With a picturesque location beside the Tammerkoski rapids, Vapriikki is a museum centre that offers things to see and do for the whole family. We host about a dozen exhibitions each year, with varied themes, including history, technology, and natural sciences.
Vapriikki is also home to the Natural History Museum of Tampere, the Media Museum Rupriikki, the Mineral Museum, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, the Postal Museum and The Finnish Museum of Games. Our visitors will also be greeted by museum restaurant Valssi and the Vapriikki museum shop, which offers a wide selection of books, gifts, and souvenirs.
From factory to museum
Vapriikki is housed in the old Tampella factory hall, whose oldest parts date back to the 1880s. The largest exhibition hall, a hundred metres long and 16 metres high, was built in the 1910s–1920s.
Vapriikki opened to the public in 1996, and the building was fully ready as a museum in 2000. The total surface area of the museum centre is approximately 14,000 m2, half of which is devoted to exhibition space and premises open to the public.
The industrial history of the Tampella area began in the 1840s with a small blast furnace. In 1856, Gustaf August Wasastjerna, the owner of the Seinäjoki iron works, founded a machine shop by the rapids, while Adolf Törngren, Master of Law, founded a linen mill. Five years later the two merged to form the Tampere Linen and Iron Industry Limited Company (since named Tampella), which had a wide range of production including locomotives, turbines and damask linens.
Textile production ended in the 1970s, and the industrial use of the last buildings by the rapids ceased in the 1990s. The Swedish word ‘fabrik’ became the Finnish ‘vapriikki’ in the last century, and the museum centre was named Vapriikki to emphasise the significance of its location in Finnish industrial history.