Memory trail

The Cultural Committee of Rovaniemi organised an open environmental art competition in spring 2010. The competition sought a piece or series of pieces that would unite the cultural attractions of Rovaniemi to form a cultural trail. The winning entry was entitled Muistojen reitti (memory trail) and submitted by Liisa Karintaus and Tiia Lepistö.

The memory trail leads those going on foot or by bicycle to the historical sites of the city in addition to the cultural attractions of Rovaniemi. The trail that goes through the administrative and cultural centre, Korundi House of Culture, Arktikum, riverside, Ounaskoski bridge and church has 18 oval-shaped metal plates attached to lamp posts and walls of buildings. The plates show photographs of Rovaniemi taken between the 1910s and 1960s. The old photographs were taken at the same site where they are now placed along the trail.

The early 20th century was a significant time for Rovaniemi. With the railway constructed, Rovaniemi grew and developed from a group of countryside villages to an active market town. It became a centre for commerce and transport, and later on also for administration. Buildings represented the Empire style, Revivalism, Jugendstil, 1930s Classicism and a few stone houses even represented Functionalism. Then came the Second World War at the end of which Rovaniemi quickly went up in flames and turned into a smoky sea of ruins. 93% of all buildings were destroyed. The visible layers of history were wiped away from the cityscape.

The past is still, however, present and impacts the city that Rovaniemi is today. With the memory trail, the artists want to reinforce the experience that people walking the streets of Rovaniemi have of the city, by drawing attention to the history that is no longer visible partly because of the destruction of the war.

About the artists

Liisa Karintaus (b. 1977, Rovaniemi) graduated from the University of Lapland as Master of Arts in 2006. She has held private exhibitions since 2002 and has participated in several joint exhibitions since 2000 both in Finland and abroad. The text in the brochure is based on an article written by Liisa Karintaus with the support of the Arts Council of Lapland.

Tiia Lepistö (b. 1977, Espoo) is Bachelor of Culture and Arts (TTVO 2003) and Bachelor of Arts (Lay 2009). She has held private exhibitions and participated in several joint exhibitions since 2000.


The old photographs of the work are from the collections of the Provincial Museum of Lapland (LMM) and the Local Heritage Association Rovaniemen

Totto. The old photographs have been carved into oval-shaped metal plates. The materials of the work are brass, aluminium and stainless steel. The plates were carved by Versaali Oy.


City of Rovaniemi, Cultural Committee

Hallituskatu 7, FI-96100 Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi 2011

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