A Brief History of Metsähirvas

Would you like to know more about the history of Metsähirvas? Metsähirvas has seen many phases of Finnish history from the time of Russian rule and the Lapland War to the present.

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Johanna Keräsen kokoelma/Lusto

In 1902, Tsar Nicholas II ordered the establishment of a Forest Guard School in Klemet's estate. So the work began, and the first students entered the classroom in 1905. Along with the building of the school, the forest chief's house, the headmaster's house and the horsemen's house were also completed. Finland became independent under Russian rule in 1917, and the school continued to operate almost as it was. In 1929, the original wood-fired schoolhouse burned down as a result of a heating malfunction.

The old wooden building was soon replaced by a brick school building. It was completed in 1931 and now serves as our hotel. After the beginning of the war in 1939, the school became a military hospital and later the German headquarters were placed there. The place became so beloved by the German occupational force during the war that when the Lapland War began and the Germans fled to the North burning everything on their way, there was a request from the upper echelon that this milieu should be preserved for future generations.

At the end of the war, the present hotel building served as a home for the Sixth Division, when the soldiers were finally able to continue their normal lives after difficult years. In front of the main door of the hotel, on the stairs of the original school building that was destroyed by fire, there is a memorial that bears the names of former students who were victims of the war. 

During the rebuilding of Rovaniemi, efforts were also made to develop the forest sector and the school was gradually transformed into a school devoted to forest management. At the same time, the Metsähallitus Development Unit was established. A massive extension of the school building was completed in 1959, and the area served as headquarters for the forest sector of northern Finland for decades. In 2004 the school activities were moved to the city center. During 2009–2014, Avominne Oy's intoxicant rehabilitation facility was located on the premises.

In 2015, Metsähirvas was acquired by a new owner: Sirafire Oy, a joint venture of three entrepreneurs. Soon, challenging development projects began on the estate.

Initially, overgrown forests were cleared to allow a view of the Kemijoki river from the main building. Then a major change was made to the heating system. A wooden chip heating plant was built in the yard to replace the former oil heating plant. Thus, the heating of up to 160,000 liters of oil a year was replaced with the more ecological use of chips. 

In 2017, a 26-room 'gigmen's guesthouse'  was opened in the main building. In January 2018, hotel construction began from the old section of the main building. In December of the same year, Hotel Metsähirvas opened its doors to customers.

The three entrepreneur brothers take pride in emphasizing the history and eco-friendliness of their hotel. These themes include artwork in the hotel corridors and the restaurant's menu, featuring elk hunted by the owner, as well as berries and mushrooms gathered by staff, along with self-made spruce syrup.

History of the Hotel