EXPLORING HISTORIC HATTULA
Hattula is an excellent holiday destination offering a combination of history, culture, and nature just an hour’s drive from Helsinki and Tampere. The principal town Parola is situated between two lakes, and just off the main highway that links Helsinki to Tampere via Hämeenlinna.
Here you’ll find the Church of the Holy Cross, the oldest church in Häme province, and one of considerable historic importance. Unique in having been built entirely of brick, rather than stone or timber, this medieval monument was constructed sometime between 1472 and 1490, and was a popular site of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. It continues to attract visitors from around the world, and from around Finland, who travel to see its famous lime paint frescoes.
History Buffs’ Dream – The Parola Armoured Museum
Not far away, the Parola Armoured Museum is a must-visit site for any war-history buffs. It boasts Finland’s most extensive collection of tanks, armoured vehicles, and anti-tank guns used by the Finnish Defence Forces throughout their history. The museum features a fine café and souvenir store. There is also the Armoured Brigade, Finnish Army training unit, near the Parola Armoured Museum.
Close by the Armour Museum, you’ll find Hattula Golf, a 9-hole parkland course that features a small, elongated lake, as well as challenging changes in elevation. The clubhouse is well equipped to serve both small and large groups, with top class meeting and sauna facilities. Hattula has also a fine DiscGolf Park for frisbee golf enthusiasts, the largest of its kind in Finland, with 18 ‘holes’ for over almost 2 km in length. The brand new multipurpose Juteini centre, named for the famous Finnish nationalist Jaako Juteini, features an outdoor park, a sports park for the kids, and excellent indoor facilities for sports, like volleyball, badminton, and floorball.
Another popular destination in Hattula is near Lepaa, with its impressive Lepaa Manor House, and Lepaa Country Winery. The Historic Lepaa Manor is surrounded by beautiful parks and lovely yellow buildings. Visitors are encouraged to wander through these impressive parklands and gardens, which are a delight for all, not just keen gardeners and horticulturalists. Visits to Lepaa Country Winery have become a popular day tour destination. Today, some of finest Finnish berry wines are produced there, and visitors are invited to partake in daily wine tastings, or even take a guided tour of the winery’s production plant and cellars.
Lepaa is also known for Lepaa Manor. It has been recently opened for tourists, and it offers charming accommodation options, a lovely restaurant for dining, and activities such as golf, frisbee golf, cycling, kayaking, and cycling.
In Hattula there is also Inkala Manor, a delightful and charming manor home. Inkala Manor is famous for its traditional country-kitchen.
A little further on from Lepaa lies the Petäys Resort, a luxury leisure centre on the shores of Lake Vanajavesi. Petäys Resort includes a hotel, a number of saunas (including the mobile Zetor Sauna!), excellent conference and meeting facilities, its own guest harbour, and access to all the activities in the area.