Oulu Market Square 1900
Oulu Market Square 1900 - Wikipedia

The birth of the Oulu Market Hall

Market trade flourished and was quite a significant form of trade in Oulu at the end of the 19th century. The idea of ​​building a market hall was apparently inspired by the decisions made in Helsinki and Turku and due to stricter hygiene regulations. The matter was first raised in the city’s governing bodies in 1889. Architects Karl Lindahl and Walter Thomèn drew the neo-Gothic building. The cost estimate was FIM 13,200. However, no agreement was reached on the location and the construction project was left on ice for years.

After more than a decade of nuts, the city council made the decision to build a department store and meat inspection facility on its current site. The hall was completed in early 1901 and was inaugurated on May 1, 1901. However, traders protested the strict rules of procedure drawn up by the Monetary Commission and continued to trade outdoors. In the end, PJ Helsingius, the head of the Monetary Commission, ordered the newspaper Kaleva to start trading in the market hall on May 8, 1901, and ordered the soldiers of the armed imperial army to drive the merchants inside the hall.

Start-up and stabilization of the role

When commercial operations began, the hall had 55 separate seven-square-foot store locations. Participants included Lihakunta, Karjapohjola, Kotivara, Osuusliike Arina and Oulun Osuuskauppa, who did not resign until the 1970s. Rural farmers were given the opportunity to retail their meat and other products for a daily fee.
Over time, the so-called gentlemen began to favor the hall’s supervised and inspected products, which led to the specialization of the hall trade and the processing of the products. The market hall specialized in a diverse grocery trade, while the market sold products from side to side. The market and hall trade complemented each other perfectly and the circuses and amusement activities drew people to the area. The area of ​​the market soon became a center for agricultural products and discount sales in particular, from the 1920s to the end of the 1960s.

The arrival of supermarkets in the 1960s forced merchants to reconsider their operations. The commercial complex of the entire market area faced a new and unknown challenge. The bus station and the sale of agricultural machinery moved from one area to another, which further complicated the situation.
However, the transfer of the fish trade to the market hall in the 1970s and the processing of the products brought customers to the hall. Specialization and personalized customer service proved to be the lifesaver of merchants. The city authorities also awoke to the importance of the market area in the cityscape. The development of the market hall and the entire market square area was seen as an investment that was believed to be a delight for the townspeople and tourists.

Oulu Market hall Today

The market hall was renovated in the mid-1990s, and a new boom began. The market area and market hall became an integral part of Oulu’s cityscape, as it is today. The market hall was renovated again in 2020 and is today one of the most important landmarks in Oulu. High-quality specialty products, fresh meat and fish, bakery products and vegetables, as well as processed products combined with individual customer service and a beautiful environment, are still the things that make you enter the market hall.

Some merchants have been operating in the hall for 50 years. Today, in addition to food, the offer includes clothing, works of art, handicrafts, spices, and restaurant and café services. Available for breakfast and lunch, as well as a varied piece of a button. During the shopping, you can also sip small brewery beers. Organic products and local food have also found their natural place in the Oulu market hall.