Hämeen Matkailu - Hämeenlinna page 8-9
Häme Castle, which was built in the 13th century, is the best preserved medieval brick castle in the Nordic countries. The castle was initially built by Earl Birger, a Swede. The building was used also as a prison. The Prison Museum, located in the vicinity of the castle, is a reminder of this fact. Every year, the splendour of the past is resurrected at the medieval festival, and tournaments take place on the grounds of the castle once again. May the best knight win!
Verkatehdas, a new culture and congress centre, opened in Hämeenlinna in 2007. The red brick milieu breathes the culture on offer at the complex. Among others, Hämeenlinna City Theatre and Hämeenlinna Art Museum are located in the building. In addition, there is a concert hall at Verkatehdas, which attracts top performers. The Rasmus, a Finnish band that has sold two and a half million records, performed here in the opening ceremony of Verkatehdas. In the opinion of Lauri Ylönen, the soloist of the band, Verkatehdas is a good site for gigs and one of the finest in Finland. Verkatehdas has good public transport connections to Helsinki and other parts of Finland.
When touring verkatehdas visit these places:
VIBRANT HISTORY AND ENDURING DESIGN
The history of Finnish design is firmly rooted in the history of Iittala. The place has witnessed the creation of the timeless designs by such masters as Tapio Wirkkala, Kaj Franck and Timo Sarpaneva. Today it is a perfect place to shop quality design products, crafts and gourmet products. Iittala is located by the Helsinki-Tampere road, about 15 minutes from the centre of Hämeenlinna by car.
THE PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES OF HÄMEENLINNA
The Provincial Archives of Hämeenlinna are the oldest Provincial Archives in Finland. In the Provincial Archives, which are a part of the National Archives Service, everyone interested in Finland’s cultural heritage can study documents concerning the history of Finland since the 17th century. In addition, exhibitions and educational events are organised in the facilities. Since September 2009, the facilities of the Provincial Archives of Hämeenlinna have included a building that utilizes a visually stunning technique in concrete construction. The technique, patented by a Finnish company, is significant both from the national and the international perspective. The collections of the archives are open for everyone.
HÄMEENLINNA ART MUSEUM
The Hämeenlinna Art Museum was established in 1952 and offers high-quality exhibitions for art lovers. The museum’s own collection is largely based on works that were evacuated from the Viipuri Art Museum in the winter of 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War. Many of these works are from the golden era of Finnish art.
ARX ART CENTRE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
ARX -house, located within the Verkatehdas complex, offers activities for all ages. The idea behind ARX is to gather people who create children’s culture and those who experience it under the same roof. The centre also has art workshops, a children’s theatre, a handicraft school for children and young people, and a gallery space where children’s own art exhibitions are held.
IITTALA LASIMÄKI (”GLASS HILL”)
Iittala provides visitors with various oppor tunities to learn about the history of glass as well as modern design. The glass museum features interesting exhibitions, and visitors can take a guided tour of the glass factory where glass blowing demostrations are organised. In the factory shop you can find all Iittala Group’s products from the classics by Iittala, Arabia and Hackman to the products in the latest modern lines.
VANAJA HALL OF VERKATEHDAS
This new concert hall at Verkatehdas hosts concerts for every taste from rock to classical music. It is also the site of performances of the Sibelius concert series. Vanaja Hall is also the second home of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, which is conducted by Osmo Vänskä. Check out the music offering at Verkatehdas from the web pages of the complex.
THE ARTILLERY MUSEUM OF FINLAND
The artillery of the Finnish military has traditions that can be traced back to the 15th century. During the Second World War, the artillery was improved substantially and it became the most efficient in the world. The exhibitions of the Artillery Museum, which is located at the Castle Barracks, display the history of Finnish artillery. These collections are unique and valuable also from an international perspective. The discriminating food lover should also taste the doughnuts at the café. They are truly delicious!
More information: www.hame.fi
Photo: Voitto Niemelä