Guest post by Ice Swimmer
Tampere is the second city in Finland. It’s been called many things, including Manchester of Finland (short form: Manse), the City of Women and the Sauna Capital of the World*. Before this spring it was a city I visited in order to have fun with my friends who live here. Now it’s my hometown.
The city was founded on an isthmus between two lakes, formed by an esker. The lakes are connected by a channel of rapids that were dammed and provided power for the textile factories, paper mills and other industry. The textile industry led to comparisons to Manchester and to a lot of girls and women moving to Tampere to work for Finlayson (founded by a Scotsman, James Finlayson) and other factories.
These pictures are from a Sunday walk to Pyynikki Sightseeing Tower and Nature Reserve, which are on the esker, in the middle of Tampere, next to the city centre.
First, we take a look to the east from the tower, towards the city centre.
Then we take a very touristy angle and look northeast. The big tower is Näsinneula (Näsi needle), the highest building in Finland (168 m), the amusement park is Särkänniemi. The lake is Näsijärvi. This picture is taken May 8th and there is still some ice on the shores.
I talked about the two lakes. This is the other one, Pyhäjärvi (Sacred or Holy Lake one of the many lakes with the same name in Finland). We’re looking southeast from the tower and we can see a part of the woods of Pyynikki and parts of the city centre as well as the northeastern corner of Pyhäjärvi.
Then we take a look at the northwestern parts of Tampere. The peninsula is a mostly residential area, parts of which are called Niemi (peninsula), Lentävänniemi (Peninsula of the Flying) and Reuharinniemi (the tip of the peninsula, a free translation could be Cape Rage).
The following pictures are taken from the Nature Reserve.
First, a sign that says on the top “Place for sightseeing” or “Scenic view” and below that “Dangerous slope”.
Both are true. You can see Pyhäjärvi through the trees and yes, taking a few more steps could spoil your day.
This place is a short walk west from the previous place. A bench is safer…
This view is to the southeast from the rocks, over Pyhäjärvi. I bet the apartments in the buildings by the shore are somewhat costly. I think the chimney belongs to the former knitted underwear factory (Suomen Trikoo).
This is a view of one of the roads that go through the woods in Pyynikki. This one is Tahmelantie.
This concludes our trip in Pyynikki. As you were able to see deciduous trees didn’t have any leaves yet. Now, about 2 weeks later the leaves in birches and willows have come out just about fully. I’m hoping you got a little inkling of what Tampere looks like.
* = The public saunas in Tampere are popular places, also for the locals.
It does look like a lovely place to live. I assume that just like everywhere else in Europe the textile industry is nowadays replaced by something else or at the very least drastically reduced (my town used to be a big textile center in 19. century, nowadays the last professional textile workers here are those in retirement (like my father).
Ice Swimmer says
Charly @ 1
Yes, the textile industry has been outsourced and in the former mill buildings, there are museums*, restaurants, movie theatres, offices for the local newspaper and so on. Services are bigger than industry here nowadays. There is still one mill left making board in the city centre of Tampere. Nearby towns, Nokia and Valkeakoski do have paper mills still (in Nokia they make tissue paper and in Valkeakoski, they make release paper for stickers).
Machine building, IT and high tech/telecom make up most of the industry in Tampere nowadays.
I do love living here. There’s beautiful scenery, fairly good public transport, a lot of lakes (about 160)**, many saunas and a vibrant live music scene, which I haven’t even started to get into.
* = Both art and historical museums.
** = Apart from Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi there are many smaller ones like Tohloppi, Tesomajärvi, Alasjärvi (Down Lake), Kaukajärvi (Far Away Lake), Suolijärvi (Intestine Lake), Hervantajärvi, Peltolammi (Field Pond), Särkijärvi (Roach Lake) and Lahdesjärvi.
All my life I’ve occasionally visited relatives in Tampere, but they all live or lived on the east side of the city. Consequently, I’ve never been to Pyynikki, and only rarely visited the most famous attractions in the city center.
Pierce R. Butler says
Y’all really should set up a sister city program with Tampa, FL (even if it’s also known as Cigar City).
Invite in Tampico, too (aka, they say, the Mexican New Orleans).
Ice Swimmer says
Pierce R. Butler @ 4
Now, Tampere already has a sister city in the U.S., Syracuse, N.Y.. However, we do have two sister cities in Germany, Chemnitz and Essen.
For some reason, we don’t have any Mexican sister cities, so why not Tampico. Tampere--Tampico culinary fusion might produce interesting results.
Coincidetally, a good friend of mine is traveling to finland, visiting relatives near Tampere. I nearly joined them, but work got in the way.