The site

Kimito Island is located within the Swedish-speaking coastal region of southern Finland. The villages and cultural landscapes of this territory are considered to have a unique character and are highly valued. The inhabitants have mainly been farmers, fishermen and sailors. The island still retains many examples of built heritage and local traditions that link its landscape to the traditional way of life that characterised this region for centuries.

One such place that exemplifies the charm of by-gone times can be found in the parish village of Kimito, where both the open-air museum Sagalund Museum and the church of Kimito, a medieval stone church from the 15th century, can be found. Sagalund Museum is the oldest open-air museum in Finland and, in fact, one of the oldest museums of this kind in the world. The open-air museum was first opened in the year 1900. Today, the museum consists of 27 wooden buildings which are representative of different historic periods of southern Finland. Most of these structures have been transplanted from the nearby regions, while others have been preserved on site. Sagalund is ranked as a heritage site of national interest by the National Bureau of Antiquities.

Tappo village, near the parish village of Kimito, is also located inland on the island – some four kilometres from the sea – and due to its good farmland, the villagers have traditionally dedicated themselves to agriculture, of which the old water mill is a historic remnant.

The water mill of Tappo is a rather small, modest timber structure. The current mill was built around the late 19th century, however there is evidence that older mills have existed on the same site since centuries. The mill has a large water wheel and is equipped with a pair of millstones. Next to the mill there is a stone dam, with wooden shutters and chutes to lead the water to the wheel. The surroundings of the structure, with the stream, dam and meadows form a beautiful traditional setting. The mill used to be operational and was maintained by the elderly farmer Stig Sundahl, who lived on a nearby farm. Together with him, the Sagalund Museum arranged annual mill days, when the mill was put in operation and flour was ground. Unfortunately, Stig Sundahl passed away in 2017 and since then, the mill has fallen into disrepair.


The project

The European Heritage Volunteers Project aimed at repairing a historical windmill and replacing the shingle roofing of Linnarnäs farmhouse, a traditional farmhouse in Sagalund Museum, as well as smaller repairs at Tappo water mill.

The windmill at Sagalund Museum is of a rare hybrid type locally known as ”magpie mill”, which can usually be found in the Netherlands and Sweden, and are often a characteristic part of the landscape in rural south-western Finland, too. One of the mill’s four wings had broken off and a second one was in a state of disrepair. The project focused on building a new wing to replace the broken one.

At Linnarnäs farmhouse, adjacent to the windmill, the participants removed the rotten shingles and replaced them by new ones.

At Tappo water mill, various interventions were required in the surrounds, including the repair of a walkway leading to the mill for better visitor safety.

During their stay on Kimito Island, participants stayed at the Vreta School House of Sagalund Museum, where the founder of the Museum, Nils Oskar Jansson was a teacher.

The educational programme provided, included a complete insight into the cultural expressions and traditional way of life for the historical communities of Kimito Island. The participants were invited to take part in traditional saunas, to learn about the intangible culinary heritage of the place by part-taking in preparing traditional foods and also to experience the sailing culture of the island.


The project was organised by the Sagalund Museum Foundation, in cooperation with European Heritage Volunteers.

European Heritage Volunteers