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Daniel Medelplan (1657–1737) has a place in history as the author of the Finnish ABCs book. In the Greater Wrath era (1714–1721), there were no printing houses in Finland. There was a shortage of books suitable for those learning to read, and the clergy of Pälkäne ordered their own ABCs book from Medelplan. He carved the text of the 28-page book into wooden blocks, printed the books, and took care of pretty much everything else related to the production of these books. To the last page of his book, he drew a picture of a rooster. As far as known, this started a tradition and for decades all ABC books in Finland were illustrated with a rooster. No copy of the Medelplan book of ABCs has survived to modern times. The last known copy was destroyed in the fire of Turku in 1827.

aapiskukkoThe private Daniel Medelplan Museum, opened in 2005, is situated at the birthplace of the wooden ABC Book of Pälkäne, in the village of Kukkola. The permanent exhibition narrates, through artefacts and text, the history of Medelplan’s ABCs, as well as of the printing profession. Naturally the famous roosters are also present in artefacts, works of art and books of ABCs from several collectors. There are also small clay roosters and postcards for sale. On the veranda, you can see small-scale art exhibitions.

sisäkuvaA memorial stone has been erected in the museum yard. There is the Niitty-Seppälä shop, a summer market, and a café, as well as a bird watching tower near the museum. If you want to try an old village swing, you need look no further than the annual swing festival at the village of Kukkola held on the last Saturday in June.

Museum’s 10 Gems

Photos: Miia Hinnerichsen, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum


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