the rapids1897
heavy 1480kt
light 646kt


”Finland's rapids paradise”

Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

Lake Näsijärvi, which reaches far to the north, empties its waters through Tampere in Tammerkoski rapids with a fall of 18 metres to Lake Pyhäjärvi, from where the waterway continues south. The banks of the Tammerkoski were a favourable location for a town because of the water power and the waterways across the lakes. The right to fish the salmon swimming in the rapids was a bone of contention already in the Middle Ages, and milling rights in the rapids were admitted to the people who were able to build a mill. The rapids also formed the borderline between two provinces, Häme and Satakunta.

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It is probable that people initially forded the rocky and churning rapids on a raft at Ratinanniemi. A bridge across the quiet waters in the middle part of the rapids existed already in the Middle Ages and the local peasants were ordered to maintain the bridge. If they did not, they were fined for it. The wooden bridge built in 1807 lasted only for some four decades. The next bridge was also of wood, now the central support of the arched vaults was a crib filled with stones. The iron bridge built in 1884 also soon proved to be too fragile and narrow. The present Hämeensilta, made of reinforced concrete and covered with reddish granite, was finished in 1929.

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A wooden pedestrian bridge was built upstream between the factories of Finlayson and Tampella in 1858; it was possible to walk across the rapids from Messukylä via Konsulinsaari. At the turn of the century the traffic between the city centre and the new district of Kyttälä got easier after the building of the stone bridge Satakunnansilta.

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