In Pispala, the scenery, the author, and his words become one. Lauri Viita (1916–1965) is one of the most significant Finnish writers of all time. This working-class writer was born in Pispala, Tampere, and followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a carpenter. When his first collection of poems, Betonimylläri (‘Concrete Man’), was published, in 1947, Viita was not yet ready to give up his day job as a carpenter. However, as the popularity of the poetry collection grew to exceed even his own ambitious expectations, he dared to leave his old profession. Viita’s most famous novel, Moreeni (‘Moraine’), published in 1950, depicts a working-class family’s colourful life in Pispala in the early 20th century.
The museum, in Viita’s childhood home, showcases his life and general working-class life in Pispala during the 1920s and 1930s. The museum displays an exhibition on the author’s life and the flat, consisting of a kitchen and a chamber, in its original style.
If you visit Tampere’s Pispala, we recommend that you visit, in addition to the Lauri Viita Museum, the Pyynikki Observation Tower with its gorgeous views over the Pyynikki ridge. The café at the base of the tower is known for its delicious doughnuts. In Pispala, you can also bathe in the atmospheric Rajaportti sauna, built at the beginning of the 20th century.
Museum’s 10 Gems
Photos © Lauri Viita Museum