Naantali (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈnɑːntɑli]; Swedish: Nådendal) is a town in southwestern Finland, and, as a resort town during the summer, an important tourist centre of the country. The municipality has a population of 19,579 (31 December 2021), and is located in the region of Southwest Finland, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) west of Turku.
The Valley of Grace
|• 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)|
|• Rank||231st largest in Finland|
|• Rank||60th largest in Finland|
|• Density||62.85/km2 (162.8/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||97.4% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||14.8%|
|• 15 to 64||58.8%|
|• 65 or older||26.3%|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||19%|
The town has 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 medieval Brigittine convent Vallis gratiae (or Nådendal Abbey), 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".
The proximity of both Turku, the region's administrative centre and largest city, and of the archipelago both contribute to the area's popularity with tourists.
Other points of interest in the city include Moomin World, a theme park on the island of Kailo, and Naantali’s medieval convent stone church. The area also includes the official summer residence of the President of Finland, the Kultaranta estate which is located on Luonnonmaa.
Every July 27, Naantali celebrates the National Sleepy Head Day (Finnish: Unikeonpäivä; Swedish: Sjusovardagen). The old tradition is to throw a chosen "sleepy head", an usually Finnish celebrity, in the sea from the city's port at 7 a.m. The identity of the sleeper is kept secret until the event. People who are chosen have usually done something to the benefit of the city.
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.
Naantali is twinned with:
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