alternative, architecture, Finland, history, traveling

From Army Horses to Alternative Culture.


Cold, dark, moist and slightly mouldy – yep, that’s pretty much what the alternative venue called ‘Cultural Stables’ (Kulttuuritallit in Finnish) is all about.

‘Play chess’, the sign says.

I’m not even going to tell you how many layers of clothing I have on when volunteering in the vegan cafe corner. It is still cold – but absolutely worth every minute!


The venue is located in a place where there used to be a lot of army barracks. This particular building was actually the stable for the horses in the 19th century. Even though the building hasn’t been used for this purpose for generations, the original function of the place is still transgressed in the meaning of the name Cultural Stables’ itself.


Apparently a little bit over 10 years ago, local house squatters occupied the place. Surprisingly enough, the local government was willing to rent the place for free in order to be used to promote cultural activities. And that was when the association was formed.

A painting on the door of a fridge; made using a black marker only.

Nowadays, ‘Cultural Stables’ is used as a venue for small bands, festivals and flea market days.


The place has a very distinctive look; being filled with old sofas, salvaged bicycles-to-be-fixed and decorated with multiple graffiti made by various artists (and wannabes).


More fridge art. This one is my favourite since it has a resemblance to my dearest dog, Lucy!


Funnily enough, in Finnish this says ‘shut up!’ BUT the word ‘turpa’ can also mean the mouth or muzzle of a horse. Pun intended – I honestly don’t know!

Our friend the Giraffe.

One of my artistically very talented friends had made this piece of art. Last summer she arrived carrying the giraffe; apparently it had been lost for a while but then found from the dark corners again. We happily gave it a place to stay from the small kitchen corner!

Hi it’s me.

Personally, I am more than grateful to have been able to find this place and become even a somewhat of a member when volunteering at the vegan ‘cafe’.


I wish there would be more active people interested in building different forms of communities by helping each other and becoming interested in each other’s situations. We are all so different – but often also in the position of giving (and receiving) something to another in need.