Hämeenlinna (Finnish: [ˈhæmeːnˌlinːɑ]; Swedish: Tavastehus; Karelian: Hämienlinna; Latin: Tavastum or Croneburgum[6]) is a city and municipality of about 68,000 inhabitants[2] in the heart of the historical province of Tavastia and the modern province of Kanta-Häme in the south of Finland. Hämeenlinna is the oldest inland city of Finland[7] and was one of the most important Finnish cities until the 19th century. It still remains an important regional center. The medieval Häme Castle (also Tavastia Castle; Finnish: Hämeen linna) is located in the city.

Hämeenlinnan kaupunki
Tavastehus stad
City of Hämeenlinna
Aerial view of the city centre of Hämeenlinna.
Aerial view of the city centre of Hämeenlinna.
Coat of arms of Hämeenlinna
Location of Hämeenlinna in Finland
Location of Hämeenlinna in Finland
Coordinates: 60°59′40″N 24°28′00″E / 60.99444°N 24.46667°E / 60.99444; 24.46667Coordinates: 60°59′40″N 24°28′00″E / 60.99444°N 24.46667°E / 60.99444; 24.46667
Country Finland
RegionKanta-Häme.vaakuna.svg Kanta-Häme
Sub-regionHämeenlinna sub-region
 • City managerTimo Kenakkala
 • Total2,031.53 km2 (784.38 sq mi)
 • Land1,785.76 km2 (689.49 sq mi)
 • Water245.79 km2 (94.90 sq mi)
Area rank34th largest in Finland
 • Total67,864
 • Rank14th largest in Finland
 • Density38/km2 (100/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish97.5% (official)
 • Swedish0.3%
 • Others2.2%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1414.5%
 • 15 to 6459.3%
 • 65 or older26.2%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]21%

Hämeenlinna is known as the birthplace of Finnish national composer Jean Sibelius. Today, it belongs to the region of Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), and before 2010 it was the residence city for the Governor of the province of Southern Finland. Nearby cities include the capital Helsinki (98 km or 61 mi), Tampere (73 km or 45 mi) and Lahti (72 km or 45 mi), the regional center of Päijänne Tavastia (Päijät-Häme).

The current neighboring municipalities of Hämeenlinna are Akaa, Asikkala, Hattula, Hausjärvi, Hollola, Janakkala, Loppi, Padasjoki, Pälkäne, Tammela, Urjala and Valkeakoski. The former municipalities, Hauho, Kalvola, Lammi, Renko and Tuulos, were consolidated with Hämeenlinna on 1 January 2009;[8] with these municipal associations, the Hattula municipality is almost completely surrounded by Hämeenlinna.

The coat of arms of Hämeenlinna is based on the 17th century town seal, which in turn refers to the Häme Castle built by the Lake Vanajavesi in the Middle Ages, near which the city was founded. The current coat of arms was designed by Gustaf von Numers on the basis of the old coat of arms, and was confirmed on September 21, 1956.[9][10]


View of Lake Vanajavesi, next to Hämeenlinna. The Tavastia Castle is visible to the right.

There are a total of 339 lakes in whole or in part in the area of the city of Hämeenlinna. The largest of them are Lake Vanajavesi, Lake Kukkia and Lake Kuohijärvi.[11] The main features of the Hämeenlinna landscape are the Häme Lake Plateau, the Vanajavesi Valley and the Kanta-Häme Grove Center. In many places, the landscapes are marked by the prosperous Tavastian agricultural culture.[12][13]


There was a settlement called Vanaja by the Lake Vanajavesi where the city now stands since the Viking Age. The castle was built in the late 13th century to secure Swedish power in central Finland. A village was established near Häme Castle to provide services and goods to its inhabitants.

The village was granted city rights on January 19, 1639[14] and soon after that the King of Sweden moved it one kilometre (0.6 miles) south to the hill on which it still stands. The city is known for its schools and academies where many famous Finns have studied. Schools, government and the military have characterised the life of Hämeenlinna throughout history. Finland's first railway line, the Finnish Main Railway [fi] (Finnish: Suomen päärata, Swedish: Finlands stambanan), opened between Hämeenlinna and Helsinki in 1862.[15] The current Hämeenlinna railway station (Rautatieasema in Finnish) was built in 1921.


People with a foreign background
Country of origin Population (2017)
  Estonia 485 (0.72%)
  Russia 484 (0.72%)
  Iraq 352 (0.53%)
  Poland 278 (0.41%)
  Afghanistan 218 (0.33%)
  Somalia 208 (0.31%)
  Sweden 206 (0.31%)
  Thailand 141 (0.21%)
  Turkey 130 (0.19%)
  DR Congo 106 (0.16%)

Notable natives or residentsEdit

Hämeenlinna: Sibelius House


The economic structure of Hämeenlinna is close to the national average. In 2015, there were 28,270 jobs in the city. Of these, 75% were in the service sector, 3% in primary production (agriculture, forestry and fisheries) and 21% in processing. The share of the unemployed was 13,6%.[16]

Largest employers (by number of employees) [17]Edit



In the 1980s, the following dishes were named Hämeenlinna's traditional cuisine: as a daily meal, smoked ham and sourdough; as a festive meal, the herring wrapped in rye dough, i.e. "fish bread", buttermilk and beer, and the riistansylttääjän lintupaisti, which means pheasant stuffed almonds with potato and apple slices.[18]



Distances to other placesEdit


  • Turku – 141 kilometres (88 mi)
  • Helsinki – 100 kilometres (62 mi)
  • Tampere – 75 kilometres (47 mi)
  • Lahti – 74 kilometres (46 mi)
  • Hyvinkää – 49 kilometres (30 mi)

Former municipal centersEdit

  • Hauho – 35 kilometres (22 mi)
  • Lammi – 35 kilometres (22 mi)
  • Tuulos – 25 kilometres (16 mi)
  • Kalvola – 20 kilometres (12 mi)
  • Renko – 15 kilometres (9.3 mi)

International relationsEdit

October sunset - Hämeenlinna

Twin towns – Sister citiesEdit

The castle

Hämeenlinna is twinned with:[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M03*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Population according to age (1-year) and sex by area and the regional division of each statistical reference year, 2003-2020". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2021" (PDF). Tax Administration of Finland. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. ^ J. G. Th. Graesse: Orbis Latinus (Dresdae: Schönfeld, 1861; 1909. Brunsvici, 1972, 3 voll.) (in Latin)
  7. ^ "Juhlavuodet" (in Finnish). City of Hämeenlinna. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Valtioneuvoston päätös Hauhon kunnan, Kalvolan kunnan, Lammin kunnan, Rengon kunnan ja Tuuloksen kunnan liittämisestä Hämeenlinnan kaupunkiin sekä eräiden alueiden siirtämisestä Hattulan kunnasta Hämeenlinnan kaupunkiin" (in Finnish). Finlex. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  9. ^ Hagerlund, Tony (12 January 2010). "Vaakunat: Haapajärvi – Hämeenlinna" (in Finnish). Suomen Kuntaliitto. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  10. ^ Бойко Дм. А. Геральдика Великого Княжества Финляндского. – Запорожье, 2013. (in Russian)
  11. ^ "Hämeenlinna". Järviwiki (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  12. ^ Jutila, Heli; Harju, Hannu (2005). "Kalvolan luonto-opas" (PDF). Hämeenlinnan seudun kansanterveystyön kuntayhtymän ympäristöosasto, NAPA-projekti (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  13. ^ Jutila, Heli; Harju, Hannu (2004). "Rengon luonto-opas" (PDF). Hämeenlinnan seudun kansanterveystyön kuntayhtymän ympäristöosasto, NAPA-projekti (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  14. ^ HÄMEENLINNA - TAVASTEHUS Kaupunkiarkeologinen inventointi (in Finnish)
  15. ^ "Ensimmäinen Juna Hämeenlinnaan". Hämäläinen (in Finnish). 31 January 1862. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Kuntien avainluvut". Tilastokeskus (in Finnish). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Taskutietoa Hämeenlinnasta, a factbook published by the city of Hämeenlinna (PDF download, in Finnish)
  18. ^ Kolmonen, Jaakko 1988. Kotomaamme ruoka-aitta: Suomen, Karjalan ja Petsamon pitäjäruoat, s. 67. Helsinki: Patakolmonen Ky. (in Finnish)
  19. ^ "Ystävyyskaupungit" (in Finnish). City of Hämeenlinna. Retrieved 22 August 2019.

External linksEdit