Törnävänsaari is the oldest place inhabited area in Seinäjoki city. Located about 3km from the city centre, Törnävänsaari has a open-air countryside museum. The goal of this museum/park is to demonstrate older lifestyles and pursuits to modern audiences while enjoying the peaceful gurgle of the river. Törnävänsaari also hosts various open-air events and is a popular recreational area for locals.
Törnävä consists of three different areas: the field area (Törnävän kenttä), Brykärinpuisto park, and Törnävänsaari island. Törnävänsaari is more lush than the other parts of Törnävä with some forest, lawn areas, and a lovely bubbling river called Friskinlammi going through it. There are a series of small waterfalls in the river, grandiously called the Törnävä dam.
We visited Törnävänsaari in the middle of the winter, and the temperature was around -15°C. Amazingly enough, there was enough speed to the water in the river to keep it flowing even in those bone-chilling temperatures. Since we had some teenagers in our group, we stopped to take nostalgic “old-timey” pictures for Instagram by the river and the museum. Eventually, after lot of eye-rolling from me and few frozen noses (and toes!) among the teens, we started walking again. Thankfully it was a bit slippery after some intermittent thawing and freezing, so we kept warm just by trying to keep our balance!
The Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia (Etelä-Pohjanmaan museo) is at the centre of Törnävänsaari. Already in 1798, an industrious man founded an ironworks in the area, leading him to be raised to the Swedish peerage later on under the name Wasastjerna. The ironworks was active for about 100 years, and the museum exhibits many areas used then such as the large stone cattle shed.
There are also several “imported” heritage buildings at Törnävänsaari which have been built between 1600-1800. These buildings include a large traditional house with a common eating/recreation room at both ends (kaksifooninkinen tuparati in Finnish), one for the house owner’s family, one for the servants. Another lovely building is the old windmill. There is also a traditional two-storied grain threshing cabin (riihi in Finnish) behind the windmill: this is where maids and farmhands used to sleep in.
The island has seen and heard it all
If you visit Törnävä in the summer, you may notice that access is suddenly limited. This is because Törnävä is very, no… make that extremely popular as an event venue. One of the biggest rock festivals, Provinssi rock, is held at Törnävä every year. A lot of concerts are held there, and there is also a popular summer theatre group.
Directions to Törnävänsaari
Törnävänsaarentie 1, 60200 Seinäjoki.
How to get there: Törnävänsaari is a suburb of Seinäjoki city. It can be easily reached from Seinäjoki city centre, since it is only 3km from the centre.
- Car: Type Törnäväntie 20 in your navigator. There are some parking spaces on the island but note that they may be busy.
- Bicycle: You can easily cycle to Törnävänsaari since there are dedicated cycling tracks on the roads.
- Public transport: The best way to get to Seinäjoki from elsewhere in Finland is either by train or by bus. There are buses going to Törnävä from the centre of Seinäjoki. The closest bus stop is called Törnäväntie Kartanonpuisto. Check out local bus timetables here.
Accessibility: The open-air museum within the popular park has wide, smooth paths suitable for everyone. The roads on Törnävänsaari are lit, so you can enjoy the area even when it’s dark.
Facilities: There are no toilets in the area or a possibility to build a fire.
When to go: We recommend visiting this area at any time of the year since it offers a great view into the history of Finland.