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Tankar harbour

National urban parks comprise Finland’s most valuable natural and cultural sites located within towns and cities as well as the areas in their immediate vicinity. National urban parks highlight the best aspects of Finnish urban life, culture and nature. Like a necklace of pearls, they join together the story of Finland’s national history and cultural development. In the Kokkola National Urban Park, you can enjoy the maritime cultural heritage, attractive architecture and landscapes shaped by land uplift.

The special features of the Kokkola National Urban Park include its maritime environment, land uplift, and historical elements such as economic and settlement history and the layered and preserved urban framework. In addition, the diverse and extensive nature areas and comprehensive recreational services are an important part of the urban park.

The Kokkola National Urban Park highlights the story of how a small village located along the slowly-rising coastline and sustained by agriculture, fishing and seal hunting went on to engage in shipbuilding, tar burning and trade and to grow to be a vibrant and international trading city that formed its own educated classes and urban bourgeoisie.

The phenomenon of land uplift has had – and still has – a significant impact on the interaction between the sea and the land in Kokkola. The shallow shores and receding sea have forced the city residents to move the harbours further and further away from the city centre. The maritime, coastal and archipelago nature of the national urban park is also clearly characterised by the phenomenon of land uplift: nature is constantly changing, constantly in a dynamic process of ecological succession.

Kokkola National Urban Park was established in 2020. It covers an area of almost 20,000 hectares, and is mostly comprised of water areas. The park stretches from Kokkola railway station to the maritime archipelago and the Tankar Lighthouse.

National Urban Parks in Finland
  • By taking the Neristan walking tour, you can get to know attractive architectural sites, rich cultural history and great historical parks. You can discover one of the most highly valued wooden house areas in Finland, classic architecture, imposing wooden art nouveau, and functionalism’s stylish, clear lines and forms. At the same time, you also learn about the famous individuals associated with the city and the maritime cultural heritage of Kokkola. Along the way, you can also enjoy the city’s services, including museums, cafés and restaurants.

    Wooden houses in Neristan
    The Old Wooden Town Neristan
  • The Kokkola National Urban Park can be easily reached by bike. From the city centre, you can take a bike along the Strait of Sunti all the way to the seashore. By biking to the tip of Trullevinniemi Bay, you can admire the sea landscape with its many fine sights and lighthouses. Alternatively, you can head for Sannanranta, where you can enjoy the village road with its many historical villas. The Kokkola National Urban Park has many kilometres of cycle trails. Longer routes can be quickly covered on an electric bike, while the shorter routes can be suitable for family trips. You can also find beautiful picnic spots along the routes.

    Historical Villa in Sannanranta
    Sannanranta

     

  • The unfolding splendour of Kokkola’s parks brings pleasure to your time outdoors whether you’re on a calm afternoon stroll or diving into some energetic games. The Kokkola National Urban Park has three historic parks: the Englanninpuisto, Länsipuisto and Chydenius Park. These parks date from the 1800s, and you can immerse yourself there in the stories of the past. Brita Maria Park, Hollyhaka Park and Meripuisto Park, meanwhile, are the more recent arrivals. In these parks, you can find skate parks, disc golf courses and other play and exercise equipment to suit people of all ages. In addition, the Meripuisto Park has a beach and the Galaxy light art installation, which helps everyone enjoy their time on the beach right through to the evening.

    Flowers in Chydenius park
    Chydenius park
  • The sea is always at hand in the Kokkola National Urban Park. You can enjoy our maritime cultural heritage by admiring the beacons and harbours from both the sea and the land. By land, you can discover Harrbåd’s haunting beacon and numerous other historical harbours. At the tip of Trullevinniemi Bay, you can also get a fine view of passing storms and the many different sea birds. In the Archipelago, you can find daymarks, lighthouses, beacons and remnants of the old seal hunting culture. Our maritime cultural heritage can also be found under water, where the sea conceals hundreds of shipwrecks housed in their own Shipwreck Park. Along with such historical sites, you can also enjoy the sea in the present moment on any of our magnificent beaches.

    Snowy picture from Harrbåda lighthouse
    Harrbåda
  • The Kokkola National Urban Park is a real bird paradise! A total of 242 bird species have been identified in just the single nature reserve of Rummelören and Harrinniemi, and 86 of these species regularly nest in the area. Migratory fish, such as sea trout, lampern and migratory whitefish, gather at the Perhonjokisuu Estuary before starting their journey up the river. Pike and perch, meanwhile, enjoy the flad of the Nisulanpot Nature Reserve, which offers plenty of food and shelter. In addition to wild animals, the Kokkola National Urban Park also contains many sheep, whose grazing helps to keep the cultural landscape open and to manage traditional biotopes. The numerous islets, islands and outcrops in the Kokkola archipelago as well as the islands at the southern end of Morsiussaari Island are all nature reserves. The urban park contains a total of 17,463 hectares of Natura 2000 areas.

  • On our maritime hiking routes, you can discover an ever-changing natural landscape. You can see the signs of land uplift, such as cobble fields, flads and land uplift forest areas. You can enjoy the broad horizon from coastal cliffs or explore the glacial grooves in the rocks. Many different forest creatures, such as hedgehogs and flying squirrels, can be found in the natural forests of Trullevi, while the coastal rocks are a pleasant spot for seals. You can find suitable walking paths for children and longer routes for more active walkers.

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