stone. It was founded high on the hill to dominate the town.
Six towns were established in Finland during the Middle Ages. Some of them grew to be towns without any official order having been issued. This was the case with Porvoo, which got the town rights after Turku in the 14th century. The story tells that in 1346 Maunu Eerikinpoika (Magnus Eriksson), then the King of Sweden, visited Porvoo and granted the town rights there and then.
The Town Prospered through Trade
Porvoo was born at the junction of the sea and the river, a place where people from surrounding villages used to come to trade their merchandise. Goods from Europe travelled via Porvoo to the north, and people from the north brought furs and other commodities to Porvoo, to be transported via Tallinn to Central Europe.The wealthiest and most influential townsmen were merchants of German origin, burghers who were responsible for town planning. They also built a centre for local administration and trade activities, with a town hall and a market place.
The riverside storehouses surrounded a medieval harbour into which salt and other products were imported. The full export rights of a staple town were first conceded to Porvoo as early as the 16th century. Since the rise of mercantilism in the 17th century, butter, timber, dried fish, linen and tar were items exported from Porvoo although tar had to be sold via Helsinki.

The Map of Porvoo from 1652.

The Cradle of National Culture
In 1740 Porvoo had over 1600 inhabitants. For a few years it was the second biggest town in Finland. After the Uusikaupunki Peace (1721), Porvoo became a culturally significant town in Finland. The town of Viipuri was left behind the Russian border, and consequently, the Viipuri Diocese and the Viipuri Grammar School were transferred to Porvoo. The Porvoo Grammar School started in 1725. Some scholars even dreamed about a university in Porvoo. However, in the 18th century it took courage even to talk about expanding the university outside Turku. The oldest public library in Finland was opened in the Porvoo Grammar School in 1728.
The Porvoo Diet 1809 - The Beginning of Autonomous Finland
The 700-year marriage between Sweden and Finland ended after the Finnish War 1808-1809 when Finland was annexed to Russia as an autonomous Grand Duchy. Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, convened the Diet in Porvoo in 1809. This was an important cornerstone in the history of Finland, starting the progress towards independence. As a result of the Porvoo Diet, Finland was allowed to keep its religion, its constitution dating from the Swedish era, and the rights of its estates.

Alexander I

The Empire Town - the Emperor's Town

The Empire-style part of Porvoo tells us about the era of Nicholas I, the Czar of Russia between 1825-55. This reactionary ruler wanted to get rid of the dense and flammable old town built under the Swedish rulers, to replace it with a regular and spacious Russian rectangular plan. Luckily, Old Porvoo was not touched, instead the town expanded to the south built according to the Empire-style St. Petersburgian plan. Architect Carl Ludwig Engel, who also drew the Senate Square area in Helsinki, was nominated the designer of new Porvoo. The most popular attraction in this Empire town is the home of the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg.

Participating in the Rise of national Culture
The process of becoming independent and the economic growth were advanced by the birth of national culture in the 19th century. The authors and other artists in Porvoo greatly contributed to this advancement. While in Porvoo, our national poet J.L. Runeberg wrote the words to the Finnish national anthem "Maamme" ("Vårt Land", "Our Country") and "Porilaisten marssi" (a military march).
The publishing business started in Porvoo at the end of the 19th century. The publishing house then established is today the biggest publisher in the Nordic countries.

The best known of Porvoo's own artists is probably Albert Edelfelt, born in Kiiala manor in 1854. Edelfelt was especially enchanted by Old Porvoo with its narrow streets and the red river-bank outbuildings. Every summer for over 20 years, he travelled from Paris to paint in the Porvoo scenery. Ville Vallgren, the sculptor, won a gold medal for his "Christ's Head" in the World Fair in 1889. Walter Runeberg, son of J.L. Runeberg, was also an internationally recognized sculptor. Lennart Segerstråle, known for his monumental pieces, also worked in Porvoo in the beginning of the 20th century. One of the pioneers of Finnish design was Louis Sparre. During the early days of Finnish industrial art, the Porvoo-based Iris factory manufactured furniture designed by Sparre and ceramics designed by A.W. Finch.

The new Porvoo
The City of Porvoo and the Rural Municipality of Porvoo were united in 1 January, 1997. The new municipality is called the City of Porvoo. With its combined resources, it is an increasingly attractive place for people and business. In the new Porvoo, the quality of town planning and environmental protection has high priority.