Sastamala – the Book Capital of Finland
First and foremost, Sastamala is known as a town of books. The Days of Old Literature, a widely-known yearly event, has gathered book lovers together every summer for almost 30 years. Kirjaset, an event on children and young adult literature held every autumn, has also existed for over 10 years.
The national Museum of Book, Pukstaavi, is located at the centre of Sastamala. Pukstaavi tells the story of the book from incunables to e-books vividly and informatively. The museum arranges various events ranging from author visits to story time programmes. The museum also houses a café and a shop.
Tassula, or Mr. Clutterbuck’s House, is located next to Pukstaavi. Popular with families and groups of children, Tassula introduces visitors not only to Mr. Clutterbuck but also to other characters created by the Sastamala-born children’s writer Mauri Kunnas. In the world of King Arthur, you can experience the life of knights, the Universe offers a trip to the future, and the Doghill Kids Go to Town –setting introduces visitors to town life in the 19th century. Mr. Clutterbuck’s House also opens the doors to Mr. Clutterbuck’s home. In addition to Tassula, many visitors stop by at the Farming Museum Yli-Kirra in the neighbouring Punkalaidun. The traditional yard of the farm inspired the setting of Kunnas’s Doghill books.
Of modern writers, Sastamala is home to, for instance, Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen, the creators of the famous Tatu and Patu characters, non-fiction writer Marko Westerbacka, and novelists Pirjo Tuominen and Jukka-Pekka Palviainen. Finland’s oldest regional newspaper, Tyrvään Sanomat, is also published here. Tyrvään Kirjakauppa bookstore and its Kirjakellari are known all around Finland. The roots of poet Kaarlo Sarkia, writer Antero Warelius, and professors of the Finnish language, Heikki Ojansuu, Pertti Virtaranta and Aimo Hakanen, can also be traced back to the region.
Sastamala declared itself the Book Capital of Finland on 11 January 2013. Based on illustrator Pekka Vuori’s Kirjanoppineet artwork, the Book Capital logo was created by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen who are known, for instance, as the creators of the famous Tatu and Patu characters.