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My Jyväskylä is a turquoise ball

Tuesday 21.7.2020 : Travel Guides

Tourist guide Minna Korhonen

Tourist guide Minna Korhonen

My Jyväskylä is a turquoise ball


I settled in Jyväskylä 25 years ago after getting a job at the Kangas paper mill. My new hometown and its urban history soon became my hobby. My interest in Jyväskylä and the stories it has to tell have now led me to share them as a tour guide.

As an engineer, I’m interested in the history of industry, in old-fashioned machinery and in technological development. The history of industry is also the history of urbanism.

In Jyväskylä, you’ll hear guides tell you the story of a strong-willed mill director who built himself a castle, as well as the workers who moved to the city from around the countryside. The factory worker may have thought his one-room house, built on a company plot, even fancier than the castle, as after all, it was his.

As a guide I’m proud to be able to show visitors around the Kangas area, but a little wistful at the same time. The age of papermaking in this city is now over, the red brick buildings now under new ownership. Today, Kangas is Jyväskylä’s creative and ecological neighbourhood. In Kangas, you can see the latest ideas of urban development, without forgetting the industrial history of the area.

I’m also interested in the arts. The public works of art in the city make up a huge, free exhibition that’s always open for visitors. A different work of art is displayed every summer in front of the Jyväskylä Art Museum on the shared street. This summer’s piece instantly became my favourite.

Jonna Suurhasko’s and Jukka Silokunnas’s Local Fellow is a turquoise ball, three metres in diameter. The metal sphere, originally made in Germany in the late 19th century, is a rag pulp digester that used to bubble in the Kangas paper mill. And turquoise is my favourite colour! Local Fellow splendidly embodies what Jyväskylä is to me.

The artists describe their work as follows: “Local Fellow is that person around town you don’t know personally but keep running into. Even though you’ve never talked, you’ve inadvertently written a story together. You’re fellow travellers, meeting at a narrow spot where you need to decide if you’ll yield, or walk boldly towards an encounter.”

Here’s to future bold encounters in Jyväskylä!




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