Just 14 kilometres from Turku is the small, picturesque city of Naantali that is often referred to as Finland’s ‘Summer City’. Its origins, as well as the name, Naantali, are closely connected with a Birgitten monastery that was founded in 1443. Shortly after the creation of the monastery community of monks and nuns, a settlement originated close by.
For some years, the inhabitants of this small city led a relatively frugal life, as when the monastery closed, so did the income that was derived from it. Naantali’s second financial high season came in the 18th century when a professor discovered the healing power of the local spring water. The water of the Viluluoto Spring was thought to have miraculous powers and soon Naantali grew into a famous health resort.
The picturesque buildings in the city’s historic centre have been lovingly restored. Most of them date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In those days, many of the buildings were farm houses, as their owners earned their living from the land.
There is a fascinating abundance of arts and crafts on sale in the many shops that are to be found in the atmospheric lanes of the old town.
It is understandable why Naantali is known as Finland’s ‘Summer City’, as well as being a treasure trove of medieval history.
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