Naantali (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈnɑːntɑli]; Swedish: Nådendal) is a town in south-western Finland, known as one of the most important tourist centres of the country. The municipality has a population of 19,250 (31 January 2019), and is located in the region of Southwest Finland, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) west of Turku.
|Naantalin kaupunkiNådendals stad|
The Sunshine Town
Location of Naantali in Finland
|• Town manager||Jouni Mutanen|
|• Total||687.98 km2 (265.63 sq mi)|
|• Land||311.50 km2 (120.27 sq mi)|
|• Water||376.51 km2 (145.37 sq mi)|
|Area rank||231st largest in Finland|
|• Rank||62nd largest in Finland|
|• Density||61.8/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||97.4% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||18%|
|• 15 to 64||66.1%|
|• 65 or older||15.9%|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||17.25%|
The town encompasses a land area of 311.50 square kilometres (120.27 sq mi). Most of this area is located on the islands, but the majority of the population lives on the mainland. Most of the islands are covered with forest and farmland, while the mainland consists chiefly of residential areas.
One of the oldest towns in Finland, Naantali was founded around the mediaeval Brigittine convent Vallis gratiae, the church of which still dominates its skyline. The charter was signed by King Christopher of Sweden, the then ruler of Finland, in 1443. The convent got trading rights and other privileges, and the town around it began to grow. It also became an important destination for pilgrimage.
In the 16th century, as Catholicism gave way to Protestantism as the official religion of Finland, the convent was closed, and the town plunged into a depression. This lasted until the mid-18th century, when the town got a tollgate and a customs chamber. In the two centuries of economic stagnation before that the town had become famous for its knitted stockings, a craft carried on from the times of the convent.
The year 1863 saw the founding of the spa at Cape Kalevanniemi, which raised the town's status as a holiday venue. In 1922, the Kultaranta estate on Luonnonmaa was made the official summer residence for the President of the Republic, after Finland had gained its independence five years earlier.
The per capita tax income of the town is the second highest of all towns in Finland, and the highest in the province of Southwest Finland.
The name Naantali is the fennicised version of the Swedish name of the town, Nådendal. The Swedish name was given as a direct translation from the Latin Vallis Gratiae which literally means "The Valley of Grace".
Tourism and points of interestEdit
This interesting divide between urban and rural is perhaps one reason as to why the city has been named the most popular tourist centre in the country in numerous surveys. Another factor affecting this is the proximity of both Turku, the region's administrative centre and largest city, and of the archipelago.
There are some important points of interest in the city, such as the Moomin World theme park on the island of Kailo.
Naantali Spa Hotel, the largest spa in the Nordic countries, and the Naantali’s medieval convent stone church. The city's popularity as a tourist venue is highlighted by the fact that the official summer residence of the President of Finland, the Kultaranta estate, is located on Luonnonmaa.
In addition to tourism, the city's main industries are electricity production, oil refining, manufacturing, and services. The Port of Naantali is the third largest in Finland in terms of goods traffic, and the city is home to a power plant and an oil refinery owned by the government-controlled company Fortum and Neste.
Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit
Naantali is twinned with:
- "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Suomen virallinen tilasto (SVT): Väestön ennakkotilasto [verkkojulkaisu]. Tammikuu 2019" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Keskiaika - Suomen kaupungit keskiajalla". Katajala.net. Retrieved 2013-12-28.