Finlayson ironworks and metallurgy factory was established in 1820 by the Scottish industrialist James Finlayson when he was noticed the energy potential of the free rapids in Tampere. Machine business was not very profitable and Finlayson started to manufacture and weave cotton yarn and textiles. James Finlayson sold the factory to Carl Samuel Nottbeck and Georg Rauch already in 1836. Oldest still existing building, "Kuusvooninkinen" or the "Old Factory", was completed in 1837. It was the first modern industrial building in Finland including for example an automatic sprinkler system.

Finlayson factory extended quickly. In the 1850s it was already the largest factory site Nordic countries. In 1900 Finlayson had nearly 3300 employees and it was a “town inside the town”. Finlayson had its own church, school, ships and electric railway. First electric light in Finland was also turned on in a building called Plevna (1882). Nottbeck family built two magnificent palaces near the factory area.

During the Finnish Civil War in 1918 Tampere was the center of red army. Poor living conditions turned Finlayson and near Tampella factory labour to support the socialism and many of them were joined to red guards. Heavy battles were fought in the factory area and city centre. Plenty of Finlayson workers were died in battles of executed when the white army conquered Tampere.

Finlayson textile business was downsized seriously since the 1980s and manufacturing ended in Tampere in the beginning of the 1990s. Today there are museums, offices, movie theater and shopping centre in old factory buildings. The rapids together with old red-brick factory buildings make the area one of Finland's national heritage landscapes.

Comments

Your name


Risto (SpottingHistory admin) said 8 years ago
Thanks Mari, very good clarification. I updated the description.

Mari from Switzerland said 8 years ago
In your article you mention that James Finlayson is English industrialist, however, I need to correct that he is Scottish.


Details

Founded: 1820-1920
Category: Industrial sites in Finland
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Filippo M (3 months ago)
Finlayson became the largest industrial enterprise in Scandinavia. This growth was based on unique courage and open-mindedness. The company’s weaving hall had the honour of switching on the first electric lights in the Nordic. The company had its own hospital, daycare centre, school, fire brigade, pharmacy and nursing home. The company even its own social security system at a time when no one had yet heard of such a thing. More significantly, Finlayson was the first company in Finland to offer women an opportunity to an independent life: an apartment and livelihood. Women’s status in Finnish society is evident in the fact that in 1906 Finland became the first country in Europe to grant women the right to vote.
Sami Mehtonen (4 months ago)
Atmospheric, decent restaurants and services for most tastes. Even the interior has kept some of the rustic factory vibe. Great archotecture, great food. Great for photo ops too!
Laura Wilkinson (5 months ago)
Beautiful and surprising. Can find new little nooks. Home to many nice restaurants and cafes. Lovely place in the summer but also worth seeing in winter.
Heroify! (8 months ago)
Beautiful old factory area right at the city centre. Features many shops, restaurants and a brew house. Great place to walk and explore, and you can get an awesome view of the city at the rooftop bar. Best of it all is a swimming spot behind the factory where you can safely dip into the Tammer rapids.
Harri Kirjonen (13 months ago)
Bunch of good restaurants in a very nice milieu.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Holy Trinity Column

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.

The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.

Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.

In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.

The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.