In English

Kiilopää’s smoke sauna. Kuva: Juha Vesterinen

The heating of Kiilopää’s smoke sauna starts as early as seven in the morning

Heat is provided by burning two successive ovens full of birch logs.

Kiilopää’s smoke sauna is heated five times a week and on Saturdays by reservation. The sauna can be accessed in three shifts, so that as many Kiilopää visitors as possible can enjoy the smoke sauna’s steam.

During each hour and a half turn, you have time to take a sauna and take a dip in the ice hole, and then sit quietly in the dressing room.

The sauna centre was recently renovated, when both men’s and women’s sauna sections were renewed. The saunas designed by architect and sauna professor Risto Vuolle-Apiala are built in accordance with the old sauna tradition, so that the benches are placed higher than usual in relation to the stove. This means that the sauna users’ toes can also enjoy the warmth of the sauna.

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The sauna facilities can also be reserved for private events. The dressing room on the women’s side has access to the terrace, and in addition, there is plenty of space for a fridge and a table for small snacks.

Both the shower and dressing rooms on the upper floor and the smoke sauna are designed to be wheelchair accessible.

“Spark master” Risto Kiviniemi tends embers in the smoke sauna. The original oven doors are from 1998. Kuva: Juha Vesterinen

Heating starts early in the morning

Only a small part of the original smoke sauna, which was built in 1998, has been renovated along with the sauna centre. The biggest annual maintenance job is replacing the stove stones. The olivine diabase stones are brought from Eräjärvi in Pirkanmaa, and since a large amount of them are needed for the smoke sauna stove in Kiilopää, it is always a big operation, says property manager and ”spark master” Risto Kiviniemi.

– Olivine diabase is a hard type of rock, it does not crack easily and it stores heat well, describes Risto, who has worked in Kiilopää for almost 18 years.

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Access to the smoke sauna is through an exhibition called “Turveputki” or “peat pipe”.

Between visits to the sauna, you can take a dip in the ice- hole.

Turveputki, the Finnish sauna story exhibition, designed by Risto Vuolle-Apiala, presents the history of the sauna and sauna traditions. A cold pool awaits at the end of the pipe. Thanks to the water flowing through the pipe, the ice-swimming hole stays open, even at the coldest time of the year. The stream’s gurgle and the wintery fell landscape that opens in front of you, make a dip in the open water an unforgettable experience.

The heating of the smoke sauna starts as early as seven in the morning, so that the sauna has time to heat up before the first sauna shift, which starts at three in the afternoon. For one-time heating, two full ovens are enough, which means about half a cubic metre of birch.

The sauna logs are split with the help of Suomen Latu (Outdoor Association of Finland) volunteers.

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– The stove can fit metre-long logs. Birch trunks have come from Sodankylä, which are then cut to the appropriate size, says Risto.

The third and last public shift of the evening ends at half past eight, after which the facilities are closed to the public and Suomen Latu Kiilopää employees have the opportunity to climb onto the platforms at the end of the evening to enjoy the warming steam.

Saila Vaara

Translated into English by

Sally Ulich

Ilmoita asiavirheestä