Cultural landscapes and villages

The beautiful cultural landscapes and rural villages of Lauhanvuori - Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark are part of the cultural heritage of the area. These environments tell us about the lives of past generations.

CULTURAL LANDSCAPES TELL ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE AREA

Cultural environments are areas and places that have arisen from the interaction of man and nature. Cultural environments consist of ancient relics, architectural heritage and cultural landscapes. In cultural landscapes traces of both natural history and human activities can be seen. Signs of the Ice Age, as well as people’s livelihoods, housing, movement and beliefs, can be found in the cultural landscape.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Siikainen

We have 156 nationally valuable landscapes in Finland which are the most representative cultural landscapes of our countryside. In the Geopark area, Hyypänjokilaakso and Vihteljärvi-Niemenkylä are nationally valuable landscape areas. There are also other beautiful cultural landscapes and historic rural villages in the area. Along watercourses, for example, culturally and historically significant sites with traces of mill and sawmill activities can be found.

Photo: Antti Luusalo, Kairokoski, Parkano

THE HYYPÄNJOKI VALLEY LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT AREA

The nationally valuable landscape area of the Hyypänjoki valley is located in Kauhajoki. The valley’s impressive landforms, together with the area’s geological background, biodiversity and human impact, make the area especially valuable. The building stock with its Ostrobothnian features, barns and other rural buildings, forest pastures, open ditches and forest islands represent an open countryside landscape.

The Hyypänjoki valley is a living countryside that is actively managed. One of its special features is the lively village activities. The main occupation of the area is agriculture, the practice of which began in the 16th century with permanent settlement. In total, the Hyypänjoki valley includes twenty different villages. Hyyppä is one of the first villages in Kauhajoki, and it was formerly known as Rauhanhyyppä.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Hyypänjoki, Kauhajoki

The Hyypänjoki valley has buildings of many ages and the oldest structures date back to  the 18th century. The building stock is characterized by Ostrobothnian features, such as the grouping of buildings around a closed yard that protects from the wind.

The closed yards in the area have been partially opened, and therefore there are very few left. However, most yards are still bounded on at least two sides by a building. The main building of many of the old farms is a large, one and a half storey, long rectangular and red-molded Ostrobothnian house. The best-known example of the old building stock is Hämes-Havunen which is currently a popular venue.

Photo: Riitta Alapiha, Hämes-Havunen, Kauhajoki

VIHTELJÄRVI-NIEMENKYLÄ LANDSCAPE AREA

The formation of Vihteljärvi-Niemenkylä cultural landscape in Kankaanpää and Lavia has been influenced by the drying of the lakes at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. As a result, coastal waters turned into accretion and to meadows. Later, the meadows were cleared as arable land. Over time, small field patches merged, and today there are large open fields in the area.

According to some stories, the village of Vihteljärvi has been the most famous shoemaker village in our country. A tight community of shoemakers formed around the Vihteljärvi lake even before the 20th century. Shoemaking was a common profession in Kankaanpää, which greatly influenced the development of the municipality. As elsewhere, in the village of Vihteljärvi the profession was often inherited from father to son, which strengthened the area’s shoemaking community and the preservation of tradition.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Vihteljärvi, Kankaanpää

The classic rural community house Toukola from 1936 and farm houses from the early 20th century represent the old building stock of Vihteljärvi village. In the courtyards of several farms you will find old buildings such as various types of barns. The beautiful porches of the main buildings are typical in the village.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Toukola, Kankaanpää

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF RUOKOJÄRVI

The cultural landscape of the Ruokojärvi lake in Kankaanpää is of national value. The landscape originates from the 16th century as people settled down in the old hunting areas of Satakunta. The landscape is formed by groups of old buildings, fields by the lake and Kankaanpää Church.

Alakylä village is the old village of Kankaanpää, and it represents the oldest peasant settlement in the region. The village is located by the lake. Alakylä village has retained the look of an old rural village, although a town has been formed next to it. Farms dating back to the 19th century form a cohesive group in the field landscape between the church and the lake. The oldest road in Kankaanpää has passed between the courtyard buildings of Päivike and Vanha-Honko farms. On the shores of the Ruokojärvi lake is an ancient gathering place for young people, Kelminmäki.

Photo: Laura Koivumäki, Ruokojärvi, Kankaanpää

The premises of the folk high school, Kankaanpää Institute, founded in 1909, are located by the Ruokojärvi lake. The main building, built in the classical style, dates from 1928 and was designed by Elias Paalanen. The art nouveau dormitory dates back to 1914.

Photo: Laura Koivumäki, Kankaanpää Institute, Kankaanpää

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF THE RIVER VIINIKANJOKI

In Parkano, the Viinikanjoki river and the low-lying riparian fields form a cultural landscape. The landscape has formed over time as a result of a long period of clearing and the establishment and division of farms. Historically, agriculture was concentrated on the lower shores of the Viinikanjoki river and the Kirkkojärvi lake. The Viinikanjoki region represents the oldest agricultural landscape in its area. According to folklore, Parkano takes its name from the peeled spruce or pine, which grew from the confluence of the river that flows from the Kirkkojärvi lake to the Viinikanjoki river.

Photo: Antti Luusalo, Viinikanjoki, Parkano

In the agricultural landscape of the Viinikanjoki river is the square, rustic courtyard of Kana farm. The farm has presumably been in the same place since the Middle Ages. The village of Parkano developed around Kana farm. The current main building dates from the 1880s and the barn building from the early 20th century. In addition, there are several other old buildings in the courtyard.

The Viinikanjoki river and its surroundings have been an important route, wilderness area and place of residence. The river is part of a chain of rivers and lakes north of the Kyrösjärvi lake. During the Bronze and Iron Ages, it offered the population of Lower Satakunta and Pirkanmaa a route towards the Kyrönjoki river, and in the Middle Ages the Viinikanjoki branch was part of Kyrönkangas winter road.

Photo: Antti Luusalo, Kana House, Parkano

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF THE KARVIANJOKI RIVER

The cultural landscape of the Karvianjoki river is located in Kankaanpää, where the Karvianjoki river flows through the meadow and agricultural landscape of northern Satakunta. The settlement is concentrated on the upper slopes of the riverside and along roadsides. The old building stock dates from the 19th century. In the village of Honkajoki, the river landscape includes natural rapids, grand trees, groves and natural streams.

Photo: Matti Poutvaara, National Board of Antiquities Finna, Kankaanpää

 

On the former border between Honkajoki and Kankaanpää, the rapids of Iso-Haapakoski were the strongest rapids of the municipality. A dam and power plant were built in the rapids in 1927, and the name of the place became Vatajankoski instead of Iso-Hapaakoski. In the 1930s, a power plant bridge was built across the river. The power plant played a major role in the lives of the locals. It improved the living standards of the residents and enabled amenities. The village of Vataja began to grow around the power plant.

Photo: Laura Koivumäki, Vatajankoski, Kankaanpää

Lankoski in Honkajoki is one of the many rapids on the Karvianjoki river. On the shore of the rapids is the Ylinen mill, which serves as a mill museum and is still in its original place. It was originally a watermill, but over the years the machinery was changed to electric. There is an old and well-maintained building stock around the rapids. The main building of Lankoski farm dates back to 1770. The decorative porch belonging to the building was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Photo: Hanna-Mari Kamppikoski, Lankoski, Kankaanpää

KANTTI SAWMILL AND MILL AREA

In Kanttikoski in Karvia there is a culturally and historically significant Kantti sawmill and mill area. It is known that there has been a mill in the rapids as early as in the 18th century. Myllykoski sawmill received its privilege in 1846. The sawmill ended at the beginning of the 20th century, and the mill continued until 1920. After this, Kantinkoski power plant was established in the rapids.

The place is also known as Vartti sawmill and Varttinkoski. In 1932, businessman Julius Vartti bought a power plant in Kanttikoski, an electricity network, a sawmill and an electric mill that was located in the village center. Vartti sawmill was once a major employer in Karvia. It employed about 30-40 people and there were men from almost all of the houses of the village working at the sawmill.

Today, an old stone-vaulted bridge remains in the area, next to which the former mill floor can still be seen. The bridge offers a beautiful view of the surroundings of Varttinkoski.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kantti, Karvia

IDYLLIC RURAL VILLAGES

Across the Geopark, there are beautiful, historic rural villages that are among the most valuable cultural sites in this UNESCO region. The village settlement of the Isojoki river valley and the church landscape of the Isojoki river, Karviankylä and the villages of Leppijärvi and Vuorijärvi in Siikainen are of national value. In addition, the Geopark has numerous other idyllic village environments of great regional and local importance.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Siikainen

VILLAGES AS CULTURAL ENVIRONMENTS

Historic and idyllic rural villages form the settlement-historical stratum of the cultural environment. The concept of a village was born to unite houses in a particular residential area and their holdings for taxpayer accounting. The names of the villages in the tax list were especially important when surnames did not yet exist. In Kauhajoki, for example, the names of houses were not recorded until the 17th century.

Photo: Tuomo Leikkola, Rannanperä, Jämijärvi

The key elements of the agricultural-oriented cultural landscape are fields, meadows and settlements with outbuildings. The location of the settlement has been influenced by, among other things, natural conditions, and therefore there are different types of villages in different parts of  Finland. In Ostrobothnia, for example, settlements were formed on riverside and historic riverside villages can be found in municipalities of Kauhajoki, Isojoki and Karijoki.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, the Hyypänjoki valley, Kauhajoki

THE VILLAGES OF THE GEOPARK

There are many lively rural villages in the Geopark, where village associations and common voluntary work are still popular. The villages host a wide range of activities and events. The villages also offer great opportunities for various nature activities such as skiing, cycling, fishing and swimming. In summer, summer residents and guests enrich village life. Over the years, services have been concentrated in the centres of municipalities and towns, but there is still active cooperation among the residents in the villages.

The rural cultural landscapes and villages of the Geopark area reveal the history of the area. In the villages you can make a time-jump from the early days of the settlement of the region to the present day. In the villages and cultural landscapes, you can admire the old building stock and the beautiful rural landscapes.

Photo: Kurkikorpi Grandma’s

Text: Jenna-Maria Lehmijoki

Main photo: Tuomo Leikkola

Photos of the other headings: Tuomo Leikkola, Riitta Alapiha

Literature (in Finnish): 

Etelä-pohjanmaan maakunnallinen rakennusinventointi 

Hyypänjokilaakson maisemanhoitoalueen käyttö- ja hoitosuunnitelma 

Kankaanpään kulttuuriympäristöohjelma 

Kirjoituksia Vihteljärvestä Vihteljärven kylä – Kirjoituksia (kankaanpaa.fi)

Museovirasto 

Museoviraston Valtakunnallisesti merkittävät rakennetut kulttuuriympäristöt –palvelu RKY  ι  Museovirasto

Parkanon rakennetun ympäristön selvitys 

Papunen, P. 1996. Ikaalinen eräalueena ja kappeliseurakuntana keskiajalta noin vuoteen 1640. Teoksessa Ikaalisten entisen emäpitäjän historia I vuoteen 1640.

Satakunnan Museon y-pakki palvelu y-pakki – tietoa palvelusta (y-pakki.fi)

Uusikallio, Irja. Vatajankosken mekaanikko Päiviö ryhtyi tehdasmaisesti valmistamaan lankaa pitkin kulkevaa valoa eli voimaa Vatajankosken sähkötehtaasta 1920–1940 –luvuilla. Pro gradu -tutkielma. Turun Yliopisto. 2019. Vatajankoski energian välittäjänä / (utupub.fi)

Ympäristö.fi Karvianjoki Ymparisto > Karvianjoen kosket

Get to know the cultural landscapes and the villages of the Geopark

HYYPÄNJOKI VALLEY

Learn more on the web pages of Kauhajoki (in Finnish).

Address: Pantintie 61, Kauhajoki (Hyyppä observation tower)

Coordinates (WGS84): 62.308860, 22.26257 (Hyyppä observation tower)

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

The village settlement of the Isojoki valley and the church landscape of the Isojoki river

Learn more on the web pages of Finnish Heritage Agency (in Finnish).

Address: Honkajoentie 1, Isojoki (Isojoen kirkon parkkipaikka)

Coordinates (WGS84): 62.11373, 21.95791

Photo: Isojoki Church

KANTTI SAWMILL AND MILL AREA

Learn more on the web pages of Karvia (in Finnish).

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kantti, Karvia

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF THE KARVIANJOKI RIVER

Learn more on the inventory of Satakunta Regional Council (in Finnish).

Address: Patotie 19, Kankaanpää (Vatajankoski dam)

Coordinates (WGS84): 61.92592, 22.23992

Photo: Matti Poutvaara, Museovirasto-Finna, Kankaanpää

KARVIANKYLÄ CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Learn more on the Lauhanvuoriregion.fi web page.

Address: Karviankyläntie 592, Karvia

Coordinates (WGS84): 62.21920, 22.67459

Photo: Arto Ala-Karvia

LEPPIJÄRVI VILLAGE

Learn more on the web pages of Siikainen (in Finnish).

Address: Leppijärventie 585, Siikainen (Katselmankallio crossroads)

Coordinates (WGS84): 61.94687, 21.85061 (Katselmankallio crossroads)

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

RUOKOJÄRVI CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Learn more on the web pages of Finnish Heritage Agency (in Finnish).

Address: Laviantie 279, Kankaanpää (parking lot of Kankaanpää Church)

Coordinates (WGS84): 61.79838, 22.40144 (parking lot of Kankaanpää Church)

Photo: Laura Koivumäki

VIHTELJÄRVI-NIEMENKYLÄ CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Learn more on the inventory of Satakunta Regional Council (in Finnish).

Address: Laviantie 1155, Kankaanpää (rural community house Toukola)

Coordinates (WGS84): 61.74741, 22.52090 (rural community house Toukola)

Photo: Pasi Talvitie

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF THE VIINIKANJOKI RIVER

Learn more on the web pages of the fishers’ association of Parkano (in Finnish).

Address: Parkanontie 118, Parkano (Haapaslammi)

Coordinates (WGS84): 62.01975, 23.02347 (Haapaslammi)

Photo: Antti Luusalo

VUORIJÄRVI VILLAGE

Learn more on the web pages of Siikainen (in Finnish).

Address: Erkkilä-Ikävalkotie 31, Siikainen

Coordinates (WGS84): 61.83508, 21.98838

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

Fall in love with the cultural landscapes and the villages of the Geopark!