The Rajaportti Sauna is the oldest sauna that operates in Finland. It is located in Tampere, Finland’s third city in terms of population, which also claims to be the Sauna Capital of the World. Though today most of the Finnish houses and apartments are equipped with modern saunas, Rajaportti gives visitors the opportunity to taste a traditional one.
Rajaportti Sauna block is located at the district of Pispala, about 2.5 kilometres away from the city centre. According to the information provided at its website, the Rajaportti Sauna block was originally built in the beginning of the 20th century by Hermanni Lahtinen and his wife Maria. First they erected the main building with a bakery and a shop, and after they continued with a smaller cottage, the sauna and a so called ‘Tailor’s house’.
The Rajaportti Sauna is heated in a traditional way, by using firewood. Like in any other Finnish saunas, the water is poured into the hot stones, which moisten the environment nicely and visitors can enjoy the soft steam involving their bodies.
Older than Finland
The sauna was inaugurated in 1906, when Finland was still an autonomous region within the Russian Empire. Since that time it has offered authentic experiences of Finnish sauna both to the people of Tampere and to tourists and visitors from other cities.
Nowadays the Rajaportti block belongs to the city of Tampere. Since 1989 the Pispala Sauna Association has been in charge of the maintenance, the management and the activities of the premises. Thanks to the Association’s push, nowadays the facilities include in a separate building a cafeteria that was inaugurated at the turn of the millenium, as well as massage services.
The complex has separate saunas for women and men. Tickets cost 10 euros for adults (except on Mondays and Wednesdays, when they cost only 6 euros) and 3 euros for children aged from 6 to 15 years. Children under 6 can enter for free.
At Rajaportti it is possible to rent towels, and buy T-shirts, towels, socks, combs and razors at its shop. It offers also the possibility to book the entire sauna for private use.
A typical Finnish sauna
The genuine sauna culture
The Pispala Sauna Association welcomes on its webpage all sauna loving people to go to take a bath with them and enjoy the oldest sauna in Finland. Furthermore, they hope that new generations yet to come will also “find their way to the public saunas”, in order to “keep the genuine sauna culture forever alive.”
Tampere is now made known as the Sauna Capital of the world. According to the website visittampere.fi, the Sauna Capital status is based on “saunas being of high level and Tampere being home to most saunas in Finland.”
The Finnish Sauna Society and the International Sauna Association have stated to be in favour of Tampere’s status as the Sauna Capital. There are over 20 public saunas in the region to relax and enjoy this addictive activity throughout the year. “In sauna we are all equal, and we have public saunas for every taste,” Tampereans remark on their touristic website.
You can get more information about Rajaportti Sauna in eleven languages by clicking HERE