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Tours of Wanha Kauppala

The Wanha Kauppala of Ikaalinen was Finland’s first market town. In fact, it is called Finland’s oldest, smallest and most beautiful market town. In the summer, during the guided tours, you may even run into the fine ladies of the Kauppala…


Ikaalinen parish became independent in 1641. The dependent market town was founded in 1858 in accordance with the declaration of Emperor Alexander II. In 1972, the municipality and the dependent market town were united as a market town. Ikaalinen became a town in 1977. Wanha Kauppala celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008.

Wanha Kauppala – the smallest, the oldest and the most beautiful

The smallest
In all, 65 people lived as tenants of the Turkki farm, which was separated as a market town (1859). In its last year as a market town, 1971, the population totalled 785. The town plan, designed by G.Th. Chiewitz in 1858, covered 28 tynnyrinala (old Finnish measurement which equals the area of a field that could be sown with one barrel of grain, or 12.8 ha.).

The oldest
According to the declaration given by the Grand Duke of Finland Alexander II on 21 April 1858, “a piece of land necessary to found a small market town must be procured for the crown in the parish village of Ikaalinen.” 

The most beautiful
The market town was founded on the cape of Ikaalinen on the shores of Lake Kyrösjärvi. From the beginning, the market town with its hardwood boulevards and parks and lakeside views was rather charming.

The district of Wanha Kauppala was born at the western end of Ikaalistenniemi on the shores of Lake Kyrösjärvi, and it is located next to the current centre of the town. It is surrounded by shimmering water, which makes it seem as if the streets are descending straight into the lake. The valuable old building stock has been partly preserved and the freshwater lake—with its shoreline views—the leafy hardwood boulevards and the parks attract visitors to take atmospheric excursions through the alleys of Wanha Kauppala to hear the story of how it was founded, its first inhabitants and its history from over 100 years ago.

According to the National Board of Antiquities, Wanha Kauppala is a nationally significant man-made cultural environment. Kauppala’s strong cultural heritage, architecture and many of the characters in its history make it an interesting place to visit. It is full of stories.

In the summer, tourists give the town an international air. As an appropriate and intelligent counterbalance, Wanha Kauppala in Ikaalinen offers a delightful environment to get to know the life and stories of the inhabitants of Kauppala. A guided walking tour through the historical locations of Wanha Kauppala is an unforgettable summer experience. Wanha Kauppala should be experienced by walking leisurely and sitting down occasionally in order to sense the spirit of the gentle and refreshing summer breeze blowing in from the shimmering lake between the town’s quarters.  


Ikaalisten Kylpyläkaupunki Ltd
Karhoistentie 3, 39500 Ikaalinen
Tel. +358 3 450 1222