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Kokkola is a city where history and the time-honoured layers of the city’s structure are constantly present. There is plenty to see and experience in Kokkola for those interested in history and culture.
Neristan, the Old Town of Kokkola
Neristan is one of the most coherent and extensive preserved wooden towns in Finland, and has consolidated its position as a living traditional town and as an area of national historical significance. Neristan has retained the spirit of the old Kokkola to this day. You will find more detailed information about Neristan and its attractions on the website of Kokkola Tourism Ltd.
Tankar, the lighthouse island of Kokkola
The Tankar lighthouse island just outside Kokkola is a varied tourist attraction offering visitors an unforgettable experience of nature and an insight into what life used to be like in the archipelago. You will find further information about Tankar island and boat trips to the island on the website of Kokkola Tourism Ltd.
Rural culture in the villages
The old villages are the regional centres of the rural areas around Kokkola. The Kaarlela Church from the 15th century dominates the scenery at Kirkonmäki. In the village of Kälviä, sights of interest include the church and the bell tower, the old Kruunumakasiini and Marttakoti.
The Church of Lohtaja, the vicarage and the museum of local history are at the centre of the Lohtaja Church Music Festival. The altarpiece of the Ullava Church was painted by the master artist of the region, Veikko Vionoja.
Taide-Vionoja art centre, located at Veikko Vionoja’s summer home, exhibits the master’s artwork during the summer.
Museums in Kokkola
The rich cultural heritage of Kokkola is displayed at the K H Renlund Museum. The multifaceted exhibitions of the museum are located at Roos House, the Pedagogium (old grammar school), the Lassander House and the exhibition hall.
The museum yard is a haven for city dwellers on summer days, a place for relaxation during a tour of the museum. Apart from the museum quarters, the history of the city of Kokkola is also on display at Drake House, a private dwelling now functioning as a museum. The museums of local history in the old villages present the rural culture of the region. You will find further information about K H Renlund Museum exhibitions and programme on the museum administration website.
Public art in Kokkola
There are approximately 30 outdoor sculptures and historical monuments in the Kokkola region, about ten of which are close to the city centre. The materials vary from granite to marble and from steel to concrete. Karl Nylund and Jorma Korpela represent the local artists. Other artists who should be mentioned here include Walter Runeberg, Essi Renwall, Matti Visanti, Ukri Merikanto and Pekka Jylhä. You can view the sculptures and other attractions in and near the city centre on guided walks arranged during the summer or using the walking tour map available on the Tourism Kokkola Ltd website.
Events in Kokkola
There is plenty to see and experience at the cultural and sports events arranged in Kokkola throughout the year. The Kokkola marketplace brightens up the city during the summer. The Wednesday evening market gathers people together from all over the region. The marketplace comes alive on the last Saturday of the summer with the Venetian market, celebrating the end of the summer cottage season. You can capture the true spirit of the Venetian Night Festival on a torch-lit cruise or by taking in the festive lighting of the villas on the Seven Bridges island route. You will find more detailed information about the events in Kokkola in the events calendar.