It’s Christmas time and I have returned to my old home town for family gathering. It’s the 23rd of December and the temperature is just below zero.
Rauma’s old town is known for it’s status as Unesco World heritage site. But Kokkola’s old town, Neristan, is just as stunning, an old wooden neighborhood with lots of romantic mood.
Almost perfect square shaped city blocks, old style streets lights and beautiful wooden buildings take you back to 19th century. If you get lucky you don’t even see any cars parked on the streets!
The oldest wooden buildings are from the 17th century. Kokkola has two main languages. One is Finnish and the other Swedish. You can see the Swedish architecture’s influence in some of the buildings. Neristan is also Swedish and means downtown.
Near water there is a small building with big windows and strange boat inside. It’s memorial for the skirmish of Halkokari: year 1854, when British navy raided Finland’s coast during Crimean war, they tried to burn down the harbour of Kokkola. This boat is the only known vessel that has ever been obtained as a spoil of war from the British navy.