Jakobstad (Swedish: [ˈjɑːkopˌstɑːd]; Finnish: Pietarsaari) is a town and municipality in Ostrobothnia, Finland. The town has a population of 19,096 (31 December 2021)[2] and covers a land area of 88.31 km2 (34.10 sq mi).[1] The population density is 216.24/km2 (560.1/sq mi). Neighboring municipalities are Larsmo, Pedersöre, and Nykarleby. The city of Vaasa is located 98 km (61 mi) southwest of Jakobstad.

Pietarsaari (Finnish)
City of Jakobstad
Staden Jakobstad
Pietarsaaren kaupunki
The old Town Hall
The old Town Hall
Location of Jakobstad in Finland
Location of Jakobstad in Finland
Coordinates: 63°40′N 022°42′E / 63.667°N 22.700°E / 63.667; 22.700Coordinates: 63°40′N 022°42′E / 63.667°N 22.700°E / 63.667; 22.700
Country Finland
Sub-regionJakobstad sub-region
 • City managerKristina Stenman
 • Total396.35 km2 (153.03 sq mi)
 • Land88.31 km2 (34.10 sq mi)
 • Water307.94 km2 (118.90 sq mi)
 • Rank302nd largest in Finland
 • Total19,096
 • Rank61st largest in Finland
 • Density216.24/km2 (560.1/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Swedish56.4% (official)
 • Finnish40.2%
 • Others3.4%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1415.5%
 • 15 to 6458.2%
 • 65 or older26.3%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]21.25%

Origin of the namesEdit

The Swedish name literally means Jacob's City or Jacob's Town, in reference to Jacob De la Gardie. The town was founded at the old harbour of the parish Pedersöre and this name lives on in the Finnish name of the municipality, Pietarsaari, literally Peter's Island.


The town was founded in 1652 by Ebba Brahe, the widow of the military commander Jacob De la Gardie, and was granted city privileges by Queen Christina of Sweden. The town was founded at the old harbour of the parish Pedersöre. Pedersöre remains an independent municipality neighbouring Jakobstad.

The city grew slowly at first, with the authorities scarcely promoting any growth. In 1680 the inhabitants were ordered to relocate to the cities of Karleby (Kokkola), Uleåborg (Oulu) and Nykarleby, but the order was rescinded. Wars also contributed to the slow growth, and the city was invaded by Russian troops twice during the Greater Wrath, and large parts of the town were burnt to the ground. A majority of the inhabitants fled the city. While those with means moved across the sea to the Swedish side, others took shelter in the forest or in the archipelago. Many were captured or killed. During the 1720s, some of the previous inhabitants returned, while newcomers also added to the population. The subsequent decades were finally marked by a period of growth, and the current church was built in 1731.

The economic foundation was laid in the mid 18th century, with tar manufacturing and tobacco packaging at its centre. Trade started to develop rapidly in Jakobstad as of 1765, when the cities along the Finnish shore of the Gulf of Bothnia were granted privileges by the Swedish crown to trade directly with foreign countries. This also led to shipbuilding becoming a major activity in Jakobstad. The first ships to sail with goods to foreign countries were the galeas Jacobstads Wapen and the brig Enigheten. Trade and shipbuilding made Jakobstad a wealthy city, and a notable businessman of that time was the merchant and shipbuilder Adolf Lindskog, who also became one of the richest men in Finland.

The "Strengberg" tobacco factory

The early 19th century was a time of upheaval, which saw the 1808–1809 war between Sweden and Russia, as well as a devastating fire in 1835 that destroyed approximately half of the city. Despite this, the economic progress continued, and a brewery, a matchstick factory and several banks were founded after 1850. In 1859, the merchant and shipowner Peter Malm started a steam powered sawmill, which was only the second such installation in Finland. The Crimean War was a major setback to shipping industry, as the British navy puts up an effective blockade and the shipping fleet in Jakobstad during the Åland War was reduced from 26 ships to 9.

Notable businessmen in the 19th century were Otto Malm and Wilhelm Schauman, the latter founding a chicory (coffee substitute) factory in Jakobstad in 1883. This moment in time is usually considered as the start of industrialization in Jakobstad. In 1900, the Strengberg tobacco factory was the largest employer in Jakobstad.

An artillery school was located in Jakobstad during the Finnish civil war. During World War II, the city was bombed once by Soviet bomber planes, causing a few casualties. Up until the 1960s, the town was overwhelmingly Swedish speaking, but as a consequence of industrial expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the need for additional work force caused a large influx of Finnish speakers. The town remains bilingual with 56% being Swedish and 40% Finnish speakers.

The Strengberg tobacco factory in 1900


Early industriesEdit

During the second half of the 19th century, the city changed from a city of shipping to an industrial city. From 1850 to 1900, the population increased from about 1,500 to over 6,000 inhabitants. The existing factories developed rapidly and new factories were established. Production in the factories was still small-scale. The city produced everything from beer and spirits to soaps and matches. The Finnish-speaking population in the city increased sharply when the tobacco factory expanded and was in great need of labor.


Results of the 2017 Finnish municipal election in Jakobstad:

Party Seats
Swedish People's Party 19
Social Democratic Party 10
Left Alliance 5
Christian Democrats 4
Pro Pietarsaari-Jakobstad 3
Green League 1
Centre Party 1


On July Jakobsdagar is one of the main summer events which attracts almost every resident in Jakobstad and it is also the best time to see the local population at once. the event goes whole week.

At the end of November a chamber music festival called Rusk is held annually in Pietarsaari/Jakobstad. At the heart of this festival embracing superb chamber music and various other genres of the arts is the Schauman Hall in the centre of town, but the events also spread out into the surrounding urban environment.

Culture and sightsEdit

The Skolparken botanical garden
The old town Skata
  • Jakobstad City Hall (Swedish: Jakobstads rådhus) is a historic building in the city which was completed in 1875. The current look of the building dates from 1890.
  • Jakobstad is the home of the galeas Jacobstads Wapen, a full-scale replica built between 1987 and 1992, based on the original 1755 drawings by Swedish naval architect Fredrik Henrik af Chapman [1]
  • Jakobstad - Pietarsaari Museum is the main museum in the city, concentrating on maritime and ship building history
  • The Arctic museum Nanoq is located outside Jakobstad.
  • Chicorymuseum is the only chicorymuseum in Finland. In the former chicory factory from the 19th century visitors can familiarize themselves with the production of chicory, get acquainted with Wilhelm Schaumans early industrial career and also experience authentic old factory conditions. The museum in Pietarsaari will also offer art exhibitions and other events.
  • The botanical garden Skolparken (literally "the school park"), with approximately 1,000 plant species, is renowned both as one of the most northerly botanical gardens in the world and for its classical park architecture. The foundation was laid in 1915 and the park was completed in 1932. The funding was provided by the Schauman family, who wanted to honour the memory of Elise and Viktor Schauman. The park was designed by the prominent Finnish garden architect Bengt Schalin.
  • Skata is a protected residential area close to the city centre which dates from 1783. Up until the late 19th century, Skata was home primarily to sailors and their families. As of the 1890s, it transformed into a mainly working class area, providing housing to a large part of the work force employed by the Strengberg tobacco factory.
  • Pedersöre Church


In the 1980s, a rural liverwurst was named traditional food of Jakobstad.[7] The culture of cafés and restaurants is lively in Jakobstad anyway, as the Strengberg tobacco factory was the first Finnish industrial plant to offer lunch to its employees.[8] Jakobstad has ethnic restaurants, home-cooked lunch restaurants, à la carte restaurants and cafés, pubs and nightclubs.[9]


The town's football team FF Jaro currently plays in Ykkönen, the second league in Finland. The woman's league football club FC United has been very successful over the years.

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Jakobstad is twinned with:[10][11]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "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*-2021M12*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  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. ^ "Malmska gården". Jakobstad (in Swedish). Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  7. ^ Jaakko Kolmonen (1988). Kotomaamme ruoka-aitta: Suomen, Karjalan ja Petsamon pitäjäruoat (in Finnish). Helsinki: Patakolmonen. p. 165. ISBN 951-96047-3-1.
  8. ^ "Pietarsaaressa on Suomen elinvoimaisin keskusta". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "Syö ja juo" (in Finnish). Town of Jakobstad. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Kazi Touhid Mahmudul Amin (March 2014). "Strategic Tourism Marketing of a Small Town, Case: The Town of Pietarsaari/Jakobstad" (PDF). theseus.fi. Centria University of Applied Science. p. 21. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  11. ^ Torvald Perman (2019-09-19). "Staden Jakobstad och vänortsrörelsen" (PDF). pohjola-norden.fi (in Swedish). Pohjola-Norden. p. 11. Retrieved 2021-03-28.

External linksEdit