Fiskars Village history

Fiskars Ironworks was founded in 1649 by Peter Thorwöste, when Queen Christina of Sweden granted the Dutch businessman a privilege to manufacture cast iron and forged products, with the exception of cannon. In the same year he received permission to set up a blast furnace and bar hammer in Fiskars. A few years earlier Thorwöste had already acquired the ironworks in nearby Antskog.

In the seventeenth century, the parish of Pohja (Pojo in Swedish) became the center of iron manufacturing in Finland: the ironworks in Antskog were founded in 1640, the following year saw the founding of the Billnäs ironworks, and Fiskars joined the group in 1649. Not far off was Mustio (Svartå) ironworks which had been founded in 1616, and the Fagervik ironworks, founded in 1646. Even though the iron ore used at Fiskars, for instance, was mostly transported from the mine at Utö in the Stockholm archipelago, it was still financially viable to build the ironworks in Finland. The parish of Pohja had natural water power that could be harnessed, and plenty of woods to provide the raw material for charcoal, which meant the Crown could spare the forests of Bergslagen in Sweden. Furthermore, Pohjankuru (Skuru) provided a suitable port.

Fiskars Corporation today

In the year 2014, 365 years had passed since Fiskars was founded. Today, Fiskars Corporation is an international company whose operations are consumer-centered and grow through strong specialist brands. Fiskars' consumer products for the home, garden, and outdoors are renowned for their functionality and cutting-edge design. The Group's core brands are Fiskars, Iittala and Gerber. 
For more information about the Fiskars Corporation, see  www.fiskarsgroup.com

Get to know Fiskars Village

Hasselbacka

A workers’ housing area. Built around 1890. Owned by the town of Raseborg.

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Kulla

A group of workers’ dwellings and outbuildings, built in 1859 for workers in the rolling mill. During Julin’s time, it was thought that houses built higher up the slopes would be healthier than the old houses lower down the valley.

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Foundry

Completed in 1836, the foundry had two cupola furnaces. Products of the foundry were mostly used by the ironworks and in Fiskars Village. Cogwheels and machine parts were manufactured in the foundry, but some cooking stoves, pots, pans, and other household utensils were also made for sale. In its day, a very large order was for ninety cast-iron columns and a waterwheel for the Finlayson cotton mill built in Tampere in 1837. The foundry closed in 1954.

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Machinery workshop

Finland's first machinery workshop was built at Fiskars in 1837. On the ground floor were a turnery and a forge, and on the upper floor were a filing shop, the model carpenters' workshop and drawing office. The machinery workshop produced, among other items, Finland's first steam engines for ships, the iron lock and bridge structures of the Saimaa Canal, and countless agricultural implements. Today furniture workshop Nikari houses the building.

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Plow workshop

Originally built in 1914 as a workshop for making plows, this building was enlarged with factory facilities in the 1970s. It now houses various kinds of shops, workspace and offices.

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Cowshed

The stone cowshed was built in 1921, when it housed some 150 cattle. The building, which may have been designed by Lars Sonck, is today home to the Desico Candle Factory and Tahvoset Garden Shop.

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Peltorivi

Peltorivi is the upper street of the Fiskars ironworks. The red houses along it were built to their present appearance in the 1820s and 1830s, at which time eight late eighteenth-century houses for workers were either repaired or completely rebuilt. The houses were renovated in 1992.

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Kardusen

This small two-storey masonry building was named Kardusen (tobacco box) by local residents. It was built in 1843 for the cutlery mill’s smiths who had moved to Fiskars from Sheffield, England.

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Suutarinmäki

Built as workers’ houses. Present-day residents also include many craft workers and artisans.

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Workers’ tenements

The Workers' tenements were originally houses built for the workers. The older building, on the right of the square, was designed by the architect C.L. Engel and dates from 1827. The 'new' building on the left is by J.E. Wiik and was built in 1852. Between these Empire-style buildings stands the wooden bailiff's house from 1849. Restored with modern interiors in the 1990s, the Workers' tenements are still lived in, and also provide workspace and sales facilities for local crafts people and designers.

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Fire Station

The Fiskars Fire Station was built in 1912 and renovated in 1931 in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Fiskars Voluntary Fire Brigade. The hoses were hung to dry inside its tall tower.

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Laundry

The Laundry was built in 1860. In addition to a laundry, the building housed a mangling room and a bakery, and in later years a primary school, the ironworks telephone exchange and a branch library. Like many other buildings at Fiskars, the Laundry is now a functioning combination of dwellings and workspace.

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Clock Tower Building

The red-brick Clock Tower Building from 1826 was originally a school. In the 1830s the stables were added as a second wing. At the same time a wooden clock tower was added to the roof. The original Finnish-made Könni no. 9 clock has marked the time at Fiskars since 1842. The architects C.L. Engel, A. Peel and A.F. Granstedt were involved in the design of the building in various ways. At present, it contains apartments, shops and exhibition rooms.

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Mill

A new mill was built of slag brick in 1898 at the site of a former mill. The Fiskars mill is said to have been the most popular mill of the whole parish and it was in use until the 1950s.

More about the Old Mill in Fiskars Museum media guide: Read more

Manor House

Stenhuset (stone house) or the Manor House is the main building of the Fiskars Ironworks. Built in 1816-1822, it originally provided both living quarters for the owner and an administrative center for the ironworks village. The first plans for the Neo-Classical building were drawn up by Pehr Granstedt, whose drawings were completed with additions by both Charles Bassi and C.L. Engel. The drawings showed the building with two wings, which were designed by Engel but never built. Today, the Manor House is used by Fiskars Corporation for entertaining.

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Office building

The oldest surviving building at Fiskars is the ironworks office from 1765. Originally built as a residence for the owner of the works, the house was painted with ruddle (a red pigment) in the nineteenth century, and its present restored and enlarged appearance dates from 1911. The oldest surviving part of the building is the masonry 'safe', or vault, in which the ironworks kept its strongbox. Today the building houses Fiskars Real Estate office.

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Cutlery Mill

The Cutlery Mill was originally built in 1832 according to designs by C.L. Engel. A wooden top storey designed by J.E. Wiik was added in 1851. The building burned down in 1888, but was rebuilt as it is now in the same red brick. The low annex dates from the early 1900s. The Cutlery Mill was renovated in the 1980s and again in 2013 when Hotel Tegel opened its doors. Nowdays the modern interior contains Hotel Tegel, that serves as a hotel with 13 rooms and as a conference center.

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Copper Smithy

The Copper Smithy was built in 1818. The two-storey masonry building burned down in 1855 but was rebuilt. After copper-smithy work was discontinued, fine forging operations were located on the bottom floor and a grinding mill was established on the upper floor. A third storey was added in 1898. The Copper Smithy now houses exhibition rooms, sales facilities and a restaurant.

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Granary

The Fiskars Granary was built of slag brick in 1902 according to designs by Waldemar Aspelin. The Granary is in a solid Neo-Renaissance style and it has served as exhibition rooms since 1996.

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Fiskars Wärdshus

Fiskars Wärdshus is a time-honoured inn dating from 1836, currently serving visitors as a restaurant and hotel. Known locally as Wärssy, the masonry-built inn was designed by the architect A.F. Granstedt in the Neo-Classical style. The new hotel between Wärdshus and the Assembly Hall dates from 2003.

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Assembly Hall

The meeting house, Samlingslokalen or Lukaali, known in English as the Assembly Hall, was designed by the architect Waldemar Aspelin in the revival style of the late nineteenth century, and built with the cooperative efforts of local residents in 1896. Hanging in the large auditorium today are paintings from 1938 by Lennar Segerstråle. The artist used local people as his models, which gives added interest to these works that have recorded something of what life used to be like at the ironworks. Today, the building continues to serve its original purpose and over the years has been the venue for countless meetings and celebrations.

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