Quite often when I drive around and see a sign refering to a point of interest, I take the chance to see what is there to discover. Sometimes I fail with it because I simply do not find it or it is nothing really worth to mention. Other times I find really nice things. One of these moments I had when driving a road south of Salo, Finland. I saw a sign pointing into the deep forest saying Viitankruunu. There was a small parking and I had time, so I parked my car and followed the path. It turned out that there were two bronze age grave hills hidden in the forest. Some people might see only simple stones, but for me it is always impressive and there are the moments I think of the individuals that were buried here and those who worked here to build the grave. Wondering what kind of people they might have been… kind or cruel and would they be a friend or someone I should take care of. But before I bring you into such deep thoughts, please follow me on the short walk to the graves…
This is the magic symbol for all the sightseeing enthusiasts… we follow it.
Instead of driving I got a nice hike in the forest 🙂
For those capable of knowing the Finnish language the sign gives some information about the site. For everyone else there is a map and some sketches.
I love the northern forests.
Trying to find the bronze age burial site I learned that moskitos are not stupid. They know how to hide…
And then suddenly the huge pile of stones showed up. It is impressive.
Those buried here got a very nice place with a view. I am pretty sure that the choice was by purpose. Not only to place them on a hill, but also to overlook the area around.
In fact there are at least two large burial hills here, if you look at the google maps linked below, you will see them on the satellite view.
-> Information in Finnish from Museovirasto (use google translate!)
Let me take you into the church of Old Rauma, the Church of the Holy Cross. It has some really nice decorations that are absolutely worth to be seen. About the history of the church I pass you to wikipedia (link at the bottom of the entry), so you can check the short article if you are interested.
This is the view when entering the church.
Here the pulpit, all in beautiful wooden art.
That beautiful lady is by far the most religious citizen in Rauma. She is always there when I am in town visiting the church… impressive 😉
In my opinion the most impressive are the paintings on the ceiling. I can stand there for a long time looking at this beautiful art.
The candelabra bring a nice and special light into the church.
And the window is beautiful with the sun shining onto it.
-> Raumas Church of the Holy Cross on Wikipedia
A real beauty of an old wooden towncenter is the Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma). It found its place on the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. You can spend some hours to walk around through the small and larger cobble stoned streets. It is not a museum, there are stores, cafes and restaurants here. So be prepared that it can be quite busy around the main square. Actually during my last visit I found it really busy with cars driving through the streets, but if you leave the main road, you will find really quiet and cosy corners.
In some of the houses you will find museums that tell you about the history of families living there. Also you will see that making bobbin lace is an old tradition from Rauma. But let me show you the cosy beauty of this place in this blog entry. There are several more old wooden towns along the west coast of Finland, over time I will introduce you to them.
-> Old Rauma on UNESCO Webpage
-> Old Rauma on Visit Rauma
If you pass Uusikaupunki (Newtown) on your trip, stop by to see the old houses and the pilothill with the old church closeby, all of which I will feature in other blog entries. Here I want you to know that there is a nice place called Myllymäki, the mill hill. In town you will find a small hill on which there are four old windmills. They are nowadays a free openair museum. I really like windmills as first of all they are rare where I live and also keep us remember old times, in which work was tough and people had bright ideas to make things easier by using the elements around them.
The mills here are collected from other places and brought here. Notice that they differ quite much…
As stated in another blog entry, the Kurjenrahka National Park is a very important place for cranes to stop for their yearly journey. Here I planned to make a short hike after seeing the visitor center and having a look at the lake. The hike itself, if the short cirular hike, is only 1.4 km long. It is not much, but rain started and intensified quite much, affecting my camera and more important the grip of the wooden trail. So I made the decision to return back to the car after reaching the Kuhankuono, the small monumental stone. Still I think I made some nice photos and want to share them with you…
Knowing it might rain more heavily I started taking the photos quite late to get some meters done. Here is a photo of the Kuhankuono, which is an old boundary marker and according to the official page of the park it is sitting here for more than 600 years!
Here some wet memories of this really short hike… 🙂
-> Webpage of Kurjenrahka National Park
Compared to other countries Finland is not too blessed with a big amount of sites listed as World Heritage, but those which you can find here are really special. One of them is the bronze age burial site of Sammallahdenmäki. It is located quite close to Rauma, which in fact is also a listed as world heritage for its beautiful wooden houses. If you come here to Sammallahdenmäki you can follow a path that leads you through this pretty big amount of grave hills. During my visit I was the only one and it feels very remote as the nature looks pretty original. This gives a very special atmosphere to the site. I am sure that once you are walking around there like me, also you will start to get thoughts about what kind of people have made these structures. What was their thinking about their time and furture…
Many of these structures are shaped rectangular with edges.
Signs point along the trail not to get lost or to miss something.
Here the nordic moss is growing in huge areas. I really like it, but i also know that it is very sensitive and it grows really slow if destroyed. So take care of it.
Other liches are really colorful. Sometimes I almost only had eyes for these beautiful pattern…
… but then a majestic burial hill brought me back to the real meaning of the site.
Another pattern photo to conclude the blog 🙂
Sammallahdenmäki in the net:
-> Finnish National Board of Antiquities
-> UNESCO World Heritage sites
For a long time textile industry was the major job motor in Tampere. Many different factories grew here to feed the request for textiles in Finland and Europe. The city grew and quarters developed in which mainly the workers lived. Conditions were poor, people struggled to earn their living. But factories florished until the end of last century when competitors from overseas with cheap products flooded the market. A steady descent started and not much is left today. Tampere readjusted its economic footprint. Unfortunately much of the old wooden structures disappeared and got replaced with concrete, but there are still some gems left. Fortunately the mistake was not made too much with the industrial buildings, which gives the downtown of Tampere a very special flair. But back to the workers quarters, one place is the Amuri Quarter. It is nowadays a museum featuring the history of Tamperes workers quarters. Going through the museum you will make a journey in time. The rooms are furnished cronologically and you can read about the daily life of virtual people living there. There is a public sauna to be seen and once you have done your tour, you can have a rest in the very nice cafe at the exit.
Weather during my visit was not too bright, but as you see the houses have open doors and the virtual inhabitants are welcoming you 🙂
The rooms are equipped with furniture and things from a specific periode.
At the time people lived here, it was common that many inhabitants shared rooms, so even it looks cosy nowadays, it was tough in the past.
As you see on the sign, Swedish language was (and still is to some extend) the language in the Southwest. It says ‘God is the love’.
If you compare the interior to the first photos, you notice, that it is a little more modern.
The public sauna and washing facilities. It used to be something common in Finland to have these public saunas. They almost disappeared as almost everyone has a sauna at home, but there are some tendencies that they become a small revival.
It is obvious where we are here… 😉
I think this museum quarter is a very nice and special place. There are many open-air museums, but not many of this kind. Glad I have been here and a high recommendation to visit it!
-> Webpage of the Amuri Museum