Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Fabrics, Stamps & Tourist Tour Part 2

This will be a huge post with lots of pictures. I take the crafty ones first:

Stephanie from Loft Creations sent me this collection of fabrics in lovely autumn colours, tied with dark brown giant rick-rack, and a spool of Essential thread. Thank you, Stephanie! I'm trying to find a special project for them.

This is what I have been doing, when it was too hot to think about sewing:

I stamped logos on cotton tape, so I can sew them on my bags and aprons for the shop.

And now I take you to the second part of our tiny holiday tour. After the old book fair we drove back to Tampere (on our way home) to find a nice place to eat out. First we wanted to visit the Emil Aaltonen Museum we had heard of. We thought it would be in the old shoe factory building. It wasn't, but this monument by Raimo Utriainen is in front of that factory, which is turned into apartments and offices. You can click all my pictures to enlarge them for details.

The museum is in the house Pyynikinlinna where Emil Aaltonen lived. He started his first workshop as master shoemaker in 1889, and started first industrial footwear manufacture in 1902. The factory was transferred to Tampere in 1905. His business grew into the largest footwear factory in Finland and whole Scandinavia. He also owned a plastic factory and a locomotive factory.

Emil Aaltonen was also an important figure in Finland's national cultural and scientific development. The Emil Aaltonen Foundation has so far donated 9,200 grants, about 55 million euros.
The museum exhibits works from his art collection, masters of older Finnish painting. This link shows pictures of some of them.

After the museum visit we found a place for our late lunch. It was delicious. Then we enjoyed our rare freedom of doing what we want, without considering anyone else's needs, and decided to visit the grave of one of Mr. K's friends. On the way there we noticed we could also visit the oldest building of Tampere, the Messukylä Old Church.

The church was built as a Catholic church in the late Middle Ages, most likely during the first two decades of the 16th century. It is the second church on the same location, the first one was a small, wooden church.

Let's walk around the church now. This is the entrance facing west.

The north wall with a plain window, no glass paintings here.

The gable wall of the vestry is decorated.

Vestry window. The shake roof is typical for old churches in Finland. It is painted with tar, the link has interesting details about the use of tar.

Many different kinds of stone were used for the walls.

The east window behind the altar.

The south entrance, formerly to the arms room, now a part of the church hall.

At the end of the 18th century considerable reparation work was done on the church. The walls were raised by three or four layers of timber (you can see it in the picture below), the wooden entrance porch was built for the new west entrance, and a new barrel vault roof was built.

Now we take a look in. The wall paintings were conserved at the of the 1950s. They had been painted over during the reformation. A wedding just ended here, so the wedding ryijy rug was still there where the couple had kneeled on it.

I wonder if they are ever going to be as happy as this (young) couple still are together?

We were married in this church 29 years ago in July. The photo has changed colour, and so has my hair (and not artificially).

These wooden saint figures and the crucifix are estimated to date back to the 1430s and 1440s, and they remain from the wooden church. The figures are the patriot saint, St. Michael, St. Jacob and the Norwegian king, St. Olav. The most valuable sculpture of Virgin Mary is now kept in the Finnish National Museum.

The pulpit is beautiful with valuable intarsia decorations.

You mustn't think I know this much of all old places. I just happened to work here one summer for a week or so as a guide. The church has always been important for me also because my father worked in the conservation committee when I was little.

The stone fence around the church.

One of the few old cemetery monuments, an iron cross erected for assessor Gabriel Ashman in 1799.

This is the last picture, because the camera battery went flat and because most of you probably stopped reading a while ago. We did got to the cemetery too, and to the other one where my father is buried. On Thursday there will be old crafty books!
EDIT The iron cross is for another clergyman, Taxell, and the latest date on it is 1853. I didn't have a picture of the oldest gravestone from 1799.


  1. You had a lovely time with your hubby. Thanks for the photos. It is always nice to get a first hand view of a place. And to think that you got married in a church with such a long history - and it is still being used. Amazing.

  2. Beautiful! I loved reading about the history of the church, and your own connection to it. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. An enjoyable read.

  4. I love the pictures from the church where you got married, everything is so nice! Nice idea stamping your logo for your bags! What a lovely parcel from Stephanie, she is always so caring!

  5. Well I for one read every word until the end. Wonderful post. I love your idea of the stamped name ribbons! I might copy you.

    Beautiful gifts from Stephanie. I think she thought of everyone. :-)

    And I know how caring you are for others.. so I am delighted that you were able to spend a few days with no cares or worries.. and especially visiting the church you were wed in. So lovely! Hard to imagine the wooden figures from that long ago. Of course we don't have ANYthing that old in our museums or anywhere in the country.

  6. Danke für diesen schönen Spaziergang in und um Tampere. Du hast mich einmal mehr in meine jungen Jahre versetzt...die Kirche kenne ich auch :-) !
    Lieben Sonntagsgruss,

  7. That was utterly fascinating Ulla. It is so good that the church's paintings were able to be restored. We had the same white wash treatment in English churches too. Shame as the pictures were there to help educate the illiterate about Bible stories.

    Ooo that was so nice of dear Stephanie.


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