Kotiseutupäivä - 19.9.2007

On Wednesday, September 19th our school had a class trip to our home region; the municipality of Iitti. The trip was compulsory to some of the final year students, but generally everyone interested in getting to know better the history of our home area could join. Eventually many students from the lower classes attended the trip also, and the bus was full of us as the bus left the school building at 11 o'clock.

Although everyone surely knew something already about the history of Iitti, the trip gave a nice addition to our knowledge. Our host and expert, Mrs. Marja Pullinen was very familiar with Iitti's past. She even knew facts about the prehistoric times in the area, which seemed to interest many as the information concerning the ancient times in Iitti is very limited. We were also given some copies of maps from the Middle Ages and some other handouts, which supported Mrs. Pullinen's presentation very well; thus the students had also something else to look at besides the familiar landscapes, while listening to the expert speaking to the microphone in the front part of the bus.

Our route was carefully chosen by Mrs. Pullinen. The bus followed the road which has been known to follow the same pathways that have existed for centuries, if not longer. The paths and roads have played an important role in the history of Iitti, as the villages started to form to the market places alongside these roads. Even the heart of Iitti, our small town of Kausala started this way.

The first destination was the church of Iitti and the village, located not more than ten kilometers north of Kausala. Mrs. Pullinen knew that the architecture of our cross-shaped church is special; our church is one of the few cross-shaped wooden churches in Finland, hence it is being protected by authorities. Our church was so familiar to the all of us so we didn't get in, but continued on our journey instead.

The museum of Iitti is also located in the village. The building itself is actually an old grain storehouse, constructed in 1830. We got a small museum tour in both two storey. The larger objects representing mainly the horse culture and items used in churches were in the first floor; sleds, furniture and an altarpiece for instance. In the second floor there were old clothes and tools, telling their own story about the everyday life in Iitti centuries ago. I found out that because Iitti is located in between the easter and western Finnish subcultures, there has been two versions of almost every agricultural tool. Because of the dim lighting and the way the items have been displayed one could imagine what it would be like to get back in time.

The next stop was the area and village of Tapola in the north-western parts of Iitti. According to the findings in the area, it has been inhabited already in the Iron Age. This is probably because the river Kymijoki streams through the northern