The rapids in Halinen are a very common sight for the inhabitants of the student village. Here is a short overview of why there is a dam there, and what is the significance of this place.
Since the iron age…
The current location of the dam has a very long history. This specific place was already inhabited during the iron age. Later, a water mill was built there during the middle ages, the first mention of it dating back to 1352. The location has also always been a prime fishing spot.
Located next the historical site of Koroinen (more on that in a future post), the Halitenkoski rapids and the neighboring location of Halista are recognized as important cultural and historical sites.
The Dam (Halistenkosken Pato)
The dam that now sits on the rapids was built in 1923 to provide water to the city of Turku. A processing plant is located just next to the dam, even though the city now gets its water from a different source nowadays (I have heard it now comes from Tampere but don’t take my word for it).
The dam also includes since 1995 a special structure (situated to the left of the dam) which allows fish to cross the dam to go spawn up river. Fishing is forbidden in the immediate proximity of the dam to protect the fish stocks.
Two bridges cross the Aura river near the rapids. The light traffic bridge (for bikes and pedestrians) was built in the 1930s and still stands strong to this day. The bigger bridge, however, only dates back to the 1980s, almost two decades after the foundation of the student village.
Nowadays, the area is a very nice spot to observe the fish, which can be seen from the pedestrian bridge when the water is clear enough. During the winter, it is also possible to seen intricate ice formation created by the droplets and humidity emanating from the river. There is also usually a few fishermen to observe downstream, where fishing is allowed.