Tampere (Swedish name Tammerfors) is a city in southern Finland located between two lakes: Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres, the Tammerkoski rapids linking them have been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity.
Tampere, with about 200,000 inhabitants in the city itself, and more than 300,000 including the neighbouring municipalities, is the second most important urban centre in Finland after the Helsinki region.
Tampere was founded as a market place around Tammerkoski river in 1775 by Gustav III of Sweden and four years later, 1779, it was granted a full township status. At this time Tampere was rather small town, consisting of only a few squarekilometers of land around Tammerkoski rapids.
Tampere grew as a major market place and industrial centre in the 19th century. During the latter half of 19th century Tampere had almost half of Finland's industrial labour.
Town's industrial nature in the 19th and 20th centuries gave it the nickname 'Manchester of the North.' Tampere has also another nickname based on this history which is still sometimes familiarly used by Finns: Manse.
A newer, but less common, nickname is Nääsville, a portmanteau between the Tamperean dialect word nääs (meaning something like "you know") and the American city of Nashville.
Tampere was enlarged by joining some neighbouring areas. Messukylä was incorporated in 1947, Lielahti 1950, Aitolahti in 1966 and finally Teisko in 1972.
Tampere was known for its textile and metal industry, but these have been largely replaced by information technology and telecommunications industry during 1990's.
Technology centre Hermia in Hervanta is home to many companies in these industries.
Tampere was one of the strategically important scenes during the Civil War in Finland (January 28 - May 15 1918). White forces captured Tampere seizing about 10 000 Red prisoners on April 6.
As of 2003 Tampere has a little over 200,000 inhabitants and is the third biggest city in Finland. But according to European Union's definition, Tampere is not a city due to its low population density. Tampere's appeal is much brought about by the two universities, University of Tampere (UTA) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT), located in Hervanta. Each university has some 10,000 students.
A local food speciality is mustamakkara.
Tampere is part of Pirkanmaa region and is surrounded by the municipalities of Kangasala, Kuru, Lempäälä, Nokia, Orivesi, Pirkkala, Ruovesi and Ylöjärvi.
Tampere's sporting scene is driven by the two ice hockey teams Tappara and Ilves . They both have had great impact on the Finnish ice hockey culture and are the most successful teams in Finland. Football is also raising its head in the city with Tampere United winning the 2001 Finnish championship.
Sites of interest
The main tourist attraction is the Särkänniemi amusement park, which includes a dolphinarium and the landmark Näsinneula tower, topped by a revolving restaurant.
Pispala is a ridge located between lake Näsijärvi and lake Pyhäjärvi. It used to house the majority of industrial labour in late 19th and early 20th century. Currently it is a popular residential area and together with neighbouring Pyynikki it forms an important historical area of Tampere.
- Population 200 980
- Founded 1779
- To Helsinki 173 km
- Area 690,6 km²
- Max temp °C +29,8
- Min temp °C -26,4
- Pop. density 378/km²
There has recently been some controversy in Finland because of a new European Union directive of cities. Most prominently, this directive does not count Tampere as a city, because its population density is too low. According to the directive, only six places in Finland count as cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku, Lahti and Jyväskylä.