History and architecture...
Rovaniemi doesn't have ANY old buildings. I think that's a bad thing, because we don't have any kind of a historical atmosphere in the city. Rovaniemi was bombed TOTALLY by the Germans in year 1945. That's why any of the old building aren't up anymore. Before the bombing Rovaniemi had been a developing little town, and it's main business was timberfloating - there was a lot of wood going by the two rivers to southern Finland. Also tar was taken south through Rovaniemi.
The new city plan was made by the famous Finnish architecht/designer Alvar Aalto. The city plan is made in the shape of a head of reindreer. The main sportsfield is the eye and the roads going away from Rovaniemi are the horns.
Nowadays Rovaniemi has many building project and many buildings are very modern. The coolest architectural buildings are probably the Jätkänkynttilä - bridge and Arktikum, the Arctic Centre Museum. I'll write about these two to my Rovaniemi-page as soon as possible! :)
If you want to learn more about the history of Rovaniemi go to page:
Go on a one of the snow mobile...
Go on a one of the snow mobile journeys. The scenary is incredible - the guides are very professional but the journey is not for the faint hearted. Travelling across the frozen river on the snow skis
Few words in Finnish
Below few words in Finnish that you can use while visiting Finland.
How do you do or Hello Hyvää päivää (literally: Good day)
How are you? Mitä kuuluu?
Welcome = Tervetuloa
Nice to meet you = Hauska tavata
Good morning = Hyvää huomenta
Good evening = Hyvää iltaa
Good night = Hyvää yötä
Nice weather today = Kaunis ilma tänään
Excuse me or Sorry = Anteeksi
Goodbye = Näkemiin
Sorry, I don't speak Finnish = Anteeksi, en puhu suomea
Do you speak English? = Puhutteko englantia?
Could I have the menu please? = Saisinko ruokalistan?
Could I have the wine list please? = Saisinko viinilistan?
What is this? = Mitä tämä on?
How much does this cost? = Paljonko tämä maksaa?
Could I have a beer please? = Saisinko yhden oluen?
Some water please? = Saanko vettä?
Can I buy you a drink? = Saanko tarjota sinulle drinkin?
Can I call you tomorrow? = Saanko soittaa sinulle huomenna?
Could I have a cup of coffee please? = Saisinko kupin kahvia?
Can I have the bill please? = Saanko laskun?
Excuse me, do you know where the youth hostel is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on retkeilymaja?
Excuse me, do you know where the post office is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on posti?
Excuse me, do you know where the railway station is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on rautatieasema?
Excuse me, do you know where the harbour is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on satama?
Excuse me, do you know where I can find a pharmacy? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on apteekki?
Excuse me, do you know where the nearest bank is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on lähin pankki?
Straight ahead = Suoraan eteenpäin
To the left = Vasemmalle
To the right = Oikealle
Excuse me, do you know where the taxi rank is please? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on taksi-asema?
Excuse me, do you know where the stadium is? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö missä on stadion?
Excuse me, could you tell me the time? = Anteeksi, tiedätkö mitä kello on?
Excuse me, I'm lost = Anteeksi, olen eksynyt
Thank you = Kiitos
Sit down in a cozy house,...
Sit down in a cozy house, watch out of the window, eat the fruit salads and Oltermann cheeze, drink Lapin Kulta beer. Go to a sauna to check if it is hot enought. Beeing in Rovaniemi, I spent a week doing so. Salads with pineapples, meat with pineapples, everything with pineapples. One may guess that's a national fruit here. Photo from this small, but nice gallery.
Battle of Rovaniemi
The Battle of Rovaniemi was an event during the Lapland War. The actual fighting between the Finnish Armoured division and the troops of the German Twentieth Mountain Army took place to the south of the town. The notoriety of the encounter derives from the destruction of the town by the Germans.
The town of Rovaniemi was the capital of Lapland, the northernmost province of Finland. During the Second World War it was an important transport hub since it lay on the road to the Petsamo area and the only free port in the north, Liinahamari.
When the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union started in 1941, the Finnish government allowed German troops from the German 20th Mountain Army in Norway to be stationed in Lapland to help defend the long border. The objective of the Germans was to control the nickel mines in Petsamo and to conquer the Russian port of Murmansk, cutting the Soviet Union off from Allied supply convoys. Rovaniemi was the German HQ in Lapland and also the base of Luftflotte 5 of the Luftwaffe.
Relations between the German garrisons and the local populace in Lapland were in general cordial during the war. However, when the Finns signed a separate peace with the Soviet Union, relations soured. The Germans had some 200,000 troops in Finland and they were still at war with the Russians. The Soviet Union demanded that the Finns remove all German troops from their territory in two weeks, which was a logistical impossibility. However, the Finns did move against the Germans in the Kemi-Tornio region to convince the Russians of their intention to live up to the treaty.
The Germans felt betrayed by the Finns and the German general Lothar Rendulic gave the order that Lapland be destroyed. In many settlements Wehrmacht garrisons were replaced by SS troops who would have less scruples carrying out the order. The mostly wooden town burned for 6 days and nights, with only 13 buildings left standing. Back to my childhood....