Akaa is a municipality with three town centers in Pirkanmaa, Finland. It was created in 2007 when the town of Toijala and the municipality of Viiala were united into a single town. The municipality of Kylmäkoski was consolidated with Akaa on 1 January 2011. As of 2017, there are 16 892 inhabitants.
The history of Akaa begins in 1483, when it was separated from the parish of Sääksmäki and became a church parish. Municipality status was granted in 1870. Later on, Akaa was divided as Urjala and Kylmäkoski were split off it. In 1932 the town of Viiala, a part of modern-day Akaa, was established and areas of municipalities of Akaa, Vesilahti and Lempäälä were added to it. The municipality of Akaa ceased to exist in 1946 and a new town called Toijala was formed containing the area of Akaa's old church village and its surroundings.
In beginning of 2007 Toijala and Viiala were joined as the modern-day municipality of Akaa. Kylmäkoski was incorporated in 2011.
There are three town centres in Akaa, called Toijala, Viiala and Kylmäkoski. Toijala has been a major railway junction since 1876. The main track from Helsinki to north goes through the town, and another track towards Turku splits off here. In 1903, a wallpaper factory was founded. There are two operating wallpaper factories in the town, as well as metal and machinery works.
Viiala is a historic industrial town. The first steam sawmill was founded in 1873 and for most of 20th century there were a plywood factory, a leather factory and a file factory. However, by 2004 globalization had closed these all, but the buildings still remain.
Toijala and Viiala have railway stations. Most long-distance and all regional trains stop in Toijala, whereas only regional trains stop in Viiala. Timetables are available from VR website. By long-distance train Helsinki-Toijala takes about 1 hour 20 minutes, and Tampere-Toijala about 25 minutes.
Long-distance buses stop at Toijala junction on highway 3, but there's a 3-kilometre walk from there to Toijala. There are regional bus lines to Urjala and Valkeakoski with a couple of departures per day. Because of this, everyone takes the train.
Toijala has its own junction on highway 3 and Viiala on highway 9. Kylmäkoski is along highway 9.
During summer there are scheduled cruises on Vanajavesi lake from Tampere and Hämeenlinna operated by Hopealinjat. More information on their webpage.
Internal bus lines link the three centres together, but there are only a few departures per day. The most practical ways would be a car or a bicycle, as public transportation is basically nonexistent, as is often the case in Finnish towns. The main sights in Toijala are close enough to each other to be visited by foot.
- 1 Locomotive museum, Ryödintie 3, Toijala (at the old railway roundhouse visible east from Toijala railway station platforms), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jun-Aug: 10:00-16:00. A collection of Finnish state railways' rolling stock, including two operable steam locomotives and several operable diesel locomotives. Check the website for special events such as running days. Adults €6, children €3.
- 2 Wallpaper museum Pihlgren & Ritola, Satamatie 8, Toijala (if there is no-one onsite, call the number on the signboard at the end of the old magazine building), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Jun-Aug: Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. An operational wallpaper factory doubling as a museum. Oldest machines from 19th century. A factory outlet shop is open throughout the year.
- 3 Kinnari home museum, Kinnarintie 42, ☎ . Jun-Aug: W Su 13:0-20:00. A museum displaying traditional Finnish rural lifestyle and associated items. A highlight would be the collection of more than 40 different wooden shovels. The location link is correct, OpenStreetmap is just missing a road here.
- 4 Baby carriage museum Mukelo, Riitiäläntie 202, ☎ . Jun-Aug: W Su 13:00-18:00 or by appointment. A collection of more than 300 different baby carriages in the oldest surviving house of Viiala town, the Toorikka manor main building. Oldest carriages are from 1870s.
- 5 The church of Akaa, Sontulantie 2, Toijala, ☎ . Only open during services, check the website. A large (by Finnish standards) neo-gothic wooden church built in 1817. Tower modified in late 19th century. Altarpiece from 1881, ceiling paintings from 1935.
- 6 The Church of Viiala, Nordintie 3, ☎ . Only open during services, check the website. The first church built in Finland after World War II, opened in 1950. Built almost completely on donated money and materials. The concrete used was mixed with cement donated by American Lutheran congregations. Interesting altarpiece depicting Christ in Viiala town.
- 7 The church of Kylmäkoski, Kylmäkoskentie 137, ☎ . Only open during services, check the website. A brick church with national-romantic architectural style, construction finished in 1900.
- 8 1918 civil war mass grave of reds, Riihiniemi, Toijala (Map link). A memorial at a site of a mass grave where more than 400 were buried following executions in 1918 civil war. Finding it can be a bit hard, just walk through the residential area to the small forest patch until you see it.
- 9 Näkymä, Nahkialanlampi, Toijala (walk around the lake). July-August. Annual environmental arts display, situated mostly around the Nahkialanlampi lake. Every year one of the works is left in place and those can be found around the lake and the town of Toijala. Free.
- 10 Laaksola culture house, Ryödintie 2. depending on exhibition. Laaksola culture house has varying art exhibitions. Opening hours depend on the exhibition so it is easiest to just walk there and see if it is open.
- 11 Haihunkoski rapids, Rautatienkatu, Viiala. The rapids are on the Tarpianjoki river with a picnic place and the ruins of an old mill. Also there's a beautiful stone arc bridge dating from 19th century.
- Solar system scale model. There's a scale model of the Solar System in the Toijala centre. It is in 1:3 000 000 000 scale so all the planets are found in Toijala, but Voyager 1 has gotten as far as Viiala. A recent addition to the model is Proxima Centauri, which can be found in Yulara, Australia.
Festivals and fairs
- Toijalan markkinat (in Toijala city center). The traditional Toijala fair, organized by the local Lions club. Sales booths and a beer tent. Early June.
- Hunajahulinat (in Toijala city center). A more recent tradition, an annual honey-themed town fair with sales booths, live music and of course a beer tent. Late August.
- Vasenkätisten vestivaali (in Viiala). A one-day music festival organized by a local non-profit. Usually held in early July. Name translates to "festival of the left-handed".
- 1 Lastumäki disc golf course, Köyvärintie (in the forest near the school). If you like disc golf, this is one of the two free courses available in Akaa. It is a nine-hole course in a slightly hilly forest. Bring your own discs, though - there is no shop for equipment anywhere nearby. Free.
- 2 Kylmäkoski disc golf park, Savikoskentie 983. A hilly 27-hole disc golf course next to Lumijoki river. Actively maintained by volunteers. Free.
- 3 Vauhtipuisto Karting, Riisikkalantie 179, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Go-kart racing track with length of 730 metres in the middle of a forest. Free.
- 4 Toijala harbour beach, Kangassaarentie 14. Jun-Aug: daily 12:00-21:00. A public swimming beach next to harbour. Has a kiosk, WC, sauna, changing room and two beach volley fields. Sauna costs €2 per person or €5 per family. Free.
- 5 Arajärvi recreational area, Arajärventie 603. The area has hiking paths and a beach with sauna, WC, kiosk and two rentable cottages. Complicated opening hours scheme. Generally open on summer evenings if weather is nice.
In 2009 Akaa has decided to brand itself as the "honey capital of Finland". As of 2017, there were over 20 million honey bees living in beehives around the municipality. The honey produced by these bees is available at least at the town hall.
- Ravintola AliBaba, Pätsiniementie 2, ☎ . M-F 10:00-22:00, Sa 11:00-22:00, Su 12:00-22:00. A restaurant-bar serving pizza, kebab and other food. Not expensive. Located in an old round wooden building dating from 1930s.
- Ravintola Leskirouva, Valtatie 16, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Su-Th 09:00-22:00, F Sa 09:00-02:00. Bar and restaurant in a beautiful old stone building with a hideous extension. Happy hours from 09:00 to 17:00, karaoke every F and Sa. Dishes with locally sourced ingredients on menu.
- Old Bronx, Hämeentie 69, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-02:00. A suburban pub a bit farther from Toijala centre. Karaoke every night. Free pool tables until 18:00.
- Hotel Ackas, Pätsiniementie 5, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 24 hour self-service check-in. Located in the middle of Toijala town. €39 single, €49 double.
- Villi Ullakko, Onnelantie 6, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A bed-and-breakfast located in a cozy residential area. One person €60, two persons €90 per night. Cash or pre-payment only.
The libraries in Toijala (Köyvärintie 1) and Viiala (Solmukatu 3) have public-access computers available. Opening hours vary as library budget is insufficient for normal operation, please check the website.
- Tampere has a lot of interesting sights and shared industrial history. In summertime, ships from Toijala harbour take you there along the waters of Vanajavesi.
- Hämeenlinna, the town built around one of the few remaining Finnish castles. Also accessible by ship in summer.
- Valkeakoski is right next to Akaa. For example, the castle hill of Rapola with middle-age embankment ruins is only a few kilometres from municipality border and accessible by bicycle, similarly to Visavuori art museum.
- Turku is the oldest city of Finland and well worth a visit.
- Lempäälä is the northern border neighbour of Akaa and has a lot of interesting sights.
- Yulara, Australia to see the last part of the solar system model!
|Routes through Akaa|
|Vaasa ← Tampere ←||N S||→ Hämeenlinna → Helsinki|
|Sodankylä ← Lempäälä ←||N S||→ Loimaa → Turku|