Oulu is a large port on the Gulf of Bothnia and one of Finland's most important academic centers. Due to the operating technology park, it is often called the Silicon Valley of the North.
Established at the beginning of the 17th century in the place where the castle used to stand, the city quickly became an important trade center. Among other things, Lapland fur further exported by ship. Initially, the port was located in the city center, but after the Oulujoki river changed its bed, the marina was moved to the island, where it is still located today.
Due to the several fires that hit the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, only two traces of earlier buildings have survived here. There are ruins of a castle and a church from the 16th century. The most valuable monument in Oulu is the cathedral built in the 18th century. During the reconstruction of the city after the fires, the town hall, a market hall and a wooden railway station were also built.
In the 20th century, Oulu developed as a thriving cultural and scientific center. Several large museums are currently operating in the city. They are among the greatest attractions of Oulu. You can visit the Tietomaa Science Center, the Art Museum, the Music Center, the North Ostrobothnia Museum and the Harmaja Gallery. The Botanical Garden of the University of Oulu and Ainola Park are great places for walks.