A brief history of Porvoo

13th century

The area where Porvoo today lies is first inhabited with the arrival of Swedish settlers.


Six cities were established in Finland in the Middle Ages. Porvoo, on the coast of the Uusimaa region, was one of them; it was granted the Town Charter around 1380.

16th century

Danish pirates ravage the city and during the 25-year Russo-Swedish war, at the end of the century, Russians burn the city – not just once, but twice!

19th century

Finland is annexed to Russia as an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia. The Diet of Porvoo takes place in March 1809. All the Diet of Porvoo assembly buildings and the house that accommodated the Emperor of Russia and his entourage can still be seen today.


The construction project of a new neighbourhood, the Empire-style district, begins under the Russian rule.It was the first project to significantly  expand the city area since the Middle Ages and changed the settlement pattern.


The city of Porvoo and the surrounding municipality of Porvoon maalaiskunta are merged on 1 January 1997. The merge had been discussed for a long time, both officially and unofficially. The new municipality is named City of Porvoo.


The Aleksanterinkatu Bridge is completed and the Art Factory Culture and Congress Centre opens. The development project of the west bank of the River Porvoonjoki begins. On a Monday morning in the spring of 2006 the people in Porvoo wake up to a piece of horrendous news: the Porvoo Cathedral has, once again, burned down. The church is reinaugurated, after the renovation work, in November of 2008.