A guided tour in the locations depicted in the Under the North Star trilogy.
Väinö Linna Tour
In 2020, the 100th anniversary of Väinö Linna was celebrated with the theme "Living Väinö Linna" at the Pentinkulma Days.
Väinö Linna gave life to the inhabitants and the story of Pentinkulma. When the Urjala-born author decided to bring his readers to Urjala, the landscape of the Under the North Star trilogy, the Väinö Linna tour was established. The tradition still lives on today.
– The guided Väinö Linna tour is for everyone interested in history and literature and for those who want to experience a memorable tour of the locations depicted in the Finnish classic, says Marja-Riitta Touru who works as a guide.
It is a bus tour which starts from the library where you can see the study of Väinö Linna. Stops along the way also include Ittellisen pirtti and Koskela torppa. You can also go through the route independently with a guide booklet, and later in the autumn there will also be a mobile guide. According to Touru, various groups take part in the tour: many associations and literary circles, but also groups of friends, children and adolescents.
Touru gives a few tips and recommends visiting Ittellisen pirtti and Koskela independently as they are close to each other.
– The location of the birth home is also great. The landscape by the cliff gives an idea of what Väinö Linna's living environment was like in his early years. The church and the cemetery are also worth a visit, Touru explains.
Directions and map (below)
The Väinö Linna route is 25 km long, and it is ideal for driving but also for cycling. The starting point of the route is Pentinkulma motel along Highway 9 (the road from Turku to Tampere). In the lobby of the motel's restaurant, in the information point of the municipality of Urjala, you can get a brochure of the Väinö Linna route. From the motel you turn right, towards Tampere. Immediately at the first crossroads, turn left onto Punkalaitumentie. Continue along the road for about 2 km until you reach the junction of Halkivahantie. Then turn right.
Drive through the Velkala village, and after about 2 km turn right in the direction indicated by the sign to Taipaleentie. After the bend and downhill, you will see Linnantie turning right. There is a parking space at the beginning of the road. You can leave your car there. Then go straight on along Linnantie for about 100 meters on foot. After the rock on the left you will see the ruins of Väinö Linna's childhood home. On-site signposts guide you along the way.
Return to the parking lot, turn left onto Taipaleentie in the direction you came from. Turn right at the intersection of Taipaleentie and Halkivahantie. The bridge you are about to cross has been the model of the imaginary bridge on which the baron of the manor was killed in Under the North Star trilogy. On the left side of the road, there is the Honkola manor. You can only visit the manor on a group tour led by an authorized guide, but you can also get an idea of it from a distance.
Go straight on along Halkivahantie for about 1 km until you see the ruins of Honkola school on the right side of the road. Väinö Linna attended that school. Drive into the yard to have a closer look at the area. The smaller building is still standing. There is a multi-functional space for the villagers, and it may be that you arrive at a time when there is more to see, e.g. an exhibition.
Return to Halkivahantie to the direction you came from and before the manor, turn right at the little junction onto Patetuntie and immediately left onto Torpparintie. About 100 meters to the right of the road there is a sign presenting Kankaanpäänmäki's defense equipment. A path leading to the defense equipment starts there. After getting acquainted with it, go straight on along Torpparintie for less than 100 meters. You will come to the location in which there used to be the Honkola Workers' Association Voiman talo. It is on the top of the hill on the left.
After exploring the house, turn back in the direction you came from and proceed from the junction along Patetuntie. Right at the beginning of the road, on the top of the hill on the right, there is the house of the Honkola voluntary fire brigade VPK, which was the model for Väinö Linna's association building.
Continue along Patetuntie. You are now passing through the typical Tavastian tenant crofter area. One of the destinations to visit on the route is Ittellisen pirtti, located on the left side of the road, about 1 km from the house of the voluntary fire brigade. You can explore the courtyard surrounded by a sturdy stone fence and strongly feel the presence of a bygone era.
Carry on along Patetuntie. After continuing for about half a kilometre along the hills and bends you will see Koskela, the croft and its premises, on the left. After exploring it, continue along Patetuntie until you reach the intersection of Pappilantie. Take a sharp turn to the left. You are on your way to the parsonage, and you are walking along Jussi's rent-work road. You will see the parsonage at the end of the road when you take a sharp turn onto Vahostentie.
As you continue along Vahostentie, you will see the buildings and areas of the Honkola manor on your right. Signposts will tell you more. You will reach Halkivahantie again. Turn right and return to the intersection of Highway 9. Continue straight on from the junction and turn left at the top of the hill towards the center of Urjala, Laukeela. On the left you can see the Urjala church, on the right the yellow Säätiötalo. The last destination of the route, Väinö Linna's study, is located right next to the church in the Urjala library.