Savonlinna (UK: //, Finnish: [ˈsɑʋonˌlinːɑ], lit. 'Castle of Savonia'; Swedish: Nyslott, lit. 'New Castle') is a town and a municipality of 32,667 inhabitants in the southeast of Finland, in the heart of the Saimaa lake region, which is why the city is also nicknamed the "Capital of Saimaa". Together with Mikkeli, it is one of the largest towns in the South Savonia region and one of the concentrations in the region's hospital districts. The town is internationally known for its medieval St. Olaf's Castle and the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. Its surrounding the enclaved municipality of Enonkoski.
Capital of Saimaa
Location of Savonlinna in Finland
|• Town manager||Janne Laine|
|• Total||3,597.70 km2 (1,389.08 sq mi)|
|• Land||1,210.51 km2 (467.38 sq mi)|
|• Water||762.62 km2 (294.45 sq mi)|
|Area rank||27th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||35th largest in Finland|
|• Density||26.99/km2 (69.9/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||97.7% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||11.6%|
|• 15 to 64||55.6%|
|• 65 or older||32.8%|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||22.75%|
The city was founded in 1639, based on Olavinlinna castle (St. Olaf's Castle). The castle was founded by Erik Axelsson Tott in 1475 in an effort to protect Savonia and to control the unstable border between the Kingdom of Sweden and its Russian adversary. During the Russo-Swedish War (1741–1743), the castle was captured by Field-Marshal Peter Lacy. It was held by Russia between 1743 and 1812, when it was granted back to Finland as a part of "Old Finland".
In 1973 the municipality of Sääminki was consolidated with Savonlinna. In the beginning of year 2009 the municipality of Savonranta and a 31.24 km2 (12.06 sq mi) land strip from Enonkoski between Savonlinna and Savonranta were consolidated with Savonlinna. In the beginning of the year 2013, the municipalities of Kerimäki and Punkaharju were consolidated with Savonlinna.
Savonlinna is located 104 kilometres (65 mi) east of Mikkeli, 133 kilometres (83 mi) west of Joensuu and 159 kilometres (99 mi) south of Kuopio. It is also 335 kilometres (208 mi) from the capital city of Helsinki by road, and some four hours away by train. Flights from Savonlinna Airport to Helsinki take 40–60 minutes.
The University of Eastern Finland had a campus in Savonlinna, primarily for teacher education. The campus was shut down in 2018. There is also a XAMK vocational university campus, teaching healthcare as well as process technologies.
There are two high schools in Savonlinna. One of these high schools is specialized in art subjects, which when it started its operation in 1967 was the first specialized high school in Finland as well as in all of the Nordic countries.
The most notable attraction in Savonlinna is the Olavinlinna castle, a 15th-century castle built on an island. Near the castle is also the regional museum. Some other attractions include the forest museum Lusto in the village of Punkaharju, and the Kerimäki Church in the neighboring village of Kerimäki, which is the largest wooden church in the world.
Savonlinna hosts the famous annual Savonlinna Opera Festival, which was held first time in 1912. The operas are performed on a stage built inside the Olavinlinna castle. The city has also hosted the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships since 2000.
Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit
In addition, there is non-governmental cooperation with the following cities:
- Hannu Aravirta, former professional hockey forward, coach for the Finnish national men's team, SM-liiga and Elitserien
- Kari Hietalahti, actor
- Erik Laxmann, explorer and natural scientist
- Ville Leino, former professional hockey forward
- Jarmo Myllys, former professional hockey goaltender, member of the 1988, 1994 and 1998 Finnish Olympic ice hockey teams
- Joonas Rask, professional hockey forward for HIFK
- Tuukka Rask, professional hockey goaltender for the Boston Bruins, member of the 2014 Finnish Olympic ice hockey team
- Seura: Saimaan pääkaupunki – ainutlaatuinen Savonlinna (in Finnish)
- "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M03*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
- "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.
- "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.
- "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2021" (PDF). Tax Administration of Finland. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Savonlinna". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Näkökulma: Keskustan 18 maakunnan unelma säröilee – Ministeritkin hääräävät savolaisten herruustaistelussa – Iltalehti (in Finnish)
- Symington, Andy (1 April 2009). Lonely Planet Finland. Lonely Planet. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-74104-771-4. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Savonlinnan ystävyyskaupungit". savonlinna.fi. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
Media related to Savonlinna at Wikimedia Commons