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Naantali

Trip Planner Europe  /  Finland  /  Southwest Finland  /  Naantali
Naantali is a city in south-western Finland, known as one of the most important tourist centres of the country. The municipality has a population of , and is located in the region of Southwest Finland, west of Turku.The town encompasses a land area of. 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.HistoryOne 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.
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