This fascinating small islet can be found under the name Vartiosaari, on maps of Rovaniemi dating back to as early as 1712. The history of the island consists of a variety of colourful stories, elements of which are still visible in its environment and the architecture. There are still some historically valuable buildings on the island, such as the Castrén villa, which belonged to a chemist and was built as a holiday home at the end of the 19th century. The island was renamed Ainola in 1880 after Castrén’s wife. There is also a pavilion, a granary and a fountain dating back hundreds of years.
The island was used by the Finnish Defence Forces during the Second World War from 1939 to 1944. It was actively used in military operations. The island was returned to private recreational use in 1973. Visitors have been accommodated here since the 1980s. The islet in the River Kemijoki now invites you to lend an ear to its stories, and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest and the wonders of the Arctic nature. Step on the bridge to Vartiosaari and write your own chapter in its rich history.