Plans and activities in ProNatMat


Viljandi Culture Academy students with their self-built travelling sauna, in an exhibition hall at the Estonian National Museum. February 2010. Photo by Madis Rennu

Aboutthe travelling sauna

The peoples of the boreal forest zone have been familiar with log building for thousands of years – it has been known to the Baltic peoples, the Scandinavians, the eastern Slavic and the Finno-Ugric peoples, but also to many of the peoples who have lived and live in the southern-most mountain areas of Europe and Asia. Today, log building is much appreciated in North America and has even spread to the southern hemisphere.

The story of log building is never finished and never started over again. It is not a fashion phenomenon or trend, but a persevering and continually renewed tradition which proceeds with natural rises and falls.

The log construction here can be seen as an attempt at interpreting an ancient sauna tradition. It has been built with minimal operating measurements in order to facilitate a use as study material which dismantles easily and can be removed and used for other social events, but also for use according to its traditional purpose – as a sauna.

The travelling sauna was finished in the autumn of 2009 as a practical task for the first-year students of the Estonian Native Construction curriculum at the Tartu University Viljandi Culture Academy. The work was based on third-year students’ ideas and also supervised and supported by them. A large contribution was made from graduates of the specialty.