Sights and Popular Visiting Spots
Statues and Monuments
- Anchor of the light vessel Kemi
This anchor is the reserve or admiralty anchor of the light vessel Kemi. Kemi was the last light vessel in Finland. It was built in Porin Konepaja in 1901 and brought to Kemi in 1956. In the autumn of 1975, Kemi light vessel, which had been converted into a museum ship, sailed to the Hylkysaari shore in Helsinki. It has been included in the collection of the Maritime Museum of Finland and is now located in the Vellamo Maritime Centre in Kotka.
- War child statue Pieni ikuisuus (‘little eternity’)
The artist Sanna Koivisto’s war child statue Pieni ikuisuus (1996), located in the inner harbour, is probably the world’s first monument dedicated to war children. It is a bronze child figure over a metre-high that is set on a concrete base. The plaques by the statue include a text by two eminent local personalities, Elsi and Ossi Liiten: ‘People / Peace is love / War is hatred / but the road to civilisation is love / it grows from your lap to your heart’. The statue was erected to commemorate the war children of Kemi during the wars between 1938 and 1944, and as a reminder of the plight and suffering of children in war-torn countries in 1996.
The Ukkometto statue is located at the end of Meripuistokatu, near the swimming pool. It was constructed in 1982 by Helsinki-based sculptor and graphic artist Aimo Taleva. It was made in Kemi’s vocational school on a metalwork course and it was originally placed in the yard of the vocational school located in Tervaharju. The statue is made of steel from Outokumpu and it sits on a concrete base. It displays elements commonly used by wood folk artists.
- Ystävykset (‘friends’)
This bronze sculpture from 1960 is located at the entrance to the swimming pool of Kemi. It is the first artwork made by the artist Ensio Seppänen in Kemi. The sculpture depicts playing children; a girl and a boy, as well as a frog. The sculpture was completed in 1960 but it was kept in the city’s warehouse until 1969, when it was placed in front of the town swimming pool, which had been completed a couple of years earlier as part of the town’s 100th anniversary activities. At first it was a so-called fountain sculpture.
- Valokivi (‘light stone’)
The environmental artwork Valokivi, designed by the town architect Tero Eloranta, is located in the inner harbour at the end of Kauppakatu. It was erected in 2003 and the deployed materials include unused street curb blocks, granite blocks connected to each other in a similar way to logs in a cabin. The blocks form four walls of different heights with a lit empty space in the middle.
- Majakka (‘lighthouse’)
Kaija Kiuru’s steel sculpture Majakka (2002) on the shore in Hahtisaari. The sculpture uses shapes that represent home and inaction, but also expectation and longing. The lighthouse provides light and protection. At night, the light coming from inside the sculpture glows through the names of ships cut into its steel sides. Kaija Kiuru: ‘The idea for the protection theme comes from pictures of refugee camps I saw during 2001. Eighty percent of refugees are homeless women and girls. When they escape, they often only carry a tent with them. It made me think about the meaning of homelessness.’ A boat or ship is a means by which refugees can get to safety.
- Pari (‘pair’)
Sculptor Hannu Siren’s artwork Pari is located at the point of connection between the new and old parts of the swimming pool. The sculpture was built by the employees of Kemi Council. It was revealed in 1997. It is made of mirror steel that rusts, but otherwise withstands the northern climate. The sculpture consists of two cubes of the height of 4.5 metres each. It can be viewed from many directions, from the café above, from the pool, and from outside. It looks different from each angle. Sirén’s artwork is characterised by extreme plainness, simplicity and geometric shapes.
- Tullikamari (‘customs office’) comic exhibition and gemstone gallery
Tullikamari was designed by Walter Thomén in 1912. Here you can find a comic exhibition and gemstone gallery that are open around the year. In the first plans of the customs chamber, the planned material was logs, but the city council decided to use reinforced concrete and concrete bricks instead. At first, the bottom floor included an inspection room, warehouse and janitor’s office. The top floor housed the customs officer’s room, a delivery room, a treasury, the on-duty officer’s room, a traffic office and laundry facilities. The customs office played an important role in operations carried out in the inner harbour until 1985. After customs operations were stopped, the city renovated the building and made it suitable for the gemstone gallery, which opened in 1986. The building is yellow and represents simple Nordic classicism typical of Thomén. Tullikamari is an important building in the inner harbour.
- Troy Town
The troy town located in Meripuisto park is a copy of another troy town found at the northern end of Ajoskrunni. The local word for troy town, ‘jatulintarha’, was originally only used to describe troy towns in the Kemi and Tornio region. As the oldest research on troy towns concerned this area, the name soon became a generic term used for maze patterns and structures all over the country.
- Yli-Jaakheikki smoke hut
The Yli-Jaakheikki smoke hut was built in 1796. It was moved to its current location in Meripuisto in 1950. The smoke hut is open in the summer, from Midsummer Day to the beginning of August. There is no entrance fee.
- Snow Castle
Kemi’s Snow Castle, first built in 1996, is a landmark in Kemi. Today, part of the Snow Castle is open all year round. Snow Experience 365, located in the main building of the Snow Castle area, is open every day of the year.
- Meripuisto Park
Meripuisto is a park in the Sauvosaari area in the centre of Kemi. The park is bordered by Kauppakatu, Urheilukatu and Meripuistokatu, and to the west by Luulajantie, which separates the park from the sea. On the Luulajantie side, the park is bordered by old warehouses. The area was marked as a park already in the first town plan drawn up by L.I. Linqvist in 1989. However, the area remained largely a wild forest and quarry until 1893, when a park pavilion, designed by architect Waldemar Wilenius was built on top of the hill at the highest point of the park. Most likely the transformation of the site into a park started at that time. The area was known as the Rantapuisto (‘beach park’) until the pavilion was built, after which it began to be called Paviljonkipuisto (‘pavilion park’). Its current name, Meripuisto (‘maritime park), was given to it later. The town plan includes 31 hectares of park-designated land of which 17 hectares are protected.
- Tullimakasiini (‘customs warehouse’)
Kemi’s customs warehouse was designed by J.G. Björnström and built in 1874. The building materials were obtained from the forest ranger’s hut in Selkäsaari and a barn in Peurasaari. Numerous changes were made to the original drawings and deployment plans during the construction phase. In 1893 the building was painted yellow. The original customs warehouse was expanded already in 1897. Some of the inner spaces have been converted into heated office spaces while in others the original wooden surfaces still remain. The attractive and well-maintained warehouse building has retained its original image well. It is protected.
- Seilari office
There is a small building in the inner harbour, which was originally a harbour office. It is a yellow Neo-Renaissance-style building that was constructed in the late 19th century. It was moved to its current location at the north end of the pier in 1904. There is a summer café and a fuel distribution point in the building.
- Boat bus and boathouse
There is a boat bus dating from the 1940s in the Meripuisto museum area. Boat buses were used until the 1960s to transport loading workers to the roadstead, in other words mooring spots off the coast of Kemi. There, timber, cellulose and paper were hoisted into the ships.
- Jarkkola granary
Jarkkola granary is a typical unpainted two-storey log granary. It has yellow horizontal boarded doors and an ornately carved base log. It was moved to its current location in the 1980s.
- Saartola granary
Saartola granary belonged to the city councillor Frans Saartola and it was moved to its current location from Liedakkala in 1969. The building is a two-storey, red-painted and partially vertically boarded log granary with white decorative eaves boards. It has a yellow door with a yellow hatch over it, as well as small openings on the sides. There is a small toilet between the granaries.
- White Customs Villa
The first customs buildings in Kemi’s inner harbour started carrying out operations as early as 1872, but actual customs operations only began in 1873. A separate residential apartment was built next to customs office for the customs administrator. The white villa was originally located at the western end of Kauppakatu, former Pakkahuoneenkatu, in an area currently occupied by Länsi-Pohja Central Hospital. The materials used to build the white villa were obtained from buildings on the Lahti-Täikö farm. It was designed by provincial architect F.W. Lüchow and it built as early as 1873. It was one of the first houses in Kemi and it is said to be located so close to the beach that customs officer Wilhelm Johansson could catch fish from his living room window. The customs officer’s house also included all necessary outbuildings. The hospital board donated the house to Kemi Regional and Museum Association and it was transferred to the Meripuisto museum area in 1968. The customs building is reminiscent of a traditional double hut and has three rooms, an entrance hall and a simple porch. The log-framed building has white-painted wide horizontal board wainscoting at the bottom and vertical boarding at the top, as well as a red, well-maintained tin roof. The White Villa is one of the oldest houses in Kemi and is therefore of great cultural and historical importance
- Haminasaari granary
The Haminasaari granary was obtained from the Tervaharju farm and donated by Kaarlo Liuski. It is a two-storey red-painted and plain boarded barn. The door and hatch on top of it are painted yellow.
- Rantaniemi house
Rantaniemi house was the first museum building transferred to Meripuisto. The house belonged to Ape Rantaniemi (1873–1952) and used to be located along the Kemijoki River in the village of Liedakkala in Kemi’s rural district. The house appears to have been built according to the drawings of the office of a Major of the local ruotu army and it was completed in 1849 to serve as the second main building of the wealthy Rantaniemi ‘salmon house’, a so-called beach house. The Rantaniemi house was ordered to be demolished due to the damming of the Kemijoki River in 1948. Pohjolan Voima Oy dismantled and donated the building for Kemi’s Regional and Museum Association. It was moved from Liedakkala to its current location in 1950. The house served as an exhibition space for Kemi Historical Museum until 1993.
- Reserve warehouse
The reserve warehouse was built in 1874 and it represents Kemi’s old building style. There were once dozens of warehouses of this type in the inner harbour. The red-painted two-storey warehouse building consists of several sections with different-size doors. According to tradition, some of the logs came from the Kuivaniemi church, which was built in 1762 and dismantled in 1874. The reserve warehouse was partly used by customs until 1913. The seaward end was used as a warehouse by Vaasan Höyrymylly Oy.
- Raikamon suuli (‘Raikamo barn’)
Raikamon suuli was built in the 1880s and it was originally part of the warehouse complex of the old harbour. In the beginning, the Raikamo barn belonged to the Raikamo trading house. Now it is owned by the City of Kemi. It is a long L-shaped warehouse building painted yellow and red. The building’s wainscoting is partly vertical and partly horizontal. It has a new plain boarded roof as well as several horizontal double doors and hatches. Kemi Council renovated the building in 2006.
- Paloste warehouse
Paloste warehouse was built in 1880. It is an elongated rectangular red log house with two brown double doors. There are small shutters at the end of the building. The Paloste warehouse was originally a paint warehouse that belonged to Paloste paint shop. Now the old warehouse hosts Safaris Cafe, which hosts ‘safari activities’ and an ice cream parlour in the summer.
- Pentinsaari warehouse or Näätsaari granary
Pentinsaari warehouse was built in the beginning of the 20th century and it was transferred to its current location for it to be used as a storage warehouse. It is currently called the Raija Näätsaari granary.
- Multiple-purpose warehouse
The new multi-purpose warehouse is a long red-painted restaurant and service building located on the shore. It is staggered on three levels on a hillside. The building has both horizontal and vertical boarded yellow doors. It was built to replace a burnt-out warehouse in 2003 and mimics an old beach warehouse. Ab Kemi Oy’s lime warehouse was once located in the same place. The building houses a restaurant called Sataman krouwi.
- Mansikkanokka sawmill, power plant construction
In 1895, carpenter Henrik Granholm built a single-frame steam sawmill in Mansikkanokka. It was converted into a four-frame sawmill in 1914. In 1936, the sawmill was sold to Kemi Oy, which established a barge and tug boat dock on the site. The saw and planing mill buildings have been demolished and only the power plant remains of the different buildings connected to the sawmill.