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Cultural heritage

The Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas Geopark has cultural-historical importance and contains fascinating sites. Exactly one hundred sites have been dubbed Geopark cultural sites in all the area municipalities. 

 The subject of international discussion, Susiluola is the area’s oldest archaeological site, even though there is no full scientific consensus on the location of Neanderthal settlements at Susivuori.

A cave closed with a steel net

Susiluola is blocked off by bars for safety reasons.

The Geopark cultural sites include nationally important landscapes, Hyypänjokilaakso Valley at Kauhajoki River and Vihteljärvi-Niemenkylä at Kankaanpää, medieval roads (Kyrönkangas summer and winter roads), nationally significant built cultural environments, churches, museums, bridges, mills and their ruins. Several monuments, newer buildings and exhibitions presenting local influencers represent locally significant cultural heritage. The sites are presented in brief on the Sites page.

An old farmstead

The villagers of Leppijärvi worked together to restore Lake Haapajärvi through volunteer efforts. The farm is surrounded by a stone wall of cultural-historical significance.

Intangible cultural heritage is presented in the area in a variety of ways. The brewing of ‘sahti’, an old type of farmhouse ale, has gained in popularity. There are even brewing courses available at the Sahtiopisto brewer’s school in Isojoki. There are award-winning sahti brewers in the area and various types of sahti can be purchased from, for example, the Isojoen Panimo brewery.

Traditional and slightly newer events in the area are an excellent way to get acquainted with local culture. Such events include the Spelit folk music festivals at Isojoki and Kauhajoki, the Pyhäinpäivä Soitot concert at Karijoki, the Kurajuhlat harvest festival at Kihniössä and the Willi Karvia event.

Parkano, Karvia and even Kauhajoki have become known for their outsider art. Outsider artwork at Parkano and Karvia is put on seasonal display along roads and streets, and Alpon Savanni at Kauhajoki is a permanent exhibition that has also achieved international renown.

Photo of outsider art

In Karvia, outsider artwork can be seen along roads each year, with different themes on display.