Museokeskus Vapriikki

Tampere is a city in southern Finland that is approximately a two-hour drive north of Finland’s capital city of Helsinki.  The city was once home to numerous industries in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as can be attested by the presence of old factory buildings there.  Nevertheless, the buildings are well-kept and the city is extremely clean today.  In fact, Finland ranks among the cleanest countries in the world.

Near Tampere’s center is a museum called the Museokeskus Vapriikki, which opened in 1996. Museokeskus means “museum center.”  Vapriikki is a newer Finnish word that derives from the Swedish word fabrik.  Unsurprisingly, fabrik means fabric in English.  The Vapriiki museum received its name as a homage to the old textile (fabric) mills of Tampere.  I believe that the Vapriiki’s building is itself part of an old factory building.

The Vapriikki has a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits.  Although the exhibits are located in the same building, each permanent exhibit is called its own separate “museum.”  Unfortunately, because the Vapriikki is large, I did not have a chance to see all of these “museums.”  I sped through the Doll Museum and never even saw the Tampere Mineral Museum or Natural History Museum.  However, I did see the Postal Museum, which provided a history of Finland’s postal service and displayed a large variety of Finnish stamps.  I also saw the Hockey Hall of Fame, which had the clothing and medals of different Finnish hockey players, including some from different Winter Olympic Games.

This is the hockey jersey of Teemu Selänne when he played for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in California. Nicknamed “the Finnish Flash,” Selänne is the highest scoring Finn in the National Hockey League.

My cousin and I spent the most time in the Finnish Museum of Games and the Media Museum Rupriikki.  The Finnish Museum of Games provides an historical overview of both board games and video games, primarily focusing on video games.  To my cousin’s delight, visitors can even play some of the old video games.  Similarly, the Media Museum Rupriikki showcases the history of media, so includes old televisions, computers, radios, etc.

While I was at the Vapriikki, one of the temporary exhibits there was called Pajari’s Men, which was about the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.  However, my cousin and I spent more time in another temporary exhibit called The Forbidden City.  That exhibit contained gorgeous objects brought directly from Beijing, China’s Forbidden City.

If you are ever in Tampere, Finland, I highly recommend visiting the Vapriikki.  I initially went there because my cousin wanted to see Finland’s Hockey Hall of Fame, but was presently surprised to discover that the museum has so many more wonderful exhibits as well.

Sources and Further Reading

“Museum Centre.” Vapriikki. (accessed March 20, 2021).

Museokeskus Vapriikki. Vapriikki 2017.” Issuu. February 20, 2017. (accessed March 20, 2021).


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