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The Time of the Taverns

It’s been a while since we’ve posted a new story to this blog and a lot has happened on the premises of Apukka meanwhile. As you may remember from our previous blog posts, back in the old days there used to be a tavern on the very location Apukka Resort stands today. Well, as we treasure our history in Apukka, one step at a time we are bringing the stories of the past to add something unique to the experience of our dear guests. This includes the architecture and the buildings on the premises. First, let us backtrack some centuries on the pages of history to open the story to you.

The first official taverns were established in Finland in the mid-1700s. Guesthouses had operated already earlier throughout the country, but on the 18 th century the taverns started to operate underneath the crown, obliged to follow the laws and regulations given. The taverns would serve anyone travelling through the open plains and forests of the far up North and were obliged to offer a warm bed for anyone with sufficient wealth to provide for their upkeep in the tavern. In the taverns, the logs in the fireplace would always provide a traveller the warmth much needed in the cold winter temperatures of Lapland. The food from the abundant tables would never run out and the glasses would never run dry. Many of the taverns were known for their own, homemade moonshine – delicious it was, based on what the stories tell.

The very first tavern were run by men of church, but later it become common for wealthy peasants to run the daily upkeep of a tavern. The peasant and four servants of his choice were exempt from military service to create a reliable tavern system covering the entire country. Each tavern would have horses and carriage riders to provide the travellers a safe passage to their next location and the prices of this were to be seen on the walls of the tavern – one might say that this was the very beginning of public transportation in Finland. Together the taverns created a network as they were located roughly every 20 kilometres. On wintertime the tracks in between taverns were marked with pine branches so they wouldn’t disappear in the deep snow.

Where the restaurant of Apukka Resort stands today, a tavern served tired travellers for almost a century until 1930s. Imagine the number of stories shared by the flames of the fireplace, the adventures experienced in the vast, untouched wilderness by the brave men and women travelling in the unknown. And this, our dear friends, brings us to today.

In Apukka, we’ve always made sure the adventures are there. The thrill of dogsledding, the seek of the Northern Lights and the magic of the silence in the woods. We, the Apukka team, are there to provide the stories to you, to share the ancient tales of the past and the fierce legends of Lapland. What we have done this summer is to focus on the architecture on the premises. As you have a look at our main building, you can almost feel the breath of history from the times a tavern stood here. Log cabins, hundreds of years old and built by tireless men with nothing but axes and chisels, have gained a new life in Apukka. Our goal is that when you set your foot in Apukka for the very first time, you can already sense the story beginning.

As on the days of the taverns, today we welcome you on the same way. As a dear friend and with open arms.

And nature fulfils the rest.

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