The Kosola House is a large, traditional Ostrobothnian peasant house built of logs. It is beautifully located on a river shore in the middle of a nationally valuable cultural landscape in South Ostrobothnia.
South Ostrobothnia in Finland is as distinctive and exotic as Scotland in the UK. The dialect spoken in the region might well be a language of its own, the musical tradition is very rich, and the people of the region have a strong provincial identity. The most distinctive feature of the landscape are the vast expanses of cultivated fields and the large, traditional Ostrobothnian peasant houses made of logs that still dominate the landscape here and there. South Ostrobothnia is a province of culture and food, criss-crossed by its slowly flowing rivers.
The history of the Kosola House, dating back to 18th century, is exceptional. It is a story of strong entrepreneurs and educators, of the “knife junker” phenomenon of fighting and crime that plagued the Ostrobothnian area in Finland, and of the local sheriffs who raised against it. It is a story of strong agriculture, of emigration to America and of pietism. It is also a story of the Jaeger movement that had a decisive impact on Finland’s independence, and the spirit of rebellion and strive to exert influence in the tumultuous first years of independence.
The story of the Kosola House is a story of violence and stability, force and counter-force – the story of South Ostrobothnia.
The Kosola House in Lapua has an exceptionally colourful and fascinating history that dates back to the 18th century. Its story is of war and peace, strong entrepreneurs and educators, as well as of the ‘häjy’ knife-fighter culture that plagued the province, and of the local sheriffs who attempted to harness it. It is also a story of the youth association movement and massive emigration to America, and of strong agriculture and the Awakening movement.
It also includes as its additional elements the spirit of rebellion and a strive to exert influence, the recruitment of Jaeger volunteers related to Finland’s efforts to gain independence, and the anti-communist Lapua Movement in the tumultuous first years of independence. The story of the Kosola House is a story of violence and stability, force and counter-force.
The group may choose a special theme on which the story will focus. For example:
- Finland’s wild west: the story guide will talk about, among other things, corruption and the Lapua Law intended to harness corruption, the stabbing committed by Iisakki Kosola and his sentence in Turku Castle, as well as about the time when Adolf Hägglund, a celebrity of his time, the famous ‘ugly sheriff’ of Kauhava, stayed in the house.
- Fatherland’s turbulent years: the story guide will talk about, among other things, the days before Finland’s independence when the Kosola House served as a jaeger post and a place to hide weapons. In the turbulent early years of independence, with the advent of the Lapua Movement, the house was a focal point on the nation’s political map known to all contemporaries. What kind of man was the most famous resident of the house, Vihtori Kosola, and what kind of life did Vihtori and his wife Eelin lead in Kosola?
- Spiritual life: the story guide will talk about, among other things, Vihtori Kosola as a young boy attending confirmation school and his spiritual experiences as a ‘behind-bars jaeger’ in St. Petersburg, the decades of the Kosola House as headquarters of the Awakening movement, and about the volunteer ‘carpenter Christians’ in the neighbouring eastern countries.
- Kosola House as a building heritage site: the story guide will talk about examining the building history of the house, about the causes of the damage detected in the house structures and the methods used to repair them, as well as about traditional, organic building materials. In connection with this theme, we will also take a peek at the unfinished section, where the restoration is still ongoing, in compliance with the safety instructions given.
- General presentation of the Kosola House and the personal history of its residents.
Kosola House story guides: Taina Hautamäki & Heli Karhumäki
Prices for guided story tours in 2023 for groups of at least 20 people:
- 30 minutes: General presentation of the Kosola House €10.00/person
- 60 minutes: general presentation and a special theme €14.00/person
- 90 minutes: general presentation and two special themes €18.00/person
A meal and/or coffee at the Kosola tavern can be added to the programme.
The historical tavern at the Kosola House, which stands as a landmark in Lapua, is open again after a hundred-year break. The extensive restoration of the house is now ready as far as the tavern is concerned, and it now houses an open-to-order cafe and restaurant. Restaurant services at the Kosola tavern are provided by the award-winning Juurella restaurant managed by Jani Unkeri & Miia Keski-Nikkola, that is renowned for its dishes made from local ingredients. Cafe and lunch services are provided by gourmet baker and cafe entrepreneur Olli Lahdensuo.
For the time being, Kosola House & Kosola Tavern is only open by reservation for groups. We occasionally arrange events that are open to everyone and can also be attended by individual visitors.