Neristan, the Old Town of Kokkola

The Old Wooden Town Neristan is a gem at the centre of Kokkola and it is one of our country’s most extensively preserved historical area of wooden houses. House building technique radiates with traditional Ostrobothnian carpenter skill.

The town plan is from the 1650s. Area of Neristan covers 12 blocks with hundreds of wooden houses and courtyard buildings. The oldest are built in the 17th century. Over the centuries, area of Neristan has been shaped by land uplifts and fires, as well as by the development of the city, but you can still sense the spirit of the old city.

The signs that artisans and sailors once lived in Neristan are well visible still today. If you look closely, you can spot porcelain dogs in the windows. They refer to the maritime tradition, when sailors brought porcelain dogs from overseas to their wives. When the master of the house was at home, his wife turned the dogs to look inside the house, but when the master was on his sea voyages, the dogs were turned to look out, as if to announce that the master of the house was traveling.

Tourists who prefer to walk around on their own can guide themselves with a help of free brochure from Visit Kokkola.