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Tampere Theatre

Tampere (About this sound pronunciation , Finnish pronunciation: [ˈtɑmpɛrɛ]; Swedish: Tammerfors [tamərˈfɔrs] or [tamərˈfɔʃ]) is a city in southern Finland located between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres, the rapids linking them, Tammerkoski, has been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity. Tampere is dubbed the "Manchester of Finland" for its industrial past.

The Tampere region, or Pirkanmaa, which includes outlying municipalities, has around 470,000 residents, 230,000 employed, and 25 billion euro turnover as of 2007.

Tampere is the most populous inland city in any of the Nordic countries. The city has a population of 209,000, and Tampere's metropolitan area has a population of over 340,000. Tampere is the third most-populous municipality in Finland, after the Greater Helsinki municipalities of Helsinki and Espoo. Helsinki can be reached in 1.5 - 2 hours by train and 2 - 2.5 hours by car. The distance to Turku is approximately the same. Tampere airport is the second busiest international airport in Finland with 800,000 passengers annually.

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Peugeot 206 WRC.jpg
Photo credit: Christopher Batt
Juuso Pykälistö in his Peugeot 206 WRC during the 2003 Swedish Rally.

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Thomas is the first known Bishop of Finland. Only a few facts remain about his life.

The only reference to Bishop Thomas during his episcopate in Finland is a letter signed by him in Nousiainen in 1234, which granted certain lands around the parish to his chaplain, Wilhelm. The lands may be related to the papal permission from Pope Gregory IX in early 1229 that authorized the church to take over all non-Christian places of worship in Finland. The letter is the first surviving letter ever written in Finland.

No further information on bishop's activities has survived before he was granted resignation by Pope Innocent IV on February 21, 1245. According to the Pope, Thomas had admitted committing several felonies, like torturing a man to death and forging a papal letter. Church representatives to oversee the resignation were the Archbishop of Uppsala and the Dominican prior of the Dacian province. Thomas donated his books to the newly established Dominican convent in Sigtuna and went on to live his last years in the Dominican convent in Visby, Gotland. He died there in 1248, shortly before the Second Swedish Crusade which cemented the Swedish rule in Finland for more than 550 years.

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View from the water tower in Hanko, Finland.
Photo credit: commons:User:Janke

Panoramic photo shot from the water tower in Hanko, Finland.

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