Hanko

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Hanko
HankoHangö
Municipality and town
Hangon kaupunkiHangö stad
Eastern Harbour coastline
Eastern Harbour coastline
Coat of arms of Hanko
Coat of arms
Location of Hanko in Finland
Location of Hanko in Finland
Coordinates: 59°50′N 022°58′E / 59.833°N 22.967°E / 59.833; 22.967Coordinates: 59°50′N 022°58′E / 59.833°N 22.967°E / 59.833; 22.967
Country Finland
Region Uusimaa
Sub-region Raseborg sub-region
Charter 1874
Government
 • Town manager Jouko Mäkinen
Area(2011-01-01)[1]
 • Total 800.15 km2 (308.94 sq mi)
 • Land 116.89 km2 (45.13 sq mi)
 • Water 683.26 km2 (263.81 sq mi)
Area rank 146th largest in Finland
Population (2014-01-31)[2]
 • Total 9,270
 • Rank 109th largest in Finland
 • Density 79.31/km2 (205.4/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
 • Finnish 53.5% (official)
 • Swedish 43.7% (official)
 • Others 2.9%
Population by age[4]
 • 0 to 14 15.2%
 • 15 to 64 65.4%
 • 65 or older 19.4%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 20.75%
Website www.hanko.fi

Hanko (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhɑŋko]; Swedish: Hangö), is a bilingual port town and municipality on the south coast of Finland, 130 kilometres (80 mi) west of Helsinki. Its current population is 9,270 (31 January 2014),[2] with a majority being Finnish speakers and a strong minority being Swedish speakers (44%).[3]

Politics[edit]

Results of the Finnish parliamentary election, 2011 in Hanko:

Features[edit]

The Hanko Peninsula, on which the city is located, is the southernmost tip of continental Finland. The soil is a sandy moraine, and vegetation consists mainly of pine and low shrubs, mostly Calluna. Hanko is known for its beautiful archipelago.

A scrollable panorama shot from the water tower shows the typical small town architecture, with mostly wooden buildings. Some of the archipelago is also visible.

The city has a coastline of approximately 130 km (80 mi), of which 30 km (20 mi) are sandy beaches. There are also over 90 small islands and islets within the city limits.

The skyline of Hanko is dominated by the church and the water tower. Both of them received their current appearance after World War II, as their predecessors were either damaged or destroyed by the Soviet Armed Forces.

Scandlines serve the link between Hanko and Rostock since October 2007 four times a week with two RoRo-vessel. The trip takes some 36 hours.

Events[edit]

Restaurants by the marina in the busy summer tourist season.

The Hangon Regatta has been a traditional fixture on the Finnish social scene, and is the town's major summer event. Sailing enthusiasts attend in order to compete, bu there are also others, mostly young people, with little or no interest in sailing, who attend only in order to party and drink. The latter constitute the so-called "Regatta tail", which is not appreciated by most of the town's residents.

Other traditional summer activities are the "Tennis Week", the "Sea Horse" riding competitions, the "Summer Theatre" and Hanko Music Festival events.

Several sandy beaches and a multitude of leisure harbors attract tourists during the summer months.

History[edit]

The emigrants' memorial statue.

The site was already known by sailors in the 15th century. Petroglyphs from that time are carved into the rock at the Hauensuoli (Swedish: Gäddtarmen, English: Pike's Gut) island.

Hanko has a long history of wars and battles. The Battle of Gangut between Swedish and Russian navies was fought in 1714 in the archipelago north of the peninsula. The battle was the first-ever victory of the Russian regular fleet.

The fortification works on the Hanko Peninsula had already been started by the end of the 18th century, when the Swedish constructed three separate forts on the outlying islands. The forts were taken over by Russia in 1809, and were later bombarded by the Royal Navy during the Crimean War and they were eventually blown up during the hostilities by their own defenders.

The city was founded in 1874, soon after the Hanko-Hyvinkää railway was inaugurated in 1872. The Imperial Charter for the city was granted by Tsar Alexander II.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Hanko was the port of choice for emigrants leaving Finland for a new life in North America. A memorial statue, showing birds in flight, commemorates this.

In the late 19th century, while Finland was still a Grand Duchy under Russia, Hanko was a popular spa resort for the Russian nobility. Some of the buildings from that period survive, notably the Hanko Casino (which is not a gambling establishment, but a former banquet hall of the spa). It is nowadays a restaurant. The Hotel Continental (1901) (nowadays Hotel Regatta) was designed by architect Lars Sonck in the notable Jugendstil style of the time; after falling into a poor state, the hotel was in 2013 restored to its former glory.

Field Marshal C. G. Mannerheim owned a café, De fyra vindarnas hus (English: The House of the Four Winds, Finnish: Neljän Tuulen Tupa) which is still very popular among tourists and residents alike.

The Bengtskär lighthouse, situated 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Hanko, is the tallest one (52 m or 171 ft) in the Nordic countries. It was built in 1906 and it was the first lighthouse museum in Finland.

Soviet naval base[edit]

The water tower and church in Hanko. They were rebuilt after the war, having been destroyed by the Soviets.
Långsanda, one of the several beaches in Hanko.

In the Moscow Peace Treaty that ended the Winter War on March 13, 1940, Hanko was leased to the Soviet Union as a military base for a period of 30 years. During the Continuation War, Soviet troops were forced to evacuate Hanko in early December 1941. The Soviet Union renounced the lease formally in the Paris peace treaty of 1947. As a curiosity, it can be noted that the short Russo-Finnish front across the base of the peninsula on the Finnish side was held in part by volunteer troops from Sweden. A museum has been established at this location, among the trenches and other remnants of the war.

The role of the Hanko naval base was replaced by Porkkala in the armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union of September 19, 1944, released back to Finland in January 1956.

Sports[edit]

The following sports clubs are located in Hanko:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Hanko is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "VÄESTÖTIETOJÄRJESTELMÄ REKISTERITILANNE 31.1.2014" (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "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 and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 

External links[edit]