Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taavettilan riihi - The Taavettilan drying barn

According to a recent article in the local newspaper Keskisuomalainen this building is no longer considered the oldest in Jyväskylä.

This is so close to where I live that I often forget that it even exists. The oldest building in Jyväskylä, this old riihi (drying barn) is located on the University of Jyväskylä campus.

In a previous post I wrote about riihiruisleipä, a rye bread made from grain that has been dried and smoked in a riihi, a practice that is nearly nonexistent in modern Finland. (Link to my blog post "Last of a Dying Bread".)

The Taavettilan drying barn has been around since the 1700's. Around the turn of the century (the last century that is, not this one) it was converted by the Jyväskylä Teacher's College (the predecessor to the university) into a space for the students to enjoy evening programs, which included storytelling, singing, and apparently even a Karelian rune singer every now and then.

Usually sitting empty and looking rather derelict, the building is still used on occasion as a venue for poetry and music performances.

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