The shore block urban houses and public buildings built after the old town fire in 1852 form one of the most impressive old stone districts in Finland.
The old town centre and riverside are highly valued areas. According to regulations following the fire, only stone buildings were allowed to be built in the area. In terms of style, the buildings are mainly neo-renaissance. Most of the houses were designed by C.J. von Heideken, who was the city architect of Pori.
The old town centre south of the river has been built according to a loose grid plan. The yards of the buildings located along Etelärantakatu are closed yards. In addition to residential buildings, they house outbuildings, some of which were built as merchants’ warehouses, some as cattle sheds and hay storages, and some as food storages.
In addition to its landscape value, the riverside area is important as an event venue. For example, each July, Eteläranta transforms into an event street for the duration of SuomiAreena, the debate forum, and in the autumn, the Baltic herring market takes place there.
The riverside scenery is one of the most significant and best-known sights in Pori, with the Kirjurinluoto islet and the Cotton Factory area on the other side of the river merging with it.