Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Tampere, Finland

They have SO many postcrossing meet-ups in Finland, I'm a little jealous. It's nice to receive cards from these meet-ups, though, and the kindness of some postcrossers is really touching. This card is from an international meet-up in Tampere this May.

I've been to Tampere quite a few times as I have relatives who don't live too far from there. It's a really nice town, not too small but not overwhelmingly huge, either. I would've really liked to go to university there but so do a lot of other people as well, and my points in the entrance examination were only enough for me to get a place in Savonlinna. Oh well. At least I'm out of Savonlinna now :P

Tampere is a city in southern Finland. It has a population of 213,344, growing to approximately 300,000 people in the conurbation and over 340,000 in the metropolitan area. Tampere is the third most-populous municipality in Finland, after the Greater Helsinki municipalities of Helsinki and Espoo.

Tampere is located between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres (59 ft), the rapids linking them, Tammerkoski, have been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity. Tampere is dubbed the "Manchester of Finland" for its industrial past as the former center of Finnish industry, and this has given rise to its Finnish nickname "Manse" and terms such as "Manserock".

Tampere is known for its active cultural life. Some of the most popular writers in Finland, such as Väinö Linna, Kalle Päätalo and Hannu Salama, hail from Tampere. These are all known as writers depicting the lives of working class people. Also from a working class background was the famous poet Lauri Viita of the Pispala district (which is the original home of Hannu Salama too). Tampere also has old theatre traditions, with such established institutions as Tampereen Työväen Teatteri, Tampereen Teatteri and Pyynikin Kesäteatteri, which is an open-air theatre with the oldest revolving auditorium in Europe. Tampereen Teatterikesä or Tampere Theatre Festival is an international theatre festival held in Tampere every August.

The main tourist attraction is the Särkänniemi amusement park, which includes a dolphinarium and the landmark Näsinneula tower, topped by a revolving restaurant. Other sites of interest are Tampere Cathedral, Tampere City Library Metso ("wood grouse"), Kaleva Church (both designed by Reima Pietilä), the Tampere Hall for conferences and the Tampere Market Hall.

Tampere is also home to one of the last museums in the world dedicated to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Lenin moved to Tampere in August 1905 and during a subsequent Bolshevik conference in the city met Joseph Stalin for the first time. Lenin eventually fled Tampere (for Sweden) in November 1907 when being pursued by the Russian Okhrana. Lenin would not return to any part of the Russian Empire until ten years later, when he heard of the start of the Russian Revolution of 1917. ...and there is a Spy Museum in Tampere as well, which I'd love to visit one day. :D

The stamp on the left was issued earlier this year and shows the Finnish flag. The smaller stamp is from a set of 2 definitives, also issued this year, depicting birch trees.

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