See & Do in Kajaani

Kajaani is the regional capital and offers tourists plenty of cultural experiences, also for friends of literature and stories.  There are two famous literary characters in Kajaani. The first is Elias Lönnrot, physician, philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. He is best known for creating the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. Then, of course,  there’s Eino Leino, poet and journalist who is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry and a national poet of Finland.

Eino Leino Statue, Riverside Park, Brahenkatu 1

In the middle of a beautiful riverside park in Kajaani, Eino Leino recites his poems. The place of the sculpture on the southern river bank would certainly have pleased the poet, as the river landscape was very dear to him. The statue was made by the sculptor couple Alpo and Nina Sailo. The statue was unveiled by president Urho Kekkonen on Leino’s birthday in 1980. Flowers are brought to the statue each year on Eino Leino’s day on July 6th, and poetry sessions are held by the statue during the Kajaani Poetry Week.

Elias Lönnrot Statue, Brahenkatu 20

The Elias Lönnrot statue, by Mauno Oittinen, was first made public in 1942 (on its pedestal since 1940). The idea was to bring out the statue in 1940, on the 100th anniversary of Lönnrot’s Kanteletar, but the outbreak of the Winter War delayed the plan. The statue was then brought out while the Continuation War was still raging on. The statue is the very first memorial set up in honor of one individual in Kajaani and the whole of Kainuu.

A Bust of Eino Leino, Sutelantie 28

The birth day of poet Eino Leino on 6th July also celebrates poetry and summer. On this date in 2021 , a bust of Eino Leino was unveiled at the Eino Leino Heritage House in Paltaniemi, Kajaani. The piece of art was created by Sofia Saari and donated by Kauko Sorjonen foundation.

The Old Library House of Kajaani, Brahenkatu 3

This second oldest building in the center of Kajaani was completed in 1830 and initially served as the home of the district doctor Carl Carlsson. According to some information, also Elias Lönnrot  might have lived in the house for a short period. The first public library  was established in Kajaani in 1860. After that, the library has operated in many different locations, but for the longest time on this old property, from 1911 until 1985. The building has been renovated and used by restaurants since 2017.

Eino Leino House Book Days

The annual Paltaniemi Days and Eino Leino House Book Days in July are a combination of sales event, presentations, lectures, concerts, meeting old and new acquaintances and attending evening events. The main venues of the event are at the Eino Leino House and Paltaniemi School in Paltaniemi village,  about 10 km from Kajaani center.

Visit the Sites!

On this map, we have pinpointed the sites of interest mentioned above. By clicking the signs on the map, you’ll find a short description of the site.