History of Tähtitornin kahvila

“In January 1605, King Charles IX of Sweden ordered the construction of a fortress opposite the mainland of the city of Oulu. The remains of the castle that can be seen today in Linnansaari – the ramparts and the stone cellar – originate from that castle.

The Russians burned the wooden structures of the Oulu castle during the retreat of the Great Northern War (1700-1721) in 1715. The castle was finally destroyed in the summer of 1793, when lightning set the wooden parts of the castle’s storage cellar on fire.

Oulu’s trade association renovated a part of the castle’s stone cellar that had been destroyed in an explosion into a gunpowder storehouse around 1830. In 1875, the observatory of Oulu Maritime School was built on top of this foundation. Merikoulu operated in the BUILDING until 1910.

In the late 1870s, the governor of Oulu county, Otto Nyberg, obtained state funds for the restoration of the castle ruins. Linnansaari’s park-like character also originates from that period.

The premises of Tähtitorni have been operating as a cafe since 1912. In the stone cellar, there is a small-scale exhibition about the history of the castle produced by the Museum of North Ostrobothnia.”

Tähtitornin kahvila on the tar route


At the beginning of the 20th century, Oulu was a tar town. Merikoski, next to the Tähtitornin Kahvila, was a demanding place for tar boats, or paltamos, long and narrow river boats pulling 20 tar barrels.

Merikoski had a salmon dam and only a couple of fathoms wide opening for boats to pass through. It was possible to hit the dam if you deviated even a little from the right channel. 3 to 4 professional rowers worked in Merikoski. The bubbling Merikoski was the last stop before the end of the tar road.

When the rapids were cleared, we arrived at Toppila port in Oulu, i.e. the so-called Tervahovi and could begin to unload tar barrels.