Törnävän museoalue, Törnäväntie 23
Törnävä Museum Area’s summer is filled with the echoes of history. This season, the highlight of Törnävä is the ‘Suljetut Ovet’ (Closed Doors) museum drama tours and Törnävän Kartano summer café. As you arrive at the Törnävä Museum Area, you journey towards the atmosphere of the 1800s. The picturesque and park-like Törnävä Museum Area, with its numerous buildings, invites everyone to explore the history of Seinäjoki.
You can find the cultural experiences of Törnävän Kartano and the museum area all gathered here – https://www.seinajoki.fi/etusivu/tornavan-kartano/
The café housed within the magnificent estate provides a splendid opportunity to immerse oneself in the aristocratic ambiance of Törnävä while indulging in delicacies. The doors of the manor café open on Saturdays during the summer from June 10th to August 19th, from 12 PM to 5 PM. The Manor café will be closed during Midsummer and the Provinssi festival. The café is run by Lotta Sokero, who crafts the delectable pastries in the manor’s renovated kitchen.
How about a delightfully delicious strawberry cake, chocolate pastry, sugared doughnut, or creamy ice cream drizzled with special spruce shoot syrup? The manor café’s offerings comprise traditional flavors that would have also pleased the manor’s former aristocratic residents. The splendid ambiance of the manor is evident in its gilded decorations and once opulent, colorfully patterned wallpapers. On the benches in the manor’s backyard, savory and sweet delicacies are enjoyed while admiring the garden’s roses and other meticulously tended plantings.
Among the beautiful buildings of the museum area, one is the Kivinavetta, known as the South Ostrobothnia Museum, which is housed in the original barn of the manor. The South Ostrobothnia Museum presents the history of the region and Seinäjoki in its ‘Mihinä me ollahan?’ (Where Are We?) core exhibition. On the second floor of the building, you’ll find the space for temporary exhibitions, known as the Vinttigalleria.
The manor’s old dairy, Keidas, has been renovated as part of the museum experience, offering a nature and geology exhibition. The bright pink Punatulkku buildings in Törnävän Kartano’s courtyard include the overseer’s cottage, artisan workshops, and a rural pharmacy. The museum area is divided by a road, on one side of which stands the Liinamaantupa with its outbuildings. The best way to explore the museum’s buildings is through guided tours led by knowledgeable museum staff.
For larger groups, you can arrange guided tours here – https://www.seinajoki.fi/kulttuuri-ja-liikunta/museo/tervetuloa-museoon/opastukset-ja-mobiilioppaat/
The grand red Liinamaantupa is filled with 19th-century artifacts that tell the story of rural life. Lavishly decorated furniture, rye bread hanging from the ceiling, and handicrafts are carefully arranged, with the intention of preserving the feeling that the inhabitants of the cottage never truly left their home. The Liinamaantupa, along with its outbuildings and the splendid windmill, have been relocated to the museum area from the surrounding region. Each building in the museum area holds its own significance and exudes the stories of the everyday life of those who lived in the area.
The stately yellow Törnävän Kartano (Törnävä Manor) has witnessed many phases over the years. Within its walls, several families have lived, each leaving behind intriguing and even mysterious stories. One of these historical tales comes to life as the manor’s doors open to curious visitors through the ‘Suljetut Ovet’ (Closed Doors) museum drama tour.
The beautiful nature is one of the highlights of Törnävän Museum Area. The Seinäjoki River flows behind the manor. In 1798, a merchant from Vaasa named Abraham Wasastjerna gazed at the flow of the river and measured the radiant green forest with his eyes. He had a vision to establish an ironworks in that location. About three kilometers away from where Abraham contemplated his plans stood a small village named Seinäjoki. The manor, built in 1806, was once the hub of South Ostrobothnia’s agriculture, and it became the home of Abraham Wasastjerna’s descendants who settled in Seinäjoki.
The ‘Suljetut Ovet’ (Closed Doors) museum drama tour held at the manor narrates the story of Gustaf Adolf Wasastjerna, the child of Abraham Wasastjerna, and the manor’s housekeeper, Catharina Jernberg. The playwright, director, and versatile theatre creator Juulia Soidinaho delved into the history of the manor and discovered the elements for the drama. This story drawn from history tells of the unexpected love between Gustaf Adolf and Catharina
Behind the closed doors of the manor, the sounds of conversation can be heard. The floorboards, which have borne the weight of many visitors, creak underfoot as one’s gaze explores the bourgeois-style interior. The beautiful space is adorned with gilding and Rococo-style furniture. The actors of the museum drama tour are finishing up their rehearsals. The museum drama tour is ready for its first performance of the summer. During the performance, the audience gets to journey alongside the actors, moving from emotions to different rooms.
The wind rustles through the linden trees along the manor’s park avenue as the birds quiet down for the night. How many onlookers, whose outlines are no longer visible, are observing the rehearsals of the play? Juulia Soidinaho and the other actors can only imagine the reception their work would receive from those it is about. The ‘Suljetut Ovet’ museum drama tours take the audience on a journey into Törnävän Kartano’s history, guided by a drama-filled love story. Reserve your tickets and come see what lies behind the closed doors of Törnävän Kartano!
Suljetut ovet -Museum drama tour
- Location: Törnävän kartano, Törnäväntie 23, 60200 Seinäjoki
- All museum drama tours have been performed for this summer. Stay tuned for next year’s performances.
Photographs and text by Ilta Lahti @ilta.lauriina