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The off-road trail is intended for outdoor walking and mountain biking when there is no snow. The trail has an indicative direction of travel and the trail markings are set accordingly. However, be aware that there may be oncoming traffic on the trail. Dogs must be kept on a leash.Route direction signs and the markings on the trees are in blue.The trail mainly includes off-road paths, forest roads, paths next to railroad tracks, and transitions on pavements and streets. There are also main road crossings on the trail, so use caution.The terrain is very varied in terms of difficulty. The trail contains a few very challenging sections due to the steepness of the trail. Travel the trail at your own risk. Please note that there are roots, rocks and tree trunks on the path sections, which may be slippery when wet. The trail is available when there is no snow, as there is no winter maintenance.
The route also includes two technical tracks, in the sports park (Urheilukuja 1) and Marttinen (Herrasentie 16), where you can practice mountain biking skills.
The maintenance of the trail is the responsibility of the Town of Virrat, tel. +358 3 485 111
The Marttinen house was confirmed as the vicarage of Virrat already in 1696. The house was destroyed in the Finnish War, but the assistant vicar at the time, Karl Fredrik Långhjelm, restored the house at his own expense. In 1823, however, an imperial decree came down, according to which the Marttinen vicarage had to be rebuilt. All the houses in Virrat had to participate in the construction of the main building. The vicarage was completed in 1825 and 1826. The house remained in use until the 1890s.
In 1864, Karl Gustaf Törnqvist's ministry as assistant vicar was in its infancy. He had been elected temporary assistant vicar until Virrat would become an independent parish. This could only be announced after the death of the then vicar of Ruovesi. Time passed and eventually Törnqvist's "temporary" post became a 30-year one. During this period, no major renovations were made to the Marttinen vicarage, as a new vicarage would soon have had to be built when the vicar took office. The old one became badly dilapidated during this wait.
Karl Gustaf Törnqvist can be regarded as the priest who had the greatest influence on the town and its conditions. As a preacher, he was known to be very temperamental, and, at times, he would get carried away with unnecessarily harsh rebukes. Despite all this, however, he was sure that he would be elected as the first vicar of Virrat.
When the vicar of Ruovesi passed the age of 90, a decision was made to start building a new vicarage in Virrat. The requirements were that the building had to be large and that there would be no compromise on its quality. In addition, a separate living building was to be built in the area, which also housed a laundry room and a bakery. The courtyard was also to include a stable, a stone barn, a granary, a food storehouse and a drying barn. Karl’s own son Onni designed the main building Törnqvist, who later changed his surname to Tarjanne.
In 1891, the secular journey of the vicar of Ruovesi came to an end and it was time for the long-awaited election of the vicar. The election took place just before the final completion of the Marttinen vicarage. The election result was unexpected. Törnqvist was not elected vicar. His overtly harsh criticism of others may have led to his downfall. So he was also unable to live in his long-awaited, brand new and magnificent Marttinen vicarage.
According to the story, Karl became very bitter and when he left he said that he would return. Nowadays, it is said that the windows in the Marttinen vicarage close on their own and, sometimes, you may even hear music playing in the house. Has Karl Gustaf finally made it to his vicarage?
Today, the Marttinen vicarage is one of the youth centre's activity spaces, where various events can be organised.
Despite its name, Rantapappila (“Lakeside Parsonage”) has never been an actual parsonage, but a large farmstead of the vicar's residence Marttinen. However, there were large fields in Rantapappila and the local farmer had two farmhands and two maids to help him.
There is much less information about Rantapappila than the others, but the farm is mentioned in the oldest surviving parish register of Virrat, which dates back to 1749. It can be assumed that the year of construction of the parsonage predates this.