Imatra is a town and municipality in southeastern Finland. Imatra is dominated by Lake Saimaa, the Vuoksi River and the border with Russia. On the other side of the border, seven kilometres (4.3 mi) away from the centre of Imatra, lies the Russian town of Svetogorsk. The city of St. Petersburg is situated 210 km (130 mi) to the southeast, Finland's capital Helsinki is 230 km (140 mi) away and Lappeenranta, the nearest Finnish town, is 37 km (23 mi) away. Imatra belongs to the administrative province of Southern Finland and the region of South Karelia.

Imatran kaupunki
Imatra stad
Imatran Valtionhotelli
Imatran Valtionhotelli
Coat of arms of Imatra
Location of Imatra
Coordinates: 61°11′N 028°46′E / 61.183°N 28.767°E / 61.183; 28.767
Country Finland
Region South Karelia
Sub-regionImatra sub-region
 • Town managerMatias Hildén
 • Total191.28 km2 (73.85 sq mi)
 • Land154.99 km2 (59.84 sq mi)
 • Water36.29 km2 (14.01 sq mi)
 • Rank274th largest in Finland
 • Total24,939
 • Rank40th largest in Finland
 • Density160.91/km2 (416.8/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish92.5% (official)
 • Swedish0.1%
 • Others7.4%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1412.1%
 • 15 to 6456.8%
 • 65 or older31.2%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)

The main employers are pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso Oyj, the Town of Imatra, engineering steel manufacturer Ovako Bar Oy Ab, and the Finnish Border Guard. As of October 2003, the total number of employees was 12,423.[6] As of December 2004, 1,868 employees were employed by the Town of Imatra. The town manager of Imatra is Ari Lindeman. The town's nicknames include Imis, Ibiza and Nahkalippis City (Leather Baseball Cap City). Because of the location near the border, Russian tourists are a common sight in the town, and Russian tourism greatly benefits the local business life. Most people shop at Imatra, and Imatra's tax-free sales are the third largest among Finnish cities (only Helsinki and Lappeenranta are ahead).[7]

The name of Imatra is believed to have originated from a Pre-Finno-Ugric substrate language.[8] The lightning symbols on Imatra's coat of arms refer to the power plants that were started to be built in the early 1920s in both Tainionskoski and Imatrankoski rapids. The coat of arms was designed by Olof Eriksson [fi], and the Imatra town council approved it on August 9, 1950. The Ministry of the Interior approved the coat of arms for use on October 25 of the same year.[9][10]

History edit

An Art Nouveau or Jugend style castle, currently known as Imatran Valtionhotelli (Imatra State Hotel), was built near the rapids in 1903 as a hotel for tourists from the Russian Imperial capital Saint Petersburg.

During the Continuation War, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim met with Adolf Hitler in secrecy near the town for the former's 75th birthday.

Imatra was founded in 1948 on the territory of three municipalities – Jääski, Ruokolahti and Joutseno. Finland ceded 9% of its territory to the Soviet Union after the Winter War. Jääski lost 85% of its territory and it was decided that a new municipality, Imatra, should be established on the remaining 15% of Jääski and some areas of Ruokolahti and Joutseno. This is why the Imatra coat of arms has three flashes – in honour of those previous municipalities that granted areas to it. It gained its municipal charter in 1971.

Sport edit

PaSa Bandy is a bandy club in Imatra.

Imatra is the birthplace of National Hockey League players Jussi Markkanen and Petteri Nokelainen.

In motorsport history, Imatra is best known for its road races (former TT-race) from 1963 to 1986. From 1962 to 1982 it was the home of the Finnish motorcycle Grand Prix. Racing on the Imatra road circuit ended after fatal accident during the 1986 European Championship event.[11] Racing resumed in 2016 as an International Road Racing Championship event.

There is an annual indoor rowing race at Imatra, which attracts competitors from across Finland.[12]

Transport edit

National Road 6

The national road 6, running from Koskenkylä in Loviisa to Kajaani via Kouvola, Lappeenranta, and Joensuu passes through Imatra. Also in Imatra is a crossing point over the Russian border, which is also the ending point of primary road 62 from Mikkeli.

The Kouvola–Joensuu railway passes through Imatra, and the Imatra railway station serves both passenger and freight transport. From the rail yard of this station is a fork onto the railway towards Kamennogorsk via Vyborg. The planning of the initiation of regular international passenger traffic between Imatra and Saint Petersburg is currently underway.[13]

The closest airport to Imatra is the Lappeenranta Airport, which is used by Ryanair on several routes as well as irregular passenger flights to the Canary Islands and cargo flights to Russia. The Immola Airfield is also present, serving the Finnish Border Guard as well as hobbyist aviation activities.

Notable people edit

International relations edit

Twin towns:

Sister cities:

Co-operation cities:

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Preliminary population statistics 2023, September". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Demographic Structure by area as of 31 December 2022". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  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. ^ a b "Luettelo kuntien ja seurakuntien tuloveroprosenteista vuonna 2023". Tax Administration of Finland. 14 November 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Imatra". Imatra. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  7. ^ Tiilikainen, Tenho: Tax free -kauppa käy kiivaana Archived 2016-10-13 at the Wayback Machine. Etelä-Saimaa, 9 December 2006. (in Finnish)
  8. ^ "Saimaa".
  9. ^ Suomen kunnallisvaakunat (in Finnish). Suomen Kunnallisliitto. 1982. p. 123. ISBN 951-773-085-3.
  10. ^ "Imatran vaakunan vahvistaminen". Digitaaliarkisto: Heraldica I, vaakunat (in Finnish). Kansallisarkisto. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  11. ^ "Imatra (Finland): love and death in a cold GP climate" (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  12. ^ "Concept FinnRowing Oy Race Results" (in Finnish). 8 March 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Kannakselle uusi junarata - Venäjä turvaa Suomenlahden öljysatamien kuljetukset".

External links edit