Top 5 sights in Oulu


Market Square Policeman
The sculpture of the Market Square Policeman looks over the market square in front of the Market Hall, which is more than a hundred years old. This robust character is a popular companion for selfies.

Oulu Cathedral
A wooden church built in the 1610s originally stood at the site of the current Oulu Cathedral, but it was pulled down due to being in such poor repair. Designed by Daniel Hagman from Sundsvall in Sweden, the Oulu Cathedral was completed in 1777. The cathedral was built of natural stones to be so large that all of Oulu’s 2,400 residents could fit in at the same time for a service. Its wooden structures were destroyed by the fire of Oulu in 1822. Only the stone walls were left standing, and the movables were rescued.
The current stone church was built on the foundations of the old church soon after the fire. It was designed in the neoclassical style by C.L Engel and completed in 1832.
The cathedral is open in the summer and offers guide services in June–August. There is a café in the cathedral’s crypt in the summer.

City Hall
The Oulu City Hall has a colourful past: it has accommodated a restaurant, a hotel and a cinema over the years. The Neo-Renaissance building replaced the Seurahuone restaurant and hotel, which was destroyed in the fire of Oulu in 1882.

The Passage of Time sculpture
The Passage of Time sculpture behind the City Hall on the Torikatu side is well-loved by the people of Oulu. It portrays typical professions of Oulu residents through time. Many of them wear clothing made by locals. One of the characters is a much-loved boy, Martti, who represents the future of this capital of the North.

Seafaring students used to gaze at the the stars in the Linnansaari observatory of the Oulu Maritime School, completed in 1875. The school was originally built over the restored foundations of the Oulu castle, which was destroyed by the explosion of a gunpowder warehouse in 1793. Glowing in beautiful pastel colours, the Observatory has served as a summer café since 1912. Open from the first of May, it’s a great place to have a cup of coffee, buy some summer reading and enjoy the art on display. The view from the observatory opens to the Merikoski rapids, whose unharnessed power challenged even the most skilled 19th century rowers carrying tar in their boats.
An exhibition on the castle’s history is housed in the castle’s basement. People have been looking for a secret tunnel leading from the Linnansaari island to the city for centuries. Can you find it?

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