The old town of Porvoo with its narrow winding streets and characteristic wooden buildings from the 18th century makes you wonder if you have either gone back in time or arrived in a film studio. However, the snow blowing into your face is not fake. When you wonder around the old town and peek into the windows, you’ll see boutiques and cafeterias with people doing their Christmas shopping as well as cosy living rooms. In fact, these 270 one or two storey high wooden buildings house approximately 700 people.
Porvoo is said to be Finland’s second oldest town after Turku. It was given the city rights towards the end of the 14th century, but if you ask from the locals, they would say that it happened already in 1346. The city has burned in several occasions, and the only medieval building still standing is the Porvoo Cathedral – made of stone. The last conflagration got started by accident. In a warm windy day in spring 1760 a local woman was preparing a fish soup when suddenly the roof caught fire, which expanded rapidly burning down two thirds of the town. After that new building were done in the old foundations; so today we have a medieval town plan with buildings from the end of the 18th century and a local delicacy – fish soup.