Tampere (pronounced tam-pe-re) (Swedish name Tammerfors) is a city in southern Finland located between two lakes: Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. Since the two lakes differ in level by 18 metres, the Tammerkoski rapids linking them have been an important power source throughout history, most recently for generating electricity.
Tampere, with about 200,000 inhabitants in the city itself, and more than 300,000 including the neighbouring municipalities, is the second most important urban centre in Finland after the Helsinki region.
Tampere was founded as a market place around Tammerkoski river in 1775 by Gustav III of Sweden and four years later, 1779, it was granted a full township status. At this time Tampere was rather small town, consisting of only a few squarekilometers of land around Tammerkoski.
Tampere grew as a major market place and industrial centre in the 19th century. During the latter half of 19th century Tampere had almost half of Finland's industrial labour.
Town's industrial nature in the 19th and 20th centuries gave it the nickname 'Manchester of the North.'
Tampere was enlarged by joining some neighbouring areas. Messukylä was incorporated in 1947, Lielahti 1950, Aitolahti in 1966 and finally Teisko in 1972.
Tampere was known for its textile and metal industry, but these have been largely replaced by information technology and telecommunications industry during 1990's.
Technology centre Hermia in Hervanta is home to many companies in these industries.
Pispala is a hill pressed between Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. It used to house the majority of industrial labour in late 19th and early 20th century. Currently it is a popular residential area and together with neighouring Pyynikki forms an important historical area of Tampere.