|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
Rovaniemi from air, October 1999
|• City manager||Esko Lotvonen|
|• Total||8,016.72 km2 (3,095.27 sq mi)|
|• Land||7,581.97 km2 (2,927.41 sq mi)|
|• Water||434.75 km2 (167.86 sq mi)|
|Area rank||5th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||16th largest in Finland|
|• Density||8.09/km2 (21.0/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||97.6% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||17.1%|
|• 15 to 64||68.1%|
|• 65 or older||14.8%|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Municipal tax rate||20%|
Rovaniemi ( pronunciation (help·info); Inari Sami: Ruávinjargâ; Northern Sami: Roavenjárga and Roavvenjárga; Skolt Sami: Ruäˊvnjargg) is a city and municipality of Finland. It is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Finland's northernmost province, Lapland. It is situated about 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of the Arctic Circle and is between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, at the confluence of the river Kemijoki and its tributary, the Ounasjoki. The city and the surrounding Rovaniemen maalaiskunta (Rural municipality of Rovaniemi) were consolidated into a single entity on 1 January 2006. The new municipality has an area of 8,016.72 square kilometres (3,095.27 sq mi) and an approximate population of 61,000.
The rova part in the name Rovaniemi has often been considered to be of Saamic origin, as "roavve" in Saami denotes a forested ridge or hill or the site of an old forest fire. In Southern Saami dialects, however, rova meaning a heap of stones, a rock or a group of rocks in a stretch of rapids, or even a sauna stove. The niemi part of the name means "cape".
There has probably been continuous settlement in the Rovaniemi area since the Stone Age. Periodic clearance of new land for agriculture and the practise of slash-and-burn cultivation began around 750–530 B.C. Artifacts found in the area suggest that an increasing number of travellers from Karelia in the east, Häme in the south and the Arctic Ocean coast in the north must have come there from 500 A.D. onwards. The Sami are considered to be Lapland's own indigenous population.
It is first mentioned by name in official documents in 1453, existing effectively as a set of small villages whose inhabitants earned their living mainly in agriculture and animal husbandry - with fishing and hunting the most important offshoots.
The exploitation of Lapland's natural resources in the 1800s boosted Rovaniemi's growth. Extensive logging sites and gold fever attracted thousands of people to Lapland. As the mining of natural resources was increased, Rovaniemi became the business centre of the province of Lapland.
Second World War
During the Second World War, Finland signed the Moscow Armistice and found itself involved in the Lapland War with its former German ally. Retreating German forces utilised scorched earth tactics, and though initially German General Lothar Rendulic ordered only the public buildings in Rovaniemi to be destroyed, on 13 October 1944 the German army received orders to destroy all the buildings in Rovaniemi, only excluding hospitals and houses where inhabitants were present. While the German rear guard was going about the destruction, an ammunition train in Rovaniemi station exploded and set fire to the wooden houses of the town. The German troops suffered many casualties, mainly from glass splinters. A Finnish commando unit claimed to have blown up the ammunition train and may well have been the primary cause of the town's ruin. The cause was then unknown and generally assumed to be the deliberate intent of Rendulic. During these hostilities 90% of all the buildings in Rovaniemi were destroyed. There is a German cemetery 19 km from Rovaniemi where soldiers killed fighting in Lapland during the war are entombed.
Because of the unspoiled nature and numerous recreational opportunities, tourism is an important industry in Rovaniemi. The city has a number of hotels and restaurants located both in the centre and on the outskirts of the town, hosting over 481,000 visitors in 2013.
Since Rovaniemi represents the capital of the Province of Lapland, many government institutions have their offices there. About 10,000 of the inhabitants are students. Rovaniemi is home to not only the University of Lapland but also the Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences (formerly known as the Rovaniemi Polytechnic), which comprises institutes of information and traditional technology, business, health and social care, culinary studies, forestry, rural studies and sports. Local newspapers include the Lapin Kansa, Uusi Rovaniemi and Lappilainen.
Rovaniemi's most prominent landmarks include the Jätkänkynttilä bridge with its eternal flame over the Kemijoki river, the Arktikum House which rises out of the bank of the Ounasjoki river, the Rovaniemi Town Hall, the Lappia House which serves as a theatre, concert hall and congress centre, and the library. The last three mentioned buildings are by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Rovaniemi is considered the official home town of Santa Claus, and is home to the Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle and Santa Park, which is located 8 km (5 mi) north of the centre. The Arktikum is a very comprehensive museum of Finland's and the world's Arctic regions.
Directly across the river from the town is the Ounasvaara ski centre. The top of the Ounasvaara hill bears the site of some of the earliest known human settlements in the area.
A phenomenon also attracting numerous tourists is the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. In Finnish Lapland the number of auroral displays can be as high as 200 a year whereas in southern Finland the number is usually fewer than 20.
The educational department takes part in Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in Finland.
VR Group, the Finnish state railway system, operates direct daytime and overnight passenger trains from Rovaniemi Station to Oulu, Tampere, Helsinki and Turku. Diesel-powered passenger trains operated north-east of Rovaniemi to Kemijärvi until March 2014, when electrification to Kemijärvi was completed. Rovaniemi Airport is located about 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of the Rovaniemi city centre.
- Ajka, Hungary
- Cadillac, Michigan, United States
- Drvar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Grindavík, Iceland
- Harbin, China
- St. Johann in Tirol, Austria
- Kassel, Germany
- Kiruna, Sweden
- Murmansk, Russia
- Narvik, Norway
- Neustrelitz, Germany
- Olsztyn, Poland
- Veszprém, Hungary
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Due to its location near the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with short, comfortable summers, while the winters are long, cold and snowy. The city lies just south of the 0 °C (32 °F) mean annual isotherm, but freezing in the soil is very limited even during the winter due to typical heavy snow cover. Its extreme northerly location combined with frequent overcast skies leads to very low levels of sunshine in the winter months; December averages just under six minutes of sunshine daily.
|Climate data for Rovaniemi Lentoasema, elevation: 196m (1981-2010) Extremes (1959-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||6.9
|Average high °C (°F)||−8.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−11.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−14.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−38.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||42.1
|Average precipitation days||10||10||9||7||8||9||10||10||9||11||12||10||115|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||15||57||132||203||237||271||260||182||112||60||18||3||1,550|
|Source #1: Finnish Meteorological Institute|
|Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute|
The average annual temperature in Rovaneimi is 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). Snow stays on the ground 175 days a year on average. The lowest temperature ever recorded is −47.5 °C (−54 °F), recorded on 28 January 1999, and the highest temperature ever recorded is 30.7 °C (87 °F), recorded on June 10, 2011.
- Jari Tervo, author
- Harri Olli, ski jumper
- writer Timo K. Mukka died in Rovaniemi in 1974.
- Snowboarder and 2005 Winter X Games gold medalist Antti Autti is a Rovaniemi native, and in April 2005 he received his own piece of land in the city for being named to the 2006 Finnish Olympic team.
- Tanja Poutiainen Alpine skier
- World champion snowcross winner Janne Tapio is a Rovaniemi native.
- Tomi Putaansuu, better known as Mr. Lordi lead singer of the Hard rock band and 2006 Eurovision Song Contest winner Lordi.
- Progressive rock band Absoluuttinen Nollapiste
- Antti Tuisku, singer.
- Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is said to be the residence of Father Christmas.
- The Black Metal band Beherit came from Rovaniemi.
Rovaniemi is a central scene in a documentary film Reindeerspotting.
- "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "VÄESTÖTIETOJÄRJESTELMÄ REKISTERITILANNE 30.06.2015" (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "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.
- Suomen Kuvalehti 39/2004
- Kallioniemi 1989, s. 196–209
- History of Santa Claus
- Santa Claus' Village on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi in Lapland in Finland
- Joulupukin Kammari – Santa Claus Office – Joulupkki, Lapland, Finland, Rovaniemi
- "Normal period 1981–2010". FMI. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "Rovaniemi extreme values". KNMI. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- Ubisoft (2008). "Locations". Ubisoft. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Hard Rock Hallelujah Special Edition (YouTube video). Rovaniemi.
- Rikkinen, K. A Geography of Finland. Lahti: University of Helsinki (1992)
- Rovaniemi: Arctic Circle – Finland. Helsinki: Oy Sevenprint Ltd (1998)
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