Paimio river and electricity
With its total length of almost 110 km (69 miles), the Paimio river ranks as the longest in southwestern Finland. Centuries ago, the river served as a waterway for trading ships, while today it is rapidly gaining popularity among canoeists. The Paimio river valley represents the arable river valleys of southwestern Finland included in the list of nationally valuable landscape areas.
Paimio is also known for its long and rich history of electricity. We have an electrical museum, whose unique displays and photographs provide a wealth of information about the history of electrification in the region and, in fact, of Finnish rural areas in general, too. Built in the 1880s and 1890s by C.A. Hallman, a local shopkeeper, and made of red and grey granite, the solid stone building presumably originally served as a warehouse for Hallman’s shop. Paimio Electrical Museum opened its doors to the public in 1995. In 2012–2013 the museum is undergoing a comprehensive renovation of its permanent exhibitions. In the summer time, the building also houses a tourist information site, an intimate café and an on-site shop stocking a range of gifts, souvenirs, and publications.
There are three hydro-electric power stations still in operation on the Paimio river. The station nearest to the Paimio bay, called Askala, is surrounded by meadows preserved in their original form through voluntary work by members of the local association for nature conservation. The natural meadows of Askala were chosen as the traditional landscape of the year 2010. The official flower of the municipality of Paimio, Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum), grows wild along the banks of the Paimio river.