Land of the Arctic Circle

 

 

 

 

Browse the photo gallery here

 


Rovaniemi is Peräpohja’s great village, the capital of Lapland and its ”only real city”. It’s a town at the Arctic Circle where you can admire the midnight sun and enjoy the special blue twilight of winter. The first mention of Rovaniemi is found in a note of purchase from 1453.

Rovaniemi is situated in a valley sheltered by many high hills at the junction of the Kemi and Ou-nasjoki rivers. Rovaniemi is sometimes called Finland’s Paris and sometimes Finland’s Klondike. It is known as one step on the journey into the wide-open ranges of Lapland, though it is also a gateway in every direction, depending on the traveller.

Wayfarers and tourists are part of Rovaniemi’s history. Renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed the town plan for the city as well as many public and private buildings. Rovaniemi has lured tourists and visitors with both its location and the image of its free lifestyle and relaxed everyday customs.

The best example of these wayfarers is the lumberjacks who came north to find work at the lumbercamps and in log-floating. During their leisure time, they congregated in the city to associate with each other and have a good time. The lumberjack of all times and king of the transient labourers was called Nätti-Jussi, already a legend in his own lifetime. Nätti-Jussi and his wild yarns still live on in Rovaniemi.

During the Lapland War, Rovaniemi was torched to the ground, but was afterwards rebuilt. The city’s landmarks have been built close to the river: Arktikum, the Lumberjack statue, Pohjanhovi and the city’s church with its red-tinged crosses. The Lapland Tourist Association organized log-floating championships on the Ounaskoski Rapids until the 1960s.

You can reach the other side of the river by crossing the Lumberjack Candle Bridge. The mecca of the midnight sun and winter sports, Ounasvaara Hill, rises up from there, itself a gift of Mother Nature to the townspeople.

The first tourist brochures of Rovaniemi were printed in the 1950s. After that, Santa Claus himself together with his helpers have settled down to live in the city. This website presents the history of travel and tourism in Rovaniemi during a period of one hundred years. Ounasvaara and the Ounasvaara Ski Club represent success stories in the tourism of Lapland and Rovaniemi. Competitive sporting events continue on Ounasvaara Hill, and it is also an outdoor recreation area popular amongst the townspeople themselves as well as a site for picking mushrooms and berries, not to mention a favourite tourist destination.

 

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Land of the Arctic Circle
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Mountain of the
Midnight Sun

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Finland’s Klondike
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From sleigh rides to the
age of the Concorde

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The nearest real hotel
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Santa Claus Land
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A city called by many
name
s - and the heroes
take the spoils

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Arktikum

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Church of Rovaniemi

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Korvatunturi

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Lumberjack Candle Bridge

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Lumberjacks

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Lumberjack Statue

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Municipal Tourist Activity

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Nätti-Jussi

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Ounasvaara Ski Club

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Pohjanhovi

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The Movie:
At The Rovaniemi Market


 

 



G. A. Andersson:
"The Rovaniemi Market"

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J.K. Inha:
On Midsummer Day, 1892
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Sakari Päsi:
In Timber Forests And
Log-floating Streams
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Travellers in Lapland - Info - © 2007 University of Lapland