My tour next took me to a very remote corner of Finland. And right in the middle of probably one of the strangest business ventures that ever existed in this country.
Back in the days of president Urho Kekkonen, it was very customary for the state to found industries in remote corners of the country, where investments would otherwise never have been made.
In the 1970’s a factory manufacturing hospital textiles used in operating rooms was founded in the municipality. Years went by and it became the largest factory in the place. After several takeovers it became part of a large international corporation, and this eventually meant, that in 2003 the factory was closed.
The premises sat idle for around ten years, before somebody decided, it would be an ideal spot for making caviar. A company was founded with the help of Russian investors, and the factory was converted to a fish farm raising sturgeons. Even the Finnish state gave the project subsidies of more than one million euros.
The words were loud, but the actions didn’t speak for them. The farm was opened in 2011, but already a year later the company was in trouble. The plant was closed, the fish were taken away and the company finally went bankrupt in 2015 with debts of more than 14 million euros. Since then it has been at the mercy of disillusioned local youngsters with nothing more to do than break things up and spray the walls.
I parked the car at the main gate. My friend was too tired and hungover to join me, so I entered the premises alone.
As you can see, it wasn’t too difficult to gain entry. The fence was broken in several areas.
A first look at the factory, which once had been the pride of the small municipality.
It was screaming abandonement. The concrete was growing grass, there was junk all around.
Bushes were growing and all windows were smashed. Remember, now, that we were in the middle of nowhere, and yet there was this huge abandoned complex just sitting there.
The logo of the caviar manufacturer was still there. Now, let’s take a closer look at it.
Empirika – not for everybody. Actually it was for nobody. According to media reports, the plant never actually produced a single tin of caviar to the market.
The smashed main entrance. Before actually entering, I decided to do a walkaround, as I usually do.
The wing on the right is the office wing. The other areas of the complex, I presumed, was manufactoring space.
And in one corner of the lot was what I presumed was the plant manager’s or the caretaker’s house.
It was a nonchalant 1970’s one family house.
With obviously a terrace, which once was great for barbecue while supervising. Let’s go take a closer look at that first.
This, I suppose, is a garage. Not much to see here.
There was a small corridor between the garage and the home, although they were physically the same building.
The doors were of a deep red color. Fashionable in the 1970’s maybe, they now look very outdated.
The door opened to a narrow corridor. The roof had been destroyed by vandals, and the place had definitely problems with mould.
Something, which looks like the bathroom, shower and dressing room to a sauna. Of course there was a sauna. After all, this is Finland.
The kitchen. Of course somebody had thought, that it was a good idea to tear down the roof and the cupboard doors.
This looks like a former bedroom. The mould is accumulating here, too.
This looks like the living room. People visiting the place have really made an effort to destroy just about everything.
Another bedroom. Not much to see here, either, apart from another colorful cupboard door from the 1970’s.
A calendar from 2011. It seems, that was the year, when the place was fully abandoned.
In the next post we’ll enter the factory.