Public Memory and Dark Heritage at Santa Claus Village

Author(s): Paul R. Mullins; Timo Ylimaunu

Year: 2016


Cutting across the Arctic Circle in the heart of Finnish Lapland, Santa Claus Village celebrates familiar holiday legends while offering visits with Santa and the opportunity to purchase a host of consumer goods.  The Yuletide tourist attraction north of Rovaniemi sits on a landscape that was a Luftwaffe airbase during World War II, and many of the foundations of the massive base’s support structures visibly dot the forests around Santa Claus land.  The history of Finland’s status as co-belligerents with Germany between June, 1941 and September, 1944 is among the most prominent episodes in Finnish history, but it may seem particularly jarring to tourists to Santa Claus Land.  We examine the ways in which this history is quite clearly memorialized in Finnish discourse even as it remains somewhat obscure and strategically un-interpreted to Santa Claus Land’s foreign visitors.

Cite this Record

Public Memory and Dark Heritage at Santa Claus Village. Paul R. Mullins, Timo Ylimaunu. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434933)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 86