Museums and other sights

Museums and other sights



  • Kyösti ja Kalervo Kallion museo, Kyösti and Kalervo Kallio Museum  Ruojantie 11.  The museum represents lifework of president Kyösti Kallio (1873-1940), the fourth president of Finland (1937-1940), along with the work of his son sculptor Kalervo Kallio (1909-1969).  


  • Kyösti Kallio (formerly known as Gustaf Kalliokangas) was peasant, a promoter of the national self esteem and cooperation. He was born on the 10 of April in 1873 in Ylivieska and was the third of 12 children. His father was a farmer and a local prominent politician. At the age of 12 he moved from home, attended school, and later attended secondary school in the Oulun Lyseo. At the age of 22 he moved to Nivala to became a farmer. In 1904 Kyösti Kallio was elected as a member of the Estate of Peasantry to the Diet of Finland, the legislative assembly Finland, serving from 1904 until 1937. In 1937 he was elected as the fourth Finnish president. During his presidency from 1937 until 1940, some of the most tragic events in Finnish history happened, such as the Winter War, beginning in 1939. In 1940 Kyösti Kallio resigned from his duties due to his health. On 19 December 1940, while attending farewell ceremonies at the Helsinki railway station, Kyösti Kallio collapsed and died in the arms of his adjutant, in front of the company of honour and in the presence of Marshall C. G. E. Mannerheim. Kallio had been attempting to travel home to his farm in Nivala.
  • President’s son Kalervo Kallio was a sculptor with over 400 pieces of art. He became known from his portraits that he sculpted in large numbers in and outside of Finland. President’s daughter Kerttu Saalasti (1907-1995) served during her life time as a parliament member and a Minister of Education (1954-1956, 1957). During the years as a Minister of Education she contributed to the establishment of the University of Oulu, which was founded in 1958.


  • Kotiseutumuseo Katvala, Katvala Museum of local history and culture, Katvalantie 4.  Nivala-Seura, the Association of Local History and Culture, stores, preserves and displays, in Katvala objects from different periods associated with life in Nivala.  As museum of local history and culture, Katvala has specialized in agriculture, cattle care, tar burning and funeral traditions.  On the Katvala museum grounds, Nivala’s summer theatre takes place.


  • Tillarigalleria – Art Gallery and Gallery for Exhibitions, Kalliontie 23 (in the basement of the library).  In conjunction with the Tillarigalleria the workroom museum of Kyösti Wilkuna (1879-1922), author from Nivala, can be found.  Kyösti Wilkuna describes the historical past in his production, consisting of short stories, novels and plays.


  • Toimiva machine shop museum open by agreement, Kytöpuhontie 252, Karvoskylä village in Nivala.

Statues and memorials                                             

  • Statue: “Tillaripatsas”, The Milk maid, is located in the town centre, paying homage to women living in the countryside sculpted by Miina Äkkijyrkkä.  The statue was unveiled in 1984.


  • Statue: “Kylväjäpatsas”, The Sower, sculpted by Risto Saalasti, sits in front of the Town hall, Kalliontie 15.  The statue was unveiled in 1986.


  • Statue of heroes”: sculpted by Kalervo Kallio, the Military cemetery of Nivala Church, Kirkkotie.  “Statue of heroes” is a memorial of Winter and Continuation Wars (1939-1940 and 1941-1944 between the Soviet Union and Finland).  The statue describes a family whose father is going to war.  It was unveiled in 1960.


  • Memorial of the fallen in the Civil War in 1918 at the military cemetery of Nivala Church, Kirkkotie.  A relief by sculptor Emil Wikström in 1918 about a soldier praying on his knees.


  • Grave monument by sculptor Kalervo Kallio, for his parents Kyösti and Kaisa Kallio, at the Church yard, Kirkkotie.  The monument was unveiled in 1949.


  • Memorial of those who remained in Karelia (present territory of the Federation of Russia) sculpted by Kalervo Kallio.  It describes the Karelian Coat of Arms and the crosses of both religions, Lutheran and Orthodox, within each other.  The memorial was unveiled in 1966.


  • Memorial stone to the victims of hunger 1867-1868 was erected in 2009 by the posterity.  The memorial is located at the Nivala Church yard, Kirkkotie, and is designed by Riitta Latvala-Erkkilä, working as teacher in arts.


  • Memorial cannons and memorial plate, were placed in 2004 at the park next to the Malisjoki river near the town centre, dedicated to the men of Nivala who participated in the war, serving in the artillery troops.


  • Three-edged stone slab by the road Kirkkotie describes the past three wars waged in Finland.  The memorial is by sculptor Risto Saalasti and it was unveiled in 1987.


  • Memorial stone to the jaegers (infantry), designed by teacher Pentti Ranttila in 1986. The six edges of the stone describe the six men from Nivala, who served in the jaeger movement.


  • Reflection, installation on address Pappilantie 1 nearby Nivala health care centre. An artwork of stone by artist Ewerdt Hilgemann in 1990.


Other sights

  • Nivala Church, Kirkkotie  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nivala was built in 1803.  Its tower functions as a landmark for those coming in town.  On the church’ porch a text reads: “Built during the reign of Gustaf Adolf the Fourth, King of Sweden, 1803.  Regenerated to the contemporary during the reign of Alexander the Second, Czar of Russia, 1874.”  (Translation.)  The church can seat about 600 people.  Presentations at


  • Water storage tower at the town centre, serves as a lookout spot in the summer during the Nivala-Week and other times on request.  The tower offers a splendid view over the town and environment.  Located on the tower there is the Nivala Coat of Arms – a wooden gate (‘rinki’) of golden colour on green bottom.  The emblem was designed by sculptor Kalervo Kallio in 1965, portraying the agrarian character of Nivala.  The altitude of the tower is 36 metres.


  • Bird watching tower at Erkkisjärven rantatie, about 8 km from the Nivala town centre.  The tower is located at the Erkkisjärvi lake near the Erkkilä village school, address of Erkkiläntie 132.  Driving directions: about 6 km from the Nivala town centre towards Kärsämäki municipality, turn left to Erkkiläntie road.  


  • In the Town hall, Kalliontie 15, pieces of art are placed on both floors – crafts, miniatures, drawings and paintings.


  • Guided tours in Nivala for the groups provided by Nivala-Seura, association of local history and culture.  Guided tours take place in the bus, which is at the group’s disposal.  An example duration of a museum tour is about 2,5 hours.  Inquiries at Nivala-Seura -> Matkailupaketit.
  • Crazyland Experience Park, Makkaratie 1311, Maliskylä village, about 12 km from Nivala town centre.  Attractions in miniature, kiosk (summer), activities.


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