3 maps Maastokartta, 1:20 000

maps, Various Artists, 2016

maps, Various Artists, 2016

What appears to be a deserted city centre is actually the setting of Finland’s only book town, with an extensive library, a residency place for writers, and a mesmerizing bookshop. 

Tuula, who runs the bookshop, quite amazes us with this information. The international organization of book towns is a concept initiated by Richard Booth of Hay-on-Wye in Wales. It is set up as a network of independent booksellers who organize festivals and other activities to support local (mostly rural) development and tourism. Business is going quite well, as Tuula assures us there are plenty of readers out there in the lake district. Ten years ago, the shop owner rebuilt this house from the ground up using most of the beams from the previous building. He also copied the original style of the house although he adapted it a bit to accommodate the bookshop.

We stumble on two books by Heikki Helin about the local town life over the last century. Although it is written in Finnish, we are very much drawn by the comparison the writer makes between the vibrant town with all its various businesses between ten and three decades ago, and the almost empty town centre today. This town is exemplary of what we have encountered on our trip through Europe. 

Apart from the two books, Various Artists bought three Maastokartta, maps on a scale of 1:20000.

  • seuropa.ifa (3 maps Maastokartta, 1:20 000)
  • seuropa.if.r worked by innumerat 
  • seuropa.if.z worked by Martaque
  • seuropa.if.h worked by Robert Ingelbreč