Dissatisfied with its modest elevation, the citizens of Kuopio have erected no fewer than three observation towers on top of Puijo Hill since 1856, allowing visitors to view an even more spectacular piney panorama from the humble mount. As a bonus, it also features a 100-seat rotating restaurant, the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.
As Northern Savonia is not noted for mountainous terrain, the city of Kuopio is inordinately proud of its unassuming 490-foot-tall hill, which boasts stunning vistas over a seemingly endless expanse of lakes and pine forests. The current and third incarnation of this tower atop the popular walkers’ paradise of Puijo Hill is a 246-foot-tall Brutalist behemoth.
This tower was built in 1963 to replace a modest brick-built structure that was erected in 1900 to supplant the original three-story wooden tower built in 1856. It was designed by Finnish Architect Seppo Ruotsalainen and looms over a series of concrete ski-jumping hills.
As well as being a delightful woodland eatery and imposing landmark of the city of Kuopio, the observation tower and rotating restaurant have a more practical use as a radio, television, and mobile telecom transmitter for the wider North Savonia region.
Know Before You Go
During the summer the observation tower opens at 10 a.m., with the restaurant opening at 11 a.m. Numerous nature trails exist in the forests around Puijo Hill.