President Niinistö and his wife move to Naantali for summer months
The City of Naantali arranged a welcome reception for the presidential couple at the marina
Finland nudged an inch or two further into "summer mode" at the weekend, when President Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio arrived on Saturday at the presidential summer residence of Kultaranta in Naantali on the southwestern coast.
The City of Naantali arranged a welcome reception for the President and his wife at the marina early on Saturday evening.
After the reception, the presidential couple went to listen to the closing final concert of the Naantali Music Festival at Naantali Church.
This is the current presidential couple’s first summer at Kultaranta.
Kultaranta has been the Finnish head of state's summer residence since 1922.
Kultaranta is a granite-built castle from 1914, surrounded by a well-tended park, and it is located by the sea (in fact on an island, though it is connected to the mainland by a bridge). It was designed by architect Lars Sonck.
The 54-hectare Kultaranta has been called a mini-Versailles. Its gardens and greenhouses are famous for their roses.
In the summer months, the President of the Republic will be both working and receiving guests at Kultaranta.
The President is entitled to use three properties for residential and hospitality purposes: the Presidential Palace (Pohjoisesplanadi 1) and Mäntyniemi (Mäntyniementie 4) in Helsinki, and the villa of Kultaranta on the island of Luonnonmaa in Naantali on the west coast.
Another sign of summer holidays in the air on Saturday was the declaration of a nationwide "holiday peace" - mimicking the "Christmas Peace" proclaimed annually in Turku - in the town of Kerimäki (pop. 5,500) in South Savo.
This was the fourth time the municipality and congregation staged such an event.
Kerimäki is a popular destination with people going to their summer cottage, and is also famed for having what is allegedly the largest wooden church in the world, accommodating as many as four or five thousdand worshippers.
Previously in HS International Edition:
The presidential perks and duties - what comes with the job (14.2.2012)
Official Residences of the President of the Republic