KEMI is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located near the city of TORNIO. It was founded in 1869 by decree of Russian Emperor Alexander the Second, because of its proximity to a deep-water harbour. KEMI is situated by the BOTHNIAN BAY at the mouth of the River KEMIJOKI, and it is part of Lapland region.
Kemi also has a claim to fame as the home of the world’s largest Snow Castle (re-constructed every year in a different design). In 1996, the first Snow Castle drew 300,000 visitors. The area covered by the Castle has varied from 13,000 to 20,000sq.metres. The highest towers have been over 20metres high and the longest walls over 1,000metres long, and the Castle has had up to three storeys. Despite its varying configurations, the Snow Castle has a few recurring elements : a Chapel, a restaurant and a Hotel.
The Snow Castle also hosts such things as an Adventure land for children, a Theatre and Ice-Art Exhibitions with lights and sound effects. Many Opera singers and dancers have performed in the Snow Castle of KEMI.
KEMIN KIRKON (Kemi Church) is a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Diocese of OULU and is located in the centre of the town of Kemi. The Gothic Revival building was designed by architect Josef Stenback, and was completed in 1902. The building was renovated in 2003.
Icebreaker SAMPO, which is a Finnish icebreaker built in 1960 in Helsinki and now stationed at Kemi. The massive vessel, which was completed in 1961, was built to operate in extreme Arctic conditions. In the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, it kept lanes free for shipping for nearly 30years. Its predecessor, of the same name (1898 – 1960), was the first Icebreaker in Europe with a propeller in the bow and the stern. The ship is now used for tourist cruises. During the late winter of 1988, Sampo started its career in tourism. It made its first cruise on the 14th of April, 1988 with foreign and domestic media. In the year 1989, Sampo had 1,000 passengers and in the year 1994, the record was 6,000 passengers. During the cruise, tourists have a chance to go down from the icebreaker and float in the sea dressed in rescue suits. They can also participate in the guided ship tour and get to know Sampo from the engine room to the bridge. Sampo can take 150 passengers at a time. Yearly, it takes about 10,000 tourists on cruises, and totally there have been passengers from over 50 countries.
KEMIN JALOKIVI GALLERIA ( Kemi Gemstone Gallery) contains one of the greatest collections of gemstones in the world. There are more than 3,000 gemstones. The Gallery building is an old Customs House. It was designed by architect Walter Thome and completed in 1912. The large collection includes a unique and remarkable crown that was designed for the first and only King of Finland. There is also a copy of the Imperial State Crown of England. The copy is so exact, that it needs an expert to recognise it from the original. One of the finest necklaces in the world was designed for Queen Marie Antoinette of France. The original necklace does not exist anymore, but here at the Gallery, you can see the exceptional beauty of this necklace. The copy was made from the original drawings at the Gemstone Gallery. The KEMIN JALOKIVI GALLERIA is really a Lapland Jewel in itself.
The PERAMEREN JAHTI ( a sail-ship) guarantees an enjoyable and safety sailing experience. A comfortable lounge and dining room, saloon as well as an open modern kitchen with a cook’s service makes the sailing trip easy and carefree. There are seats on the deck, where you can enjoy the fresh sea air. It can have 36 passengers for one-day cruises. For longer cruises, there is accommodation for 12 persons. The JAHTI has been built with an old boat-building style, following as much as possible the old era’s knowledge of coastal building and structure, but still respecting modern safety regulations.