Kokkola is a charming seaside town with a population of about 48 000. The king of Sweden, Gustav II Adolf founded the town in 1620. Anders Chydenius obtained free trading rights for the city in 1765. At that time Kokkola was famous for its ships and their tar cargos. The trading tradition is still going strong and it is one of the reasons for keeping the city international, bilingual, obliging and distinctive. And nowadays the town is the provincial centre of Central Ostrobothnia.
Kokkola is also a cultural town that offers versatile cultural experiences and a broad-spectrum of annual events. Kokkola is traditionally a shipping and trading town as well as a modern and vital provincial centre.
The old part of the town, Neristan and the lighthouse island Tankar with the sea attracts visitors, as well as the multiple annual events. Kokkola is also a known conference city that offers versatile and functional meeting services in the middle of Finland. It is easy to come to Kokkola!
Did you know… ?
1. Jackson Haines (1840-1875)
American skater Jackson Haines, considered the “father of modern figure skating,” is buried in Maria’s cemetery in Kokkola. A pair of roller skates developed by him is one of our museum’s treasures. Jackson, who was born in New York in 1840, was a ballet dancer, who then ventured into ice skating. He was the first skater to incorporate ballet movements into the then rigid and ungraceful way of skating. A figure skating competition carrying his name, the Jackson Haines Cup, is arranged every year in Kokkola. He died in Kokkola in 1875.
2. The English landing craft (paddle box boat)
As far as is known the only landing craft ever to be captured from the British Royal Navy is on display in the English Park in Kokkola. Battle at Halkokari on June 7, 1854; more than 200 English soldiers of the Royal Navy tried to come ashore in nine paddle box boats. Nine English soldiers were killed in the battle and they are buried at the Maria cemetary in Kokkola.
3. A beginning for the Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate
K.H. Renlund, a merchant from Kokkola, secured a loan for confectioner Karl Fazer so he could start his first confectionery. This was also the beginning of the Finnish classic, Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate.
4. Port of Kokkola and All Weather Terminal
Port of Kokkola is the third largest general port in Finland. Cargo traffic through the port has experienced a powerful growth thanks to development efforts characterized by long term and through planning. The first Nordic All Weather Terminal (AWT) is located in Kokkola. The terminal is 132 meters long and 35 meters high.
5. Samba el Gambo
The northernmost samba school in Finland, Samba el Gambo, can be found in Kokkola.
6. Plantings in the English Park
Every tree species that occur naturally in Finland is planted in the English Park in Kokkola.
7. Yacht Club Mustakari
Gamlakarleby Segelförening r.f. is the fourth oldest yacht club in Finland. Mustakari pavilion, built in 1908, is still their home port and inside the Yacht Club operates also a Summer Restaurant Mustakari.
8. Kokkola and chemistry
Kokkola is known for its expertise in chemistry. Kokkola has also one of Europe’s biggest lithium deposits.
9. The Venetian Night celebration
The Venetian Night celebration in Finland has its origins in the Kokkola region, where the celebration dates back more than 100 years. The traditions still lives on and every year on the last weekend of August, the residents in the Kokkola region celebrate the end of summer at their summer cottages, villas, and in their own homes. The celebrations include lighting lanterns, burning bonfires, shooting fireworks and celebrating with friends and family.
10. Kokkola is one of the largest milk producer in Finland
Kokkola really is one of the largest milk producer in Finland. Almost 53 million litres of milk was produced on the 122 dairy farms in Kokkola in the quota period 2020. The data is based on statistics from Tike. (Tike, Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
11. Kokkola National Urban Park
Kokkola National Urban Park was established in 2020 and it is the largest national urban parks in Finland. It covers an area of almost 20 000 hectares, and is mostly comprise of water areas. The park stretches from Kokkola railway station to the maritime archipelago and the Tankar Lighthouse. More information about our National Urban Park.