First established by the son of King Gustavus of Sweden, John Duke of Finland, in 1558, on the banks of the Kokemäenjoki river, the city became an important trade centre though which whitefish, salmon and other products of the Gulf of Bothnia were exported to continental Europe. Exotic delicacies such as spices, fine wines and fabrics were imported to Pori. From here they were sent on to other parts of Satakunta and northern Finland.

The birth of Pori as an industrial city can be traced to the great fire of 1852 which saw the city razed to the ground in a single day. After the great fire, the city became more spacious in aspect; broad avenues crisscrossed the city centre, and blocks of fine masonry buildings were built along the riverbank. By the 1870s, the city had recovered considerably, and as well as a match factory and engineering works, Pori developed alongside the numerous sawmills that began to spring up towards the end of the 19th century, becoming one of Finland's key cities for lumber export.

Tourist attractions Pori, Finland

Since Finland's independence in 1917, Pori has continued to grow as an industrial base in Western Finland. But it has also developed as a major centre of education in the country, with over 6,000 students enrolled in Satakunta Polytechnic alone, and thanks to the influx of students the city now enjoys a lively nightlife, and is home to countless art galleries, museums, and concert halls. The city is famous for the annual international Pori Jazz Festival held every July, which attracts the best international talent and music lovers from around the world every summer. The 5 day Pori Jazz festival also includes the free festival for kids with different types of musical workshops, concerts and performances on three different stages. Both are held in the small nature park of Kirjurinluoto island, situated in the middle of the river Kokemäenjoki opposite Eteläranta street, a very popular spot for picnics with both locals and tourists alike. Later in the summer, the traditional Pori International Folk Culture Festival is held, and in autumn the city hosts the Lainsuojattomat Festival, which is put on by the Rakastajat Theatre.

Thanks to excellent environmental management, Pori, Yyteri and the marine area around are wonderfully served recreationally. Every year thousands of bird watchers arrive in the delta to view local and migrant species. The beaches at Yyteri Sands are immaculately kept and the perfect spot for sunbathing or taking a dip in the Gulf of Bothnia, and just out in the Bay you can visit the beautiful island of Reposaari, or spend some time sailing in the archipelago of Luvia which is comprised of over 400 islands and skerries.


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