Palotorninvuori Park

History

Fire lookout tower which burned down in 1911

Palotorninvuori, which means “fire lookout tower hill”, was named after a fire observation tower that used to be located at the highest point, and was built in 1895. Before that, the place was known as Tschedajeff Hill. The densely built, predominantly wooden town was prone to fires, hence the need for a lookout. The tower was also used for monitoring the timber yards in the port area.

The tower, comprising rich wood architecture was designed by Theodor Höijer together with Theodor Brochardt. The funds for the construction of the tower were obtained from the profits of the local licensed premises. Planting and maintenance work was carried out in the park at around the time that the fire lookout tower was built.

The tower burned down in August 1911. No new tower was built to replace it, but the site was levelled as a lookout. Subsequently, a section of the hill was quarried for the needs of the expanding port.

Renovation of the Palotorninvuori Park commenced in 1958 under the Town Gardener Otto Kautto. The current lookout platform and natural stone walls were built and new plants established. At that time, the park still housed a museum and other buildings.

The most recent renovation in the park was carried out in 2005–2006.

Air defence memorial

Kotka was subject to heavy bombardment in 1939-1944, and the gun placement which used to be located at Palotorninvuori had an important role in the air defence of Kotka.

Russian bombers destroyed the gun position on 19 May 1944. The ammunition warehouse blew up and killed 10 men. There is an air defence memorial at the site to commemorate these events.

The lookout platform of the park offers a view of the steam icebreaker Tarmo (1907), berthed beside Maritime Centre Vellamo. The vessel served in the Russian Baltic fleet during the First World War, assisting warships. In the Finnish Winter War, the icebreakers were also needed and were subsequently armed. In January 1940, the Tarmo was the target of a Russian bomber at the port of Kotka. The bombs hitting the ship killed 39 men and 13 were wounded.