Amuri Quarter – Workers history

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 🙂

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The rooms are equipped with furniture and things from a specific periode.

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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.

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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’.

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If you compare the interior to the first photos, you notice, that it is a little more modern.

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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.

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It is obvious where we are here… 😉

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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

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Sauna and Bastu

Finlands most famous word, which became a lingual export, is the sauna. In Sweden the same thing is named Bastu. Using the sauna is a central point in Finnish social life. Imaging that statistics say that there is one sauna on two Finnish citizen. In the past cities had public saunas, which nowadays is not common anymore. There still exist some for example in Helsinki.

Many saunas nowadays are heated by electricity, especially in the densely populated city areas the original way using fire is not suitable. Electric heating often produces a hard strong steam when pouring water over the hot sauna stones. This is not optimum. My Finnish friends and me prefer the more soft steam from wood heated ovens. Fortunately there are plenty of them and especially when going for a cottage weekend you rarely find electric ones.

Wooden heated saunas devide in two principles: The “normal” sauna has an oven which continously can be filled with more firewood during the sauna session. The oven is relatively small as it does not have to keep the heat for a long time. Smoke is lead from the oven to the outside of the building. The other type of wooden fired sauna is the Smoke sauna. This is pretty rare to find. It has a huge oven with a lot of stones on top. The sauna room has no chimney. During the heating procedure the smoke stays inside the sauna room. Once the temperature is reached the room is opened to get rid of the smoke. Problem is that once in use, it is not possible to heat more. But due to the big amount of stones this type of sauna stays hot for several hours. At the beginning the steam is much hoter than in a normal sauna, later on it is a very smooth one. People like it the most but it is a lot of work. And dirty as the smoke stucks on the benches and walls.

Using sauna in Finland means that everyone stays in the heat as long as he wants. There is no competition. Its a place that people like to talk in. Some go for a swim afterwards, I just prefer to feel the cold wind on the skin.

You should try it!