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Raahe is an interesting coastal town on the Bothnian Bay, along Highway 8, approximately 75 kilometres south of the City of Oulu. Count Pehr Brahe founded this centre of commerce in 1649, and it was named after him as Brahestad. The name was later changed to Raahe, and it developed into a notable port, education and industrial centre of which there are still signs in the town today. Raahe’s industrial life is mainly focused on the steel industry, SSAB Europe's Raahe works (previously known as Ruukki) is located in Raahe and is the largest steel factory in the Nordic Countries. Currently, the town is undergoing a development phase which will offer completely new possibilities for the business sector.
Old Raahe is one of the best preserved wooden towns of 19th century Finland. As a living part of today's town centre, Old Raahe gives a special charm to the town. Raahe offers a historical living environment, or you can live by the sea or next to versatile services in the centre. This unique characteristic is what makes Raahe truly special and a pleasant place to live.
Raahe has around 25,000 citizens. The total area of Raahe is 1,888.94 square kilometres, 13.30 square kilometres of which is water area. Raahe's workplace self-sufficiency is more than 100 per cent, the sectors that employ the most people include industry, social and health care and trade.
Count Pehr Brahe, Governor-General of Finland, founded Raahe on 5 December 1649. Originally named as Salo, the town was renamed Brahestad in 1652. In layman's language, the name gradually formed into Raahe. During 1867–1875, Raahe was the largest ship owner town in Finland, with the majority of citizens earning their living from seafaring.
Until the mid-20th century, in addition to the port the local economy was mainly dependent on small-scale sawmills and the mechanical engineering industry. It was also known as a major school town due to its teacher training college, business college and the Lybecker handicrafts school for women. The Rautaruukki steel factory was founded in 1960 and factory construction work was completed in 1961.
The current Town of Raahe was created through joint municipalities. The municipality of Saloinen was joined to Raahe in 1973, and at the beginning of 2003, as the Town of Raahe and the municipality of Pattijoki were merged, both of the old municipalities were terminated and a completely new Town of Raahe was established. Since then, Raahe has grown further as the municipality of Vihanti was added to it at the beginning of 2013.
The town of Raahe is situated on the Bothnian Bay, along highway 8 , approximately 75 kilometres south of the City of Oulu, 120 kilometres north of the town of Kokkola and 200 kilometres west of the City of Kajaani.
You can find a bus station and a taxi station at the very heart of the town, and there are good bus connections to Oulu, Kokkola and Vihanti.
For further information on bus connections and timetables, use a search engine available on the website of Matkahuolto travel services, or call 0200 4000. You can order a taxi from Raahen Taksi, tel. 0600 30010.
Raahe railway station is located in Vihanti, approximately 36 kilometres from the town centre. Railway connections between Raahe and Vihanti are operated as bus connections by Käkelän liikenne. There are also evening connections between Raahe – Vihanti and Vihanti – Raahe on an on-call basis. If you wish to take the on-call taxi, you must call Raahen Taksi Oy at 0600 30010 at least two hours before the departure time of the taxi. More information on railway connections and schedules is available on the website of Matkahuolto.
The nearest airport is in Oulu, approximately 70 kilometres north of Raahe. More information on Airport taxi is available on the website of the Raahe taxi station and at 0600 30010.
Read more: Traffic.
Several religious communities operate in Raahe. You can search for these by name and locality using the Religions in Finland (Uskonnot Suomessa) online service.
The Parish of Raahe is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and has seven churches. Further information is available on the parish's website.
Read more: Cultures and religions in Finland.
Decision-making and public engagement
The City Council holds the highest decision-making authority in the Town of Raahe. Councillors and deputy councillors are elected through municipal elections for a term of four years. Raahe City Council consists of 43 councillors, who are responsible for municipal operations and finances. The agendas and minutes of the City Council meetings are available for viewing on the website of the Town of Raahe.
In Finland, residents of a municipality have the right to submit initiatives on matters concerning the municipality’s activities. Further information on launching an initiative is available on the Town of Raahe website.
Read more: Decision-making and public engagement.