This page tells you about Saariselkä making its first steps as the travellers’ paradise.
Fabilious sceneries over fells opening from the Kaunispää hill to the east has always fascinated travellers. The natural development for the area was to create accommodation and other services for travellers.
This hut has an interesting history. At first the building was allocated somewhere close to Rovaniemi and it was hold as a military canteen by Germans during WWII.
Later the hut was moved to Rovaniemi where it served as a bakery for the Pohjanhovi Hotel, which was rasing up from ashes after the war. Probably the building also accommodated hotel’s guests before the hotel itself was built up properly.
And finally it was moved to Saariselkä. The hut stopped functioning in late 60´s but only in 1984 the building was demolished.
The timber was already transported to the top, but the whole project stopped when found out that it was not possible to get water up there.
The project continued when Lapland´s Tourist Association bought the timber and in 1952 a gorgeous 2-storied timber building appeared on the top of Kaunispää fell.
They found it to the south of Kaunispää hill by the river Luttojoki, where the Laanila lodge was built in 1953. It is just the same spot where the Santa´s Hotel Tunturi is situated nowadays. The lodge served as children´s camping site in summer. Hikers and travellers also used the lodge all year round.
It was destroyed in fire in 1958. Only 3 buildings were left. One of them is still standing by river Luttojoki. Just the same hut “Luttotupa”, which one passes while cross-country skiing in Saariselkä.
In 1960´s new modern accommodation lodges and restaurants were built on the same place by the river Luttojoki.
With the insurance money the Children´s Friends of Lapland built a new mordern hotel in Laanila, which got its present name of Laanihovi in 1961. The new hotel’s surroundings got soon new cabins mostly for the Finnish companies staff retreat.
The road to Kiilopää was built in 1963 and already next year the training center started operating.
The first post office was opened on the top of Kaunispää on the 1st of May 1956 and in Saariselkä only on the 1st of December 1959.
More information about recent Saariselkä history can be found in books, for example: Seppo Partanen “Magneettimäestä matkailukaupungiksi”.