Kajaani is a charming city that is located beside the Oulujoki river on the southeast of Lake Oulujärvi in Finland. A picturesque city that is surrounded by a beautiful landscape that includes the protected nature areas of Talaskangas and the Otanmäki Bird Basin. Kajaani is the capital of the Kainuu region and Finnish is the language spoken here. With a population of about 38,000 inhabitants, Kajaani has many activities lines up throughout the year. Fishing is a popular sport and visitors head to Lake Ruuhijärvi. Founded in 1651, Kajaani was an important producer of tar from pine and they were used as a sealant for ship hulls.
Experiencing a subarctic climate zone, Kajaani has a milder climate than other cities in this altitude, because of the proximity of the Baltic sea. The warm airflow from the Atlantic makes summers cool, but winters are known to go below -30°C. The currency used is the Euro.
The minimum altitude is 122 m, the maximum altitude is 200 m.
The current mayor of Kajaani is Jari Tolonen.
The official language of the city is Finnois. The french name of the city is Kajaani, the english name of the city is Kajaani.
The Kajaani city was founded in 1651. The website of Kajaani is http://www.kajaani.fi
Points of interest
The Paltaniemi church is a beautiful wooden church that was built in 1726. In Kajaani, churches are normally built in wood and the interior of the Paltaniemi church is spectacular. The walls and ceilings are decorated with detailed paintings. These colorful paintings were created by Emanuel Granberg in the 18th century, but a roof leak has caused damage to the paintings. They were painstakingly restored in 1851 and in the next century too.
When entering the church, the ceiling above the main entrance has the painting of 'The Last Judgement'. This is one of the best preserved paintings in this church. The upper portions portrays the joy in Heaven and the lower portion highlights the misery of Hell. The lower portion was painted over during renovations as the cruelty displayed in Hell was shocking and disturbing to the female members of the congregation. The front of the altar has the painting of 'The Holy Communion'by Margareta Capsia, it was completed in 1727. The service at church during Christmas can be extremely cold as there is no electricity or heating inside the church. This picturesque church can seat 800 people.
Opening Times: 10:00 to 18:00 from the end of May till the end of August
Telephone: +358 (0)8-615 52555
This city is modern, but it is has several areas that are rich in history and heritage. Start your tour from the Town Hall, the Kajaani Art Museum is located in this town's old police station. A building that is spartan, but full of history. Make your way to the old tar channel and admire the cascading waters with the dense woods nearby. The gatekeeper's house is nearby and the Jaeger Monument is worth a visit. This was an elite infantry troop. The Jaegers were volunteers who were sent to Germany for training during WWI.
The old library is the arts & crafts center and the Taito Shop Kainuun Pirtti. This is the second oldest building in Kajaani and it adds charms and ambiance to the center. Notice the railway station that is picturesque with its intricate wooden trimmings. Pass the Wall of Tears that was built to help the locals during the great depression. The Paltaniemi church is charming and enchanting, the well preserved paintings on the ceiling are breathtaking. Walk to the Statue of Elias Lönnrot, Kajaani pays homage to the doctor, who was a writer and enjoyed traveling the region to collecting local folklore from the people of Karelia. The Finnish national epic Kalevala was completed in 1835 by Elias Lönnrot.
Kajaani Art Museum is an interesting museum that is located in an old building that once served as a police station. The police cell in this building is still preserved in its original condition and the museum holds temporary exhibits there, casting an intriguing atmosphere on the exhibition. This building was designed by the local architect Eino Pitkänen, it was built in a simplistic manner to serve the purpose of a police station. The north wing leads to the old Town Hall and this makes the museum located in the center of the city and easy to approach. The museum is spread over two levels and there are impressive art works of about 639 paintings on display. They represent the work of 99 different artists, local and international. The artwork on display showcases the Finnish art work between 1980-1990. Local artists have supported the museum and you will find works of renowned artiest like Matti Koshela, who has donated many of his graphics to the museum, Kaarlo Mikkonen has donated miniature sculptures and Ilkka Väätti both paintings and sculptures.
Opening hours: Sunday-Friday 10:00-17:00, Wed 10:00-20:00, Saturday closed
Admission free on Wednesdays between 16.00 and 18.00
Along the south side of the river, serenely located next to the Kaupunginlampi pond is the area of Purola in Kajaani. This is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Kajaani. The houses in this area are some of the most beautiful examples of detached wooden houses from the 50s. These houses were occupied by the staff of the sawmill and the paper mill. Notice the old Mansard roofed houses, there have two slopes on each of the four sides. The lower slope is more inclined than the upper slope, though it is not visible from the ground. Created by a French Architect, François Mansart, he resurrected this typical French Renaissance style. These roofs make optimum space usage of the attic and a special aspect of this roofing is that it can be done on existing buildings to create space. The Neo-Baroque revival ensured that the Mansard roof was a common choice for most buildings in North America and Europe during the 19th century. These classic houses dot the U-shaped streets that are found in this neighborhood, most of the houses are from the 20th century, though certain houses are older and was renovated in this style. A beautiful locality with strikingly pretty houses.
Kajaani was an important city in the tar industry. Tar was produced from pine in the large forests of this region. The barrels of wood tar were loaded on the boats and through the waterways, the tar was transported to the city of Oulu. The boats passed Kajaani, Lake Oulujärvi and the River Oulujoki before reaching Oulu. This tar was used as a sealant and an anti-rot agent for ship hulls and it was in demand in most European countries. In the 19th century, this country became the biggest exporter of wood tar in the world. There were two rapids along the river that obstructed the smooth path of the boats, so in 1838, this city built locks to facilitate the smooth transfer of the barrels of the tar. The locks were used till 1904, when the railways was extended to Kajaani and the locks were not needed anymore. The lock at Ämmänkoski rapid survived and after renovation in 1980s it showcases a historic event of this city.
The lock keepers cottage is beautiful, built in 1880 it was later used during WWI as a place of rest for soldiers. Browse through the exhibition inside of the history of the transportation of tar and the success story of the locks at Kajaani. During summer, there are demonstrations of the working of the lock on authentic old boats.
The Evangelic-Lutheran church that stands in Kajaani is a typical neo-Gothic architecture that began in the 18th century, but this church has the Finnish influence of ornate wooden trimmings and a slender, but delicate bell tower. The church was made entirely of wood and it was designed by the famous Finnish architect Jacob Ahrenberg. The altar piece in the Evagelic-Lutheran church shows Jesus with Saint Peter. A beautiful and airy interior after the renovation in 2006.
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 June to August
Telephone: +358 8 61552555
The Railway Station at Kajaani was constructed in 1905. This building was designed by Karl Gustaf Nyström a renowned architect who specialized in Neo-Renaissance style of construction. This wooden railway station at Kajaani is one of the most beautiful railway station in this country. It is considered an important monument that represents the culture and history of this region. Efforts were made to renovate this building and keep it as authentic as possible. This beautiful railway station has some intriguing features like the tall fireplaces that reach the ceiling. The ticket office, the waiting room or even the quaint cafe reflects the culture of this region.
The museum of Kainuu is a local provincial museum that is located in the city center. It has on display over 19,000 artifacts that enlighten the visitor about the culture, history and customs of this city. Browse through the exhibits on tar production, peasant traditions and culture. There is a beautiful display of photographic material of this region and an introduction to the military history of this region from early days to the present. This museum also has thematic temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Kajaanin Linna as it is called in Finnish was built in 1604. It was originally a fort with a strong stone wall, two turrets and wooden structures built between them to serve as a fortification against the Russians and protect this area against invasion through the inland waterway. This formidable castle was never used as a royal castle and it is the last remaining medieval fortification in the Nordic countries. An impressive architecture that mortified even the Russian, as they never dared attack Kajaani during the 17th century. The Kajaani Castle was eventually blown up during the Great Northern War of 1716.
How to get there ?
Kajaani has its own airport and there are daily flights into this city. The airport is 7 kilometers from the city center and it is just a ten minute drive. Kajaani is well connected to Helsinki in the south and Oulu in the west.
The Highway 5 is one of the major network of roads that passes through Kajaani linking the north and the south of this country to this city. Highway 6 connects with Joensuu, while Highway 22 and 28 links Kajaani to Oulu and Kokkola on the west coast. Driving is the best way to explore the surrounding areas of Kajaani, the roads are excellent and the landscapes picturesque. Do look out for moose, reindeer and elks that normally cross the road.
There are buses everyday from Helsinki and more frequent buses of three to four a day from Oulu and Joensuu. The train station is in the city center of Kajaani and there are daily trains connecting this city to Helsinki via Kuopio or Oulu.
Walking is the good option to explore the town hall and the castle, but it is advisable to hire a car for the other attractions. Driving is a pleasure and parking is not a big problem. The local transport is the bus in Kajaani and it is operated by Pohjolan Matkat .