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There are two absolutely necessary places to see in Porvoo, Finland if you are a history buff.  The first is one of Johan Runeberg’s home in Porvoo.

Runeberg home, Porvoo, FinlandThis is the home Runeberg lived in when he taught students at the school just down the hill.

Runeberg home, Porvoo, FinlandThere’s a nice little marker with Runeberg’s information.

For those of you not up on your Finnish historical figures, here’s the summary version.  Runeberg is one of the most important people in Finland’s history on the arts and culture side of things. He was the national poet, and wrote Finlandia, which is the national anthem.  He wrote many poems that seeped their way into the hearts of Finns.  There are many streets in various cities that are named for him, and he has a tort named after him too that Finns eat to celebrate his birthday on Feb. 5.

Just down the hill from Runeberg’s home is this magnificent building:

Diet of Porvoo, FinlandThis wonderful building has served multiple purposes, including being a school that Runeberg taught in.  But the most important thing about this building is this:

Diet of Porvoo, FinlandAgain, for those not familiar with Finnish history, the Diet of Porvoo in 1809 is significant because if started the period of autonomy for Finland, apart from Sweden, but under loose Russian control.  That’s the simple version anyway.  Wikipedia has much better worded version, but it’s a bit longer – but well worth the read.

Once you arrive in front of the location, you turn around and get this neat panoramic view.

Porvoo, FinlandWell worth it, huh?