Pavis and Carlholma shipyard

Paviksentie 2 Pietarsaari


The sailing pavilion Pavis was completed in 1901 north of the old harbour. Its floor plan was designed by Ernst Saxén. Even though the construction of the pavilion itself went fast, its location was the subject of so much dispute that the critics were kindly asked to drown themselves. The pavilion building was soon extended according to the designs by Walter Thomé. Thereafter, the pavilion was renovated already in 1913 by, for example, glazing the old terrace. A new extension designed by K. J. Ahlskog was carried out in 1950, and it gave the pavilion its present form. The latest refurbishments have taken place in the 2000s.


From the Pavis shore, you can see Varvet on the other side of the bay, where the Carlholma shipyard was located for a century from the late 1700s. About 150 sailing ships were built there by 1874. Sailing ships had been built even earlier at Kittholma, but shipbuilding was later forbidden there in order to prevent wood chips from getting into the harbour bay, which in any case was becoming shallower.


A key shareholder of the Carlholma shipyard, Peter Malm, was worried about the continuously lowering sea level at the shipyard and expressed his concern in writing to the city administration already in 1827. He highlighted that larger ships could no longer sail there safely. Malm suggested that a suitable place for the needs of the shipyard should be found in Alholma. At the time, people did not know about land uplift but obviously thought that the sea was simply fleeing.




Söderhjelm (1974/3, 311–312) portrays an event where a newly built ship was launched from the shipyard. Launchings took place annually. Local people would gather on the shores and in boats to watch. It was impressive to first see the huge vessel on dry land. The excitement grew more intense as the vessel gradually shifted towards the water – one could hardly breathe. Soon the ship started to glide faster, moaned and groaned, and finally plunged into the water at high speed so that enormous waves crashed onto the shore. There it was now, proudly swaying, as the audience applauded.




The sailing association’s pavilion in autumn 2018


The sailing association’s pavilion in the early 1900s


A view on Varvet (Carlholma) on the opposite shore  (Pietarsaaren kaupunginmuseo)