With its splendid sunsets, Nallikari is home to a lighthouse – actually an observation tower – that is a permanent favourite for countless holiday photos and is a landmark loved by locals. The upper level of the observation tower, which was completed in 1988, offers a view of the entire beach area of Nallikari, while in summer there is a cafe and water equipment rental outlet in summer at the foot of the tower.
The lighthouse was designed by architects of the Oulu School of Architecture. In winter, you may also be lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights flickering across the night sky.
The magnificent pastel Tähtitorni cafe has been a summer cafe in Linnansaari since 1912. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, buy something to read in the summer and admire the art on display. The tower also offers views of Merikoski rapids, which were a tough test for even the most skilled rowers carrying tar when the rapids flowed freely in the nineteenth century.
Originally, maritime students looked up to the stars in the observation tower of Oulu maritime school, built in 1875 according to the designs of Wolmar Westling in the highly decorative nikkarityyli Finnish wood construction style of the late nineteenth century. The school was built on the repaired foundations of Oulu Castle, which was destroyed by the explosion of a gunpowder store in 1793. The Oulu maritime school operated for 46 years, during which time 200 sea captains and others graduated from the school.
In summer, the castle’s cellar is home to an exhibition about the history of the castle. For centuries, people have tried to find a secret passage from Linnansaari island to the city. Can you find it?
Tietomaa Science Centre
The Tietomaa tower was originally an old water tower, which was part of the complex of buildings of the Veljekset Åström tannery which operated in the area. The tower was designed by the architect Birger Federley and was completed in 1921. The top floor, about 35 metres high, can be reached by a panoramic lift. Tickets are sold by the cashier in Tietomaa Science Centre.
Tietomaa’s main building is a former steam power plant of the tannery, and operated from the 1860s to 1960. From the tower of Tietomaa you can admire Oulu from above, and when walking down the staircase you can see a presentation of the Northern Lights, and more. You can also book dinner in the tower for groups – spirits are guaranteed to be high!