Tales of Tar



Welcome to the golden era of the tar trade!

You can experience historical Oulu on the Tales of Tar route! The stories, written by Katariina Vuori, are based on authentic locations, events, and individuals from the golden age of tar trading in Oulu. A plaque with a QR code will be placed at 10 locations associated with tar. By scanning the QR code with a mobile phone or another mobile device, you get to read the story or listen to it. You can also explore the stories through the map on this page.

The Tales of Tar route starts from the boundary of Leveri and ends in Toppila harbour. However, each story is independent and can be experienced in any order. At the story points of Hahtiperä, Merikoski, Frigate Toivo and Tervahovi you can experience the spots with augmented reality on your mobile device. The stories are available in Finnish, Easy Finnish, English and Swedish.

Tales of Tar route and story points on the map

Can’t see the map?

If you can’t see the Tales of Tar banner with tar barrels or the route map, it is most likely due to your browser’s cookie settings. You can change the cookie settings from the Cookiebot button that is visible at the bottom corner of this page. First select “Muuta hyväksyntääsi” (change consent) and then “Hyväksyn kaikki evästeet” (Consent to all cookies).

Alternatively, you can go to the atla.fi website and view the map there. Link to the map.


More stories from the north coming next year

The Tales of Tar route is the first pilot in the Northern Stories project, implemented by Oulu Culture Foundation. The aim is to develop new ways of bringing stories to their authentic locations by creating several themed routes with user-friendly mobile technology in the Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture area.

Highlighting the region’s cultural heritage and offering experiences free of charge strengthens residents’ local identity in everyday environments and creates tourist attractions. Stories are mapped and collected with experts and local residents. The Tales of Tar route will be developed further on the basis of users’ observations and feedback. More routes with stories are planned for next year.

Further information and feedback: Northern Stories project, Project Manager Anne-Maria Mäkelä, anne.makela@oulu2026.eu, tel. +358 (0)40 673 5155

Implementer of the project: Oulu Culture Foundation sr., main financier: Council of Oulu Region
Project implementation period: 1 March 2023–30 April 2024