Location of Lahti in Finland
|• City manager||Jyrki Myllyvirta|
|• Total||154.58 km2 (59.68 sq mi)|
|• Land||135.05 km2 (52.14 sq mi)|
|• Water||19.53 km2 (7.54 sq mi)|
|Area rank||318th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||8th largest in Finland|
|• Density||765.29/km2 (1,982.1/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||95.7% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||14.7%|
|• 15 to 64||67.2%|
|• 65 or older||18.1%|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Municipal tax rate||19.5%|
Lahti is the capital of the Päijänne Tavastia region. It is situated on a bay at the southern end of lake Vesijärvi about 100 kilometres (60 mi) north-east of the capital Helsinki. In English, the Finnish word Lahti literally means bay and Vesijärvi means water lake.
The symbol of the city depicts a train wheel surrounded by sparkling flames.
Lahti was first mentioned in documents in 1445. The village belonged to the parish of Hollola and was located at the medieval trade route of Ylinen Viipurintie, which linked the towns of Hämeenlinna and Vyborg.
The completion of the Riihimäki – St. Petersburg railway line in 1870 and the Vesijärvi canal in 1871 turned Lahti into a lively station, and industrial installations began to spring up around it. For a long time, the railway station at Vesijärvi Harbour was the second busiest station in Finland. Craftsmen, merchants, a few civil servants and a lot of industrial workers soon mixed in with the existing agricultural peasantry.
On 19 June 1877, almost the entire village was burned to the ground. However, the accident proved to be a stroke of luck for the development of the place, as it led to the authorities resuming their deliberations about establishing a town in Lahti. The village was granted market town rights in 1878 and an empire-style, grid town plan was approved, which included a large market square and wide boulevards. This grid plan still forms the basis of the city center. Most of the buildings were low wooden houses bordering the streets.
Lahti was founded during a period of severe economic recession. The Russian Empire was encumbered by the war against Turkey. The recession also slowed down the building of the township: land would not sell and often plots were not built on for some time. In its early years, the town with its meagre 200 inhabitants was too small to provide any kind of foundation for trade. At the end of the 1890s, Lahti’s Township Board increased its efforts to enable Lahti to be turned into a city. In spring 1904, the efforts finally bore fruit as the Senate approved of the application, although it was another eighteen months before Tsar Nicholas II finally gave his blessing and issued an ordinance for establishing the city of Lahti.
At the end of 1905, the area that now comprises Lahti accommodated around 8,200 people of whom just under 3,000 lived in the city itself. All essential municipal institutions were built in just ten years, including a hospital and a city hall. At the same time, a rapid increase in brick houses was taking place in the centre of the city.
In the early 1920s the city gained possession of the grounds of the Lahti Manor, an important piece of land previously blocking the city from the lake. Large-scale industrial operations grew rapidly in the 1930s as did the population; Lahti, at the time, was one of Finland’s fastest-growing cities, and before the start of the Winter War its population was approaching 30,000.
Through the addition of new areas in 1924, 1933 and 1956, Lahti grew, both in terms of population and surface area. Especially strong was the growth after the wars, when Lahti accepted about 10,000 immigrants from Karelia, after the region was surrendered to the Soviet Union, and then later in the 1960 and 70's as a result of mass urbanization. The population growth came to a sharp end in 1975 and the city has since grown very little.
Lahti harbors cultural ambitions, and recent years saw the building of a large congress and concert center, the Sibelius Hall. This has sparked much controversy amongst the population, many of whom[who?] feel that the money used for these purposes would be better spent on health care and education. Lahti has one of Finland's most widely known symphony orchestras, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Sinfonia Lahti), which performs both classical and popular music, notably concentrating on music by Jean Sibelius.
Lahti’s annual music festival programme includes such events as Lahti Organ Festival, Jazz at the market place and Sibelius Festival.
The city endeavors for achievements in sport, which has led to such things as the hosting of a World Games event. As of 2010, it is the only city to host the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships six times, doing so in 1926, 1938, 1958, 1978, 1989, and 2001.
The city also has an ice hockey team, the Lahden Pelicans, an Association Football (soccer) club, FC Lahti, and a basketball team Namika Lahti. In July–August 2009, Lahti hosted the 18th World Masters Athletics Championships, an outdoor age-group track meet for men and women 35 and over.
Lahti's greatest educational asset is the highly valued Institute of Design, which is a part of Lahti University of Applied Sciences. The institute has gained international recognition in particular for jewelry and industrial design. Other areas of expertise include metal, woodworking and furniture.
The Faculty of Physical Activity at Lahti University of Applied Sciences offers a bachelor's degree programme in Sports Studies. The Sports Institute of Finland, which is based in Vierumäki near Lahti, is the most versatile centre of sports education in the country. In addition, Pajulahti Training Center, located in the neighboring town of Nastola, is one the leading sports and training centres in Finland.
Lahti is also the home of Helsinki University's department of Environmental and Ecological Sciences (Faculty of Biosciences). It's the only science department of the University of Helsinki located outside the greater Helsinki area.
|Upper secondary schools|
The economic region of Lahti, which includes the surrounding municipalities, was strongly affected by the collapse of Finnish-Soviet trade and by the recession in the early 1990s.
The value of production slumped, especially in the mechanical engineering industry and other manufacturing industries (e.g. the furniture industry). Production also decreased in the textile and clothing industry. In 1990, there were 90,370 jobs in the Lahti Region. The number of jobs diminished over the next couple of years, so that in 1993 there were fewer than 70,000 jobs in the Lahti Region. The number of jobs had slowly increased to 79,138 in 1999.
|Employment by sector (City of Lahti)||1980||1990||2000||2007|
|Agriculture & Forestry||0.9%||0.6%||0.1%||0.2%|
In 1995, R&D expenditure was FIM 715 per person, while Finland's average was about FIM 2050. The amount of Tekes (the National Technology Agency) funding in the Lahti Region grew 40% during 2004-2007 while the average growth in Finland was 60%.
|Gross domestic product (Lahti Region)||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006|
|GDP at current prices; million €||3,449.3||3,709.7||3,697.5||3,982.3||4,136.8||4,242.4||4,381.9|
|Changes of GDP; year 2000 = 100%||100.0%||107.5%||107.2%||115.5%||119.9%||123.0%||127.7%|
|GDP per capita; whole country =100%||80.7%||82.0%||79.4%||84.3%||83.9%||83.4%||81.2%|
|GDP per employed; whole country =100%||86.6%||87.3%||83.6%||88.9%||88.7%||88.6%||87.1%|
As of 31 January 2012 Lahti’s population was 102 358, making it the eighth largest city in Finland by population.
|Population by district||1964||1970||1980||1990||2000||2007|
Lahti has a railway station on the Helsinki–Kontiomäki line, between Mäntsälä and Kouvola; before 2006, connections to Helsinki went via Riihimäki. The shortened railway connection is expected to boost the growth of Lahti.
|Single ticket||Adults||Travel time|
|Helsinki Central Station||
|Single ticket / Return||Adults||Travel time|
Local buses leave from the market square. Bus stops are on both the Aleksanterinkatu side and the Vapaudenkatu side of the square. See also the Local traffic Trip Planner for Lahti.
Distance by road (km)
- Helsinki 104
- Helsinki-Vantaa Airport 99
- Tampere 126
- Turku 213
- Jyväskylä 167
- Lappeenranta 148
- Kouvola 62
- Hämeenlinna 73
- Oulu 505
- Saint Petersburg 356
Born in Lahti
- Göran Enckelman, football player
- Pasi Nurminen, former NHL goaltender
- Toni Lydman, Ice hockey Player
- Toni Nieminen, ski jumper
- Janne Ahonen, ski jumper
- Mikko Ilonen, professional golfer
- Jari Litmanen, football player
- Aksu Hanttu, Drummer for the band Entwine
- Ilona Jokinen, soprano opera singer
- Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor and violinist
- Eija-Riitta Korhola, politician
- Jimi Tenor, musician
- Timo Väänänen, musician, member of the band Loituma
Twin towns—sister cities
Lahti is twinned with:
- Västerås, Sweden (since 1940)
- Akureyri, Iceland (since 1947)
- Randers, Denmark (since 1947)
- Ålesund, Norway (since 1947)
- Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine (since 1953)
- Pécs, Hungary (since 1956)
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (since 1987)
- Suhl, Germany (since 1988)
- Kaluga, Russia (since 1994)
- Narva, Estonia (since 1994, partnership agreement)
- Deyang, China (since 2000)
- Most, Czech Republic
- "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "VÄESTÖTIETOJÄRJESTELMÄ REKISTERITILANNE 31.1.2014" (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "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 and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Міста-побратими м. Запоріжжя" [Twin Cities Zaporozhye]. City of Zaporizhia (in Ukrainian). Шановні відвідувачі і користувачі сайту. Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lahti.|
- 1952 Summer Olympics official report. pp. 62–3.
- City of Lahti – Official city website.
- Lahti Guide – information for visitors to Lahti.
- Lahti region - Living, business and travel information.
- Lahti info - News, events, business and other information.
- Lahti video - documentary about city of Lahti
- Lahti travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Etelä-Suomen Sanomat – local newspaper in Finnish (translates as South Finland News)