Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finland - Finland Proper - Houtskär

A village church in Houtskär.

Sent by Maria, a postcrosser from Finland.

This is from Wikipedia : Houtskär (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈhuːtʃæːr]; Finnish: Houtskari [ˈhoutskɑri]) is a former municipality of Finland. On 1 January 2009, it was consolidated with Iniö, Korpo, Nagu and Pargas to form the new town of Väståboland.

It is located in the Archipelago Sea in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Finland Proper region. The municipality had a population of 621 (as of 31 December 2008) and covered a land area of 119.93 square kilometres (46.31 sq mi). The population density was 5.18 inhabitants per square kilometre (13.4 /sq mi).

The municipality was bilingual with the majority (88 %) being Swedish and minority Finnish speakers.

In the 2004 municipal elections, the Swedish People's Party got 100% of the votes.

In Houtskär are three stores, a bank and mail, and the church of Santa Maria in Näsby center. At various times throughout the year organized dances, which is an old tradition that is kept alive by both older and younger participants, everyone dance different couplesdances from humppa to schottis, always to live music.

Houtskär consists of a group of bigger islands and a large number of smaller islands in the surrounding sea area. Communications to the mainland is by the ”Archipelago road” through Pargas, Nagu and Korpo, with three ferries considered part of the road network, the trip with the last one from Korpo to Houtskär lasting half an hour. The main islands are connected by bridges or cable ferries, the outer inhabited islands usually have daily connections with ship-like ferries.

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