Life Left When the Ore ran out

The place featured in this week’s post is rather unusual, as it’s not really abandoned. We are talking about the village of Otanmäki, which is located in the former municipality of Vuolijoki, a part of Kajaani since 2007.

The village was founded in the early 50’s, when iron ore was found nearby. A mine was built to utilize it, and a small settlement was built 12 kilometres from Vuolijoki church and 37 kilometres from the town of Kajaani.

The old mining tower is close to the only structure of the mine still standing. It operated between 1953 and 1985.

In addition to the mine itself, an enrichment plant and a vanadium factory were built next to the mine. I believe they were located around here.

When the mine closed, the enrichment plant and vanadium factory were demolished. It seems we found the foundations.

A water tank also remains on the hill behind the tower. After the mine closed, a plant manufactoring railroad cars and trams was founded nearby. However it did little to save the village from emptying.

The village bar was called ”The Miner”. I’m sorry for the beautiful filter. I took this one for my Instagram, and the original has vanished.

The Miner was closed when we visited. Permanently, I think.

There are several seven-storey blocks of flats here. Whenever they list the cheapest apartments in Finland, these are usually featured.

The houses are named. The green one is called ”Titanium”

And the brownish one ”Rise”

He was one of the very few inhabitants we met.

”Rise” looks pretty much like ”Titanium”. I find the buildings extremely beautiful. When writing this I checked the apartments for sale here. A three bedroom apartment with 91,5 square meters costs 15 000 euros. The whole seventh floor of the other staircase featuring one two bedroom and one three bedroom apartment, a combined total of 140 sqare meters is available for less than 23 000 euros.

The people are old, there are no kids here. The high school closed in 2008, and the pitch looks like no football has been played here for ages.

When leaving we encountered a very sad sight, a dying bird. Somewhat symbolic, don’t you think?

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