Seinäjoki

photo © Visit Finland

Tourism Seinäjoki & Seinäjoki Guide

This delightful town in Southern Ostrobothnia manages to mix the old and new to surprisingly pleasant effect. The old is best represented by the many museums, especially in the historic area of Törnävä where the Regional Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia has 20 separate parts; the new by the Alvar Aalto designed Seinäjoki Cultural Centre, comprised of six buildings including the impressive Lakeuden Risti Church. It also hosts 3 of Finland’s biggest music festivals – Provinssirock, Vauhtiajot and Tangomarkkinat.

Seinäjoki has a rich cultural life, with all fields in the arts represented. The Seinäjoki Town Theatre is known throughout the country for the quality of the plays performed, the city has several orchestras, the largest of which is The Seinäjoki Orchester, and excellent concert halls including the impressive Seinäjoki Hall. The Art Gallery in the cultural centre puts on many exhibitions annually, of local and international artists. The city preserves its past in Törnävä, in the Regional Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia. The museum is comprised of 20 separate units, mostly located in the historic area of Törnävä, and include a Peasants Museum, Gun Powder Museum, Knife Workshop, Pharmaceutical Museum, an estate manager’s room, an old windmill, a blacksmith’s shop and many other interesting historical buildings. All together, there are over 34,000 items in the collection. The museum is located in the heart of Törnävänpuisto park, a popular spot to relax or picnic, or even to sunbathe on the beach there.

Tourist attractions Seinäjoki, Finland

Close to the cultural centre is The Civil Guard House, also designed by Alvar Aalto, which includes the Lotta Svärd Museum, the only museum in Finland dedicated to the Lotta Svärd women’s voluntary defense organisation.

Its unusual for a single architect to design all the buildings for important municipal institutions in a town, but this is the case with Alvaro Aalto and the Seinäjoki Cultural Centre, which comprises six buildings that were mainly completed between 1960 and 1968. The first building was Lakeuden Risti Church, also known as the Cross of the Plain church, whose bell tower stands at an impressive 65m. In 1962 City Hall was completed, followed by the City Library in 1965, the Parish Centre in 1966, and the State Office Building in 1968. Plans for the City Theatre were put on hold, but by 1987 this too had been completed. Today, the Aalto Centre as a whole has become an internationally renowned destination for architects from around the world, and other construction and design experts.

The 5 day long tango festival, Tangomarkkinat, is held every July and can attract as many as 100,000 visitors to the city, proving the unlikely importance of tango to the Finns. The festival culminates with the crowning of the King and Queen of Tango for the year, and part of Kirkkokatu street becomes a dance street where the tango is performed day and night. The next largest festival to be held here is the 3 day rock festival, Provinssirock, which attracts over 20,000 young people to the city every June. The top Finnish artists are joined by many international acts, and the concerts take place in the beautiful surroundings of Törnävänpuisto park. Finally, in late July, Seinäjoki hosts Vauhtiajot, the biggest street race and one of the biggest festivals in Finland. There are a number of events in many classes, including Super Touring, GT3 Nordic, the Legends Trophy, BMW Xtreme, V1600, and X-treme Drift Challenge, all taking place Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon. In the evening the crowds are entertained by some of the biggest names in Finnish rock and metal on two stages in the around the city centre. Vauhtiajot Rock & Race was picked as the best car race in Finland for the last two years!