Welcome to Vanha Paukku
We warmly welcome you to Vanha Paukku!
History of Vanha Paukku
The State Cartridge Factory (Lapuan Patruunatehdas, or Paukku for short) was established in Lapua in 1923. The establishment of the state’s own defense equipment industry played a key role in Finnish security policy as a young sovereign state. The factory complex, which originated from the Cartridge Factory, played a significant role as an employer in the region and holds a place in our country’s history.
The official opening ceremony of the Cartridge Factory took place in Lapua after a trial operation in January 1925. Over the course of a couple of years, the annual cartridge production increased to 10 million cartridges. The true test for the Factory came during the difficult years of war, where the efficiency and continuity of its operations were of crucial importance for Finland’s warfare. The Finnish army never experienced a shortage of rifle cartridges. During the Winter War, the number of employees at the factory increased to one thousand, and the total production in the year 1941 reached approximately 97 million cartridge units.
After the war years, the order backlog plummeted, and the Cartridge Factory faced new difficulties. It was challenging to find new civilian products for the facility. The focus shifted primarily to miniature rifle cartridges for the civilian market. Power transmission chains were developed to meet the demands of war reparations, which later became a significant product for the factory. Other new products included piston pins, hollow rivets, and bicycle pedals. Various sports and hunting cartridges became very successful and gradually took over an increasingly large part of the factory’s production.
In April 13, 1976, a devastating incident occurred at the Lapua Cartridge Factory, sending shockwaves through the community. A tragic explosion took place, leading to a destructive fire that overcame the factory premises and inflicted substantial damage to the surrounding areas. The explosion led to the collapse of several buildings and caused a large number of casualties. The incident had a profound impact on the local community and the country as a whole. It was one of the deadliest industrial accidents in Finnish history, with a total of 40 people losing their lives and many others suffering injuries. In memory of the victims and as a reminder of the tragic event, a commemorative chapel called Pajakappeli was openednear the site of the explosion. The chapel serves as a place for reflection and remembrance.
The city of Lapua bought the former Cartridge Factory complex in 1993 and converted it to a cultural and business center. The Vanha Paukku area is continuously developed and renovated. The original Cartridge Factory buildings are protected sites and continue to induce the atmosphere from the factory era and ‘the Spirit of Paukku’.
Today, Vanha Paukku has transformed into a versatile place, serving as a gathering place for the local community. Vanha Paukku offers a wide range of cultural and artistic experiences for visitors to enjoy and explore. From events and exhibitions to small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, Vanha Paukku provides a dynamic and engaging environment for people of all ages and interests.
Museums and exhibitions, Mon-Fri 10–17, Sat 11–15
Library, Mon-Thu 11-19, Sat 11-15
Vanhan Paukun tie 1, 62100 Lapua
Tel: +358 44 438 4582
Museums and Exhibitions
Lapua Art Museum
The establishment of Lapua Art Museum began when a collection was generously donated to the City of Lapua in 1998 by Pauli Laurila, a Master of Laws with Court Training and a native of Lapua. The old surface treatment plant underwent renovation to become an art museum, which opened its doors to the public on 2006.
Lapua Art Museum holds an essential role as a provider of cultural services, showcasing modern art, and contributing to the development of a diverse society at both the local and national levels. The exhibitions change three times a year, with a primary focus on visual arts. The Museum admission is free of charge.
Cultural History Museums
The Lapua Cartridge Factory Museum
The Lapua Cartridge Factory Museum presents the history of the Cartridge Factory, which was established in Lapua in 1923, along with its associated phenomena. The Lapua brand, known worldwide, has played a significant role in Finnish national defense and shooting-related hobbies. Additionally, it has been an integral part of the local community in the region. Concurrently, the museum provides insights into the history of the industrial age.
The collection of the Cartridge Factory Museum comprises the original machines, tools, products, photographs, and other materials associated with the old factory’s daily operations. These artifacts offer insights into the local and global significance of the factory throughout its history.
Lapua Movement Museum
The exhibition “Viimeistä piirtoa myöten” (To the Last Detail) focuses on the Lapua Movement, which emerged from the disruption of a communist youth meeting in Lapua in November 1929. This exhibition delves into the history of the anti-communist movement in Finland. Through a curated collection of photographs and original objects, visitors can explore the period from 1929 to 1944, encompassing the years of the Lapua Movement until the conclusion of the activities of the Patriotic People’s Movement (IKL).
Pyhälahti Photography Museum
The Pyhälahti Photography Museum showcases the history of Finnish photography in the 20th century. The museum’s foundation lies in the photo collections and artifacts of the Pyhälahti Photographic Studio, active in Lapua from 1900 to 1980. By exploring the 80-year history of this particular photography studio, visitors gain insights into the broader history of photography. The extensive collection of negatives and positives provides a vivid glimpse into the life of the local area throughout the 20th century.
Cartridge Art Gallery
The Cartridge Art Gallery hosts rotating exhibitions of various art forms, presenting high-quality artwork. The Art Gallery typically hosts 10–11 exhibitions throughout the year, with each exhibition lasting approximately one month.
Ostrobothnian Photography Centre’s Gallery
The Gallery at Ostrobothnian Photography Centre serves as a regional platform dedicated to promoting photography and photographic art, with a primary focus on showcasing photographic art from South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, and Ostrobothnia regions. POVA’s gallery hosts approximately 10 exhibitions annually. The Photography Centre also actively organizes a range of events, including lectures, exhibitions, competitions, and photography courses.