An inn with a difference
Fiskars Wärdshus is the oldest inn in Finland in terms of uninterrupted service – established in 1836. It has seen a lot over the years.
Picture an ordinary day in the village in the early days of the inn. The population was twice what it is today, more than a thousand. Everyone was, in one way or another, in the service of “the Company”, that is, the Fiskars Corporation. The company was experiencing one of its many boom periods. Orders were flowing in from east and west.
The centre of the village was dominated by the Manor House, as it is today. John Julin, the ironworks owner, used to stand on his doorstep at five o’clock in the morning holding a lantern and watching his employees go to work at the copper smithy across the street.
People who had come from afar in carriages could be put up in the six small rooms on the upper floor of the inn. For many years, the building also housed the village shop, in which you could pay with the village’s own currency, copper plate coins. You can see surviving samples of the coins at the Fiskars Museum.
Now, fast-forward 150 years and then some. Industrial activities have relocated from Fiskars to the neighbouring village of Billnäs and elsewhere in Finland and around the globe. The village is enjoying a revival after a couple of years of dormant existence with the mass migration of artisans, designers, artists and other new residents. Enter the 21st century, and more accommodation is needed.
Fiskars witnesses a phenomenon familiar from other parts of the world: city folk wanting a couple of days’ retreat in a quiet setting in a cultural environment, where they can stay the night and have a good meal. The diverse forests around the Fiskars village are a point of interest for many hikers and hunters, including from abroad.
The Fiskars Corporation decides to build a new hotel right next to the old inn building using traditional and proven methods. Completed in 2003, the annex was built in situ from bricks. The floorboards are planed spruce from the forests of Fiskars, fixed with 19th century forged nails found in the ironworks' warehouse. The wrought-iron railings pay tribute to the history of the ironworks. The furniture, designed in the village, is made from indigenous tree species. The paints are linseed oil-based and coloured with earth pigments. The design of the new building is by the architect Kasper Järnefelt.