A Ruined Welcome

Welcome to Vaasa, the pearl of the Finnish West coast. This is the place, where the city was founded in 1606. The church was built way back in the 14th century, and it was expanded in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

In 1852 the city burned down. The fire spared only two buildings, the courthouse and one apartment building, which had been the first stone built house in the city. The ruins of the church, clocktower, city hall and a school remain on a small hill. It’s a very popular sledhill in wintertime.

The city was rebuilt on a cape around seven kilometres from here, and that is the Vaasa we know nowadays. When towns and municipalities were formed in the 19th century, the ruins belonged to the neighbouring municipality of Korsholm, but the area was ceded to Vaasa in the 1950’s.

As a result of the change in borders, the railway station of Korsholm was located in Vaasa, right behind the ruins. This is a view from the station park.

Traffic here ended probably in the 1980’s. The station stood next to the tracks until 2001 when a group of 12-year-old boys started playing with fire. The station burned down killing one of the boys, and the ruins were demolished a bit later. It was a rather beautiful station, as you can see here.

When I visited the place, there were still some buildings left. All doors were tightly shut, most roofs had crumbled in. The city has been trying to restore what is left to restore for years.

For now they serve as a pretty sorry welcome to a beautiful bilingual city.

Vastaa

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