Kassu Halonen Art House is on the island of Manamansalo in the middle of Lake Oulujärvi. The Art House promotes Finnish popular and folk music, and art and is a centre for exhibitions and courses, as well as a tourist destination. The exhibition space hosts changing art exhibitions every year as well as a permanent exhibition on the work of Finnish pop music composer Kassu Halonen. Concerts are held here in the evenings and the space can be hired for parties. There is also a cafe.
This collection of buildings in Vaala is an exceptionally well-preserved example of historic buildings on the banks of the Oulujoki river. There are a total of 20 buildings here in all, containing valuable details of popular construction techniques. The buildings and the items they contain date from the eighteenth century.
The Monument Church was built in 1959 on the site of a wooden church destroyed during the Russo-Swedish war. The Manamansalo Church was the first, and one of the few, churches in Kainuu in the 16th century. It was also the location of Kainuu’s first church cemetery. From the surroundings of the Monument Church have been found artifacts dating back to almost 8000 years, indicating that the region has been settled already at that time.
Peuranpolku nature trail is a two-kilometres-long marked trail beginning from Manamansalon Portti and ending up to Monumental Church. Along the Peuranpolku nature trail, you can explore the rich cultural history of Manamansalo, such as a monument church, Stone Age deer hunting pits and peat hut and their surroundings, which are reminiscent of the old deer hunters’ village. The trail follows what was once the shoreline of the ancient Ancylus Lake.
The Terttu Jurvakainen Art Gallery is in the centre of Muhos. The gallery hosts a traditional summer exhibition running from early June to the end of August. The summer exhibition presents a wide and varied collection of Terttu Jurvakainen’s own paintings. It also features guest artists, modern sculpture, ceramics and glasswork.
The power stations on the Oulujoki River were mainly designed by Aarne Ervi. Aarne Ervi designed not only the main power station buildings, the dams and the power transfer equipment but also the offices, and residential areas and service buildings, whole communities that rose up amid the untouched forests. The power stations and the residential architecture Ervi designed continue the principles of functionalism. Find out more about Aarne Ervi’s architecture here.
Muhos, Utajärvi and Säräisniemi churches are important representative examples of wooden church architecture. Muhos church is the oldest wooden church in Finland in year-round use, being built in 1634.
Säräisniemi church dates from 1779 – 1781 and is a beautiful wooden church in an idyllic setting. It was built in the parish of Säräisniemi to replace Manamansalo church, which was destroyed in the Russo-Swedish war in the 1590s, as the journey to the next nearest church, in Paltaniemi, was a long one and crossing Oulujärvi Lake was dangerous. Next to the church, under the trees, is a graveyard with old, decorated gravestones. The graveyard also has a memorial to people of the parish who died in the Second World War. The stone footings of Säräisniemi church are in beautifully pleated gneiss, quarried from nearby Pirunkallio. Pirunkallio means “Devil’s Rock” in Finnish. The gneiss is one of the oldest rocks in the European Union. The is an information board of Säräisniemi village by the parking lot of the church.
The southernmost boundary of Rokua National Park is bordered by the Emperor’s Road, part of the old route between the Cities of Oulu and Kajaani. It was first cleared and built as part of the construction of Kajaani Castle. The road was completed in the 1610s, when it was used by soldiers, officials and merchants. It was also the route for post from Vyborg to Oulu, both at the time being under Swedish rule. Heavier goods were transported down the Oulujoki river even once the road was completed.
Utajärvi, Muhos and Säräisniemi churches are important representative examples of wooden church architecture.