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Gustaf Ignatius, governor of Kuopio province

The Governor, Maaherra, or Landshövding, of a province of Finland headed the activities of the State Provincial Office, Lääninhallitus, or Länsstyrelse until the end of 2009, when the provinces were abolished.[1] The governors were appointed by the President. Many former ministers including but not limited to Kaarlo Hillilä, Martti Miettunen, Hannele Pokka and Anneli Taina served as governors, since the post was regarded as prestigious enough for a retiring minister, but still politically neutral. The title of maaherra was also considered a personal title, such that once appointed, the title maaherra remained for life.

During the Swedish period (1634–1809) and the Russian period (1809–1917) the governor was a royal plenipotentiary, representing the sovereign, but with independence, the function was reversed: the governor represented his territory to the central government.

List of Provincial GovernorsEdit

Province of Turku and Pori 1634–1997Edit

Province of Nyland and Tavastehus 1634–1831Edit

Province of Ostrobothnia 1634–1775Edit

Province of Viborg and Nyslott 1634–1721Edit

Province of Kexholm 1634–1721Edit

Province of Kymmenegård and Nyslott 1721–1747Edit

Province of Savolax and Kymmenegård 1747–1775Edit

Province of Vaasa 1775–1997Edit

Province of Oulu 1775–2009Edit

Province of Kymmenegård 1775–1831Edit

Province of Savolax and Karelia 1775–1831Edit

Province of Viipuri 1812–1945Edit

Province of Uusimaa 1831–1997Edit

Province of Häme 1831–1997Edit

Province of Mikkeli 1831–1997Edit

Province of Kuopio 1831–1997Edit

Province of Åland 1918–2009Edit

Province of Petsamo 1921–1921Edit

Province of Lapland 1938–2009Edit

Province of Kymi 1945–1997Edit

Province of Central Finland 1960–1997Edit

Province of Northern Karelia 1960–1997Edit

Province of Southern Finland 1997–2009Edit

Province of Western Finland 1997–2009Edit

Province of Eastern Finland 1997–2009Edit

Governors of Västernorrland County, Västerbotten County, Saint Petersburg Governorate and Vyborg GovernorateEdit

Governors of Västernorrland County and Västerbotten County ruled in 1634–1809 also northern part of Finnish Lapland and eastern part of Torne Valley. Governors of Saint Petersburg Governorate and Vyborg Governorate ruled Old Finland (predecessor of Province of Viipuri) in 1721–1812.

Västernorrland County 1634–1638Edit

Västerbotten County 1638–1809Edit

Saint Petersburg Governorate 1721–1744Edit

Vyborg Governorate 1744–1812Edit


  1. ^ "New regional administration model abolishes provinces in 2010". Helsingin Sanomat International Edition. Sanoma Corporation. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.

See alsoEdit