The city has a population of 223,292 growing to 313,058 people in the urban area, and 364,000 in the metropolitan area (Tampere sub-region) on an area of 4,977 km2 as of 2011. Tampere is the second-largest urban area and third most-populous individual municipality in the country, after Helsinki and Espoo municipalities (2014 data). It's also the most populous Finnish city outside the Greater Helsinki area and inner Finland's major urban, economic and cultural hub.
Tampere is between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres (59 ft), the rapids linking them, Tammerkoski, have been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity. Tampere is dubbed the "Manchester of Finland" for its industrial past as the former center of Finnish industry, and this has given rise to its Finnish nickname "Manse" and terms such as "Manserock".
Helsinki is approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of Tampere, and can be reached in 1.5 hours by train and 2 hours by car. The distance to Turku is roughly the same. Tampere–Pirkkala Airport is Finland's third-busiest airport, with over 200,000 passengers annually.
While it is clear that the name Tampere is derived from the Tammerkoski rapids (both the city and the rapids called Tammerfors in Swedish), around which the city centre developed, the origin of the Tammer- part of that name has been the subject of much debate. One prominent theory is that it comes from the Swedish word damber, meaning milldam; another, that it originates from the ancient Scandinavian words þambr ("thick bellied") and þambion ("swollen belly"), possibly referring to the shape of the rapids. Another suggestion links the name to the Swedish word Kvatemberdagar, or more colloquially Tamperdagar, meaning the Ember days of the Western Christian liturgical calendar. The Finnish word for oak, tammi, also features in the speculation, although Tampere is situated outside the natural distribution range of the European oak, meaning oak trees are unlikely to have featured prominently in the area.
Tampere was founded as a market place on the banks of the Tammerkoski channel in 1775 by Gustav III of Sweden and four years later, 1 October 1779, Tampere was granted full city rights. At this time, it was a rather small town, consisting of only a few square kilometres of land around the Tammerkoski.
Tampere grew as a major market town and industrial centre in the 19th century. The town's industrial nature in the 19th and 20th centuries gave it the nickname "Manchester of the North", Manse for short (in Finnish).
Tampere was the centre of many important political events of Finland in the early 20th century. On 1 November 1905, during the general strike, the famous Red Declaration was proclaimed on the Keskustori. In 1918, when Finland had recently gained independence, Tampere also played a major role, being one of the strategically important scenes during the Civil War in Finland (28 January – 15 May 1918). Tampere was a red stronghold during the war, with Hugo Salmela in command. White forces captured the town after the Battle of Tampere, seizing about 10,000 Red prisoners on 6 April 1918.
Prevalent in Tampere's post-World War II municipal politics was the Brothers-in-Arms Axis (aseveliakseli). From 2007 on, Tampere switched to a new model of having a mayor and four deputy mayors, chosen for a period of two years. Timo P. Nieminen was elected by the city council as the first mayor of Tampere for the years 2007–09. He was re-elected in 2009 and was succeeded by Anna-Kaisa Ikonen in 2013.
After World War II, Tampere was enlarged by joining some neighbouring areas. Messukylä was incorporated in 1947, Lielahti in 1950, Aitolahti in 1966 and finally Teisko in 1972. Tampere was known for its textile and metal industries, but these have been largely replaced by information technology and telecommunications during the 1990s. The technology centre Hermia in Hervanta is home to many companies in these fields.
Tampere is part of the Pirkanmaa region and is surrounded by the municipalities of Kangasala, Lempäälä, Nokia, Orivesi, Pirkkala, Ruovesi, and Ylöjärvi.
Tampere has a borderline humid continental climate/subarctic climate (Köppen "Dfb" and "Dfc"). Winters are cold and the average temperature from November to March is below 0 °C (32 °F). Summers are mild. On average, the snow season lasts 4–5 months from late November to early April. Considering it being at the subarctic threshold and inland, winters are on average quite mild for the classification, as is the annual mean temperature.
The Tampere region, or Pirkanmaa, which includes outlying municipalities, has around 0.47 million residents, 0.23 million employed, and 25 billion euro turnover as of 2007. According to the Tampere International Business Office, the area is strong in mechanical engineering and automation, information and communication technologies, and health and biotechnology, as well as pulp and paper industry education. Tampere suffers from heavy unemployment (20.0% in July 2016).
There are four institutions of higher education in the Tampere area totaling 40,000 students: two universities and two polytechnic institutions (Finnish: ammattikorkeakoulu). The universities are University of Tampere (UTA) (more than 16,000 students), which is located right next to the city center, and Tampere University of Technology (TUT) (more than 12,000 students), located in Hervanta. The regional polytechnic is Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu (the term "polytechnic" used by Finnish Ministry of Education), which calls itself in English "Tampere University of Applied Sciences" (ca 10,000 students). The Police College of Finland, serving the whole of Finland in its field of specialization, is the other polytechnic located in Tampere.
Tampere is known for its active cultural life. Some of the most popular writers in Finland, such as Väinö Linna, Kalle Päätalo, and Hannu Salama, hail from Tampere. These are all known as writers depicting the lives of working-class people. Also from a working-class background was the famous poet Lauri Viita of the Pispala district (which is the original home of Hannu Salama too).
Tampere is home to the television channel Yle TV2, with its studios in the Ristimäki district, known among all for such popular TV comedies as Tankki täyteen, Reinikainen and Kummeli. Tampere Film Festival, an international short film festival, is held every March. Tammerfest is Tampere's urban rock festival held every July. Similarly, the Tampere Floral Festival is an annual event, held each Summer.
A local food speciality is mustamakkara, which resembles black pudding of northern England.
Tampere is home to the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (Tampere Filharmonia), which is considered the only full-sized symphony orchestra in Finland outside Helsinki. The orchestra's home venue is the Tampere Hall, and their concerts include classical, popular, and film music. Tampere Music Festivals organises three international music events: Tampere Jazz Happening each November, and in alternate years Tampere Vocal Music Festival and Tampere Biennale. Professional education in many fields of classical music, including performing arts, pedagogic arts, and composition, is provided by Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Tampere Conservatoire.
The popular music scene in Tampere is often considered to have begun in August 1969 when the famous musical Hair was performed for the first time in a local theatre.
"Manserock" became a general term for rock music from Tampere, which was essentially rock music with Finnish lyrics. Manserock was especially popular during the 1970s and 1980s, and its most popular artists included Juice Leskinen, Virtanen, Kaseva, Popeda, and Eppu Normaali. In 1977, Poko Records, the first record company in Tampere, was founded.
Currently, there is a lot of popular musical activity in Tampere, for example, in the realm of rock and heavy/black metal. Some of the most popular bands based in Tampere include Negative, Uniklubi, and Lovex. Tampere also has an active electronic music scene.
Tampere also has old theatre traditions, with such established institutions as Tampereen Työväen Teatteri, Tampereen Teatteri, and Pyynikin Kesäteatteri, which is an open-air theatre with the oldest revolving auditorium in Europe. Tampereen Teatterikesä or Tampere Theatre Festival is an international theatre festival held in Tampere every August.
Most Finnish citizens belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Tampere has also a variety of other religious services spanning from traditional to charismatic. There are also some English speaking services. Tampere English Service is an international community affiliated with the Tampere Pentecostal Church. English services of the International Congregation of Christ the King (ICCK) are organized by the Anglican Church in Finland and the Lutheran Parishes of Tampere. The Catholic parish of the Holy Cross also offers services in Finnish, Polish and English. Other churches may also have English speaking ministries. Tampere is the center of a LDS stake (diocese). Other churches in Tampere are the Baptist Church, the Evangelical Free Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, the Finnish Orthodox Church and the Nokia Revival.
Tampere ostensibly has a long-standing mutual feud with the city of Turku, the first capital of Finland. This hostility is largely expressed in jokes in one city about the other; prominent targets are the traditional Tampere food, mustamakkara, the state of the Aura River in Turku, and the regional accents. Since 1997, students at Tampere have made annual excursions to Turku to jump on the market square, doing their part to undo the post-glacial rebound and push the city back under the sea.
The main tourist attraction is the Särkänniemi amusement park, which includes the landmark Näsinneula tower, topped by a revolving restaurant. It used to include a dolphinarium too. Other sites of interest are Tampere Cathedral, Tampere City Hall, Tampere City Library Metso ("wood grouse"), Kaleva Church (both designed by Reima Pietilä), the Tampere Hall for conferences and concerts, and the Tampere Market Hall.
Tampere is also home to one of the last museums in the world dedicated to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The museum is housed in the Tampere Workers' Hall where during a subsequent Bolshevik conference in the city, Lenin met Joseph Stalin for the first time. Lenin moved to Tampere in August 1905 but eventually fled Tampere (for Sweden) in November 1907 when being pursued by the Russian Okhrana. Lenin would not return to any part of the Russian Empire until ten years later, when he heard of the start of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
There are many museums and galleries, including:The Vapriikki Museum Centre which includes the Natural History Museum of Tampere, Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame and the Shoe Museum
Tampere Art Museum
Tampere Lenin Museum
The Moomin Museum, about Moomins
Rupriikki Media Museum
Spy Museum in Siperia
Workers' housing museum in Amuri.
Finland's largest glass sculpture, owned by the City of Tampere, "Pack Ice / The Mirror of the Sea" by the renowned artist Timo Sarpaneva, is installed in the entrance lobby of the downtown shopping mall, KoskiKeskus.
Pispala is a ridge located between the two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. It used to house the majority of industrial labour in the late 19th and early 20th century, when it was part of Suur-Pirkkala and its follower Pohjois-Pirkkala. It was a free area to be built upon by the working-class people working in Tampere factories. It was joined to Tampere in 1937. Currently it is a popular residential area and together with neighbouring Pyynikki it forms an important historical area of Tampere.
Tampere's sporting scene is mainly driven by ice hockey. The first Finnish ice hockey match was played in Tampere, on the ice of Pyhäjärvi. Tampere is nicknamed the hometown of Finnish ice hockey. Two exceptional ice hockey teams come from Tampere: Ilves and Tappara. They both have had a great impact on Finnish ice hockey culture and are among the most successful teams in Finland. The Finnish ice hockey museum, and the first ice hockey arena to be built in Finland, the Hakametsä arena, are both located in Tampere.
Association Football is also a popular sport in Tampere. Ilves alone has over 4,000 players in its football teams, while Tampere boasts over 100 (mostly junior) football teams. Basketball is another popular sport in Tampere. The city has three basketball teams with big junior activity and one of them, Tampereen Pyrintö, plays on the highest level (Korisliiga) and was the Finnish Champion in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Tampere Saints is the American football club in the city. The Saints won division 2 in 2015 and plays in the Maple League (division 1) in summer 2017.
Tampere hosted some of the preliminaries for the 1952 Summer Olympics, the 1965 World Ice Hockey Championships and was co-host of the 1967 EuroBasket. The city also hosted two canoe sprint world championships, in 1973 and 1983. In 1977, Tampere hosted the Junior World Rowing Championships and in 1995 the Senior World Rowing Championships. Recently, Tampere was the host of the 10th European Youth Olympic Festival from 17 to 25 July 2009 and the 2010 World Ringette Championships from 1 to 6 November at Hakametsä arena.
Tampere is an important railroad hub in Finland and there are direct railroad connections to, for example, Helsinki, Turku and Turku Harbour, Oulu, Jyväskylä, and Pori. The Tampere railway station is located in the city center. There are also frequent bus connections to destinations around Finland.
Tampere is served by Tampere–Pirkkala Airport, located in neighboring municipality Pirkkala some 13 km (8 mi) southwest of the city. The airport served more than 300,000 passengers in 2015.
The public transport network within Tampere currently consists exclusively of a bus network. Between 1948 and 1976 the city also had an extensive trolleybus network, which was also the largest trolleybus system in Finland. Constructions are currently underway (as of 2017) for a light rail system in the city to replace some of the more popular bus lines (see Tampere light rail), as well as initiating commuter rail service on the railroad lines connecting Tampere to the neighbouring cities of Nokia and Lempäälä.Kaarle Nordlund 1929–1943
Sulo Typpö 1943–1957
Erkki Lindfors 1957–1969
Pekka Paavola 1969–1985
Jarmo Rantanen 1985–2007
Timo P. Nieminen 2007–2012
Anna-Kaisa Ikonen 2013–2017
Lauri Lyly 2017-
For a list of notable persons, see Category:People from Tampere.
Tampere is twinned with: