Literature Tourism in Kainuu

Literary tourism is a concept that celebrates reading culture, and the literary culture of Kainuu region is strong. The Kalevala, national epic of Karelia and Finland, was compiled from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology by Mr. Elias Lönnrot. During the time he was making his field trips and compiling the Kalevala on the 19th century, he was the district health officer based in Kajaani, responsible for the whole Kainuu region. In Kainuu, you may tread the paths once taken by Lönnrot, visit some old buildings he spent time at and learn about his life and career, and witness firsthand where the Karelian artists of the Kalevala found their inspiration.

In 2019, Kuhmo in Eastern Kainuu became part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The main theme in Kuhmo’s application was the strong connection between Kuhmo and the Kalevala, and the many ways the Kalevala influences the everyday life in Kuhmo. Juminkeko foundation in Kuhmo is one of the biggest national centers dedicated to the Kalevala, aiming at preserving, treasuring and spreading the cultural heritage related to the Finnish national epic. Also the UNESCO office of Kuhmo is located in Juminkeko.

There are several other famous writers that have written in or about Kainuu, as well, and there are several sites around Kainuu region that have an authentic link either to the writers or their production. Most of the books are only available in Finnish, but you’ll find some translated into different languages. Of course, regardless of the language of literature, you’ll still be able to feel the unique atmosphere at the locations and learn a lot about the Kainuu history.

Kuhmo City of Literature

In 2019, the city of Kuhmo was designated as a city of literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Kuhmo’s application was based on the idea of Kuhmo as the home of the Kalevala.


Things to See and Do in Kainuu

Below you’ll find links to pages list literature related sites, buildings, monuments, events, products and services by areas in Kainuu. Come and explore the stories of Kainuu!

Literature Related Organisations in Kainuu

There are five associations dedicated to the famous authors of Kainuu, each aiming  to nurture and bring forward their respective author and their production and other literature related organisations, that together produce a lot of  content for the cultural life in Kainuu, making it rich.

Korpimuseo Wildwood Tales

On the trail of the magical traditions of Upper Kainuu!

Korpimuseo Wildwood Tales is a story map and an adventure designed and implemented by a development project in 2009-2013. As a result, the invisible and quiet landscapes are brought to light. The contents have been published in Finnish and in English and they also serve as a hiking guide helping you find the  silence, natural peace, cultural heritage and a unique lifestyle.

The entire work can be found online on the Issuu service and as a map service on the Karttatiimi website.

Spot-lit project (2018-2022) aimed to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together. The project was funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and had partners from Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. From Kainuu region, Regional Council of Kainuu and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences participated the project.

Read More on the Project Website