City of Kouvola

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Would you like to visit a town in Finland to make your impressions of the whole country complete? Then you are welcome to amazing Kouvola!

Kouvola has a population of 86,000 and a total area of 2,885 km2, with over 450 lakes and over 7,000 summer cottages. Kouvola is located in Southern Finland, only 90 minutes away from the Capital Region by train or car. Kouvola is Finland’s tenth largest city.

There is a lively atmosphere in the modern city centre, with fun-filled and joyful experiences for children in the busy amusement park. Wilderness areas, lakes and forests, countryside peace. Culture, theatre, concerts and events. Exciting sporting competitions.

In Kouvola, the urban and the rural live side-by-side. The Kymi River winding through the region provides the local population and tourists with a setting for recreation, serves local forest industry companies and provides a unique landscape. Industry is still a major employer in Kouvola, although the region’s forest industry has declined drastically in recent years. These days, an increasing number of people in the city are employed in commercial services. The largest employer in Kouvola is the Finnish Defence Forces, as the Karelian Brigade and the Utti Jaeger Regiment are stationed in Kouvola.

Kouvola is also a well-known railway city. It is the western terminal of the Trans-Siberian Railway that goes from Europe to Asia, as well as being a significant junction in Finland. The Allegro train takes tourists and business travellers between Kouvola and St Petersburg in just 2h 20min.

As far as road traffic is concerned, Kouvola is situated along Highways 6 and 15. The journey from Kouvola to the Helsinki region takes a little over an hour by train and 1½ hours by car.

In Kouvola, nature offers the best landscape in Southern Finland to enjoy outdoor activities and cottage life. The region is home to the Repovesi National Park, where you can marvel at the changing landscape after just a short trek into the countryside. Kouvola also has the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, where you can learn about the operations and stories of the old mill. In summer, the Tykkimäki Amusement Park is a great attraction, both for the young and the young at heart.

The many different events taking place in the Kouvola region are also well worth seeing. Whatever you want from your visit, Kouvola offers great materials for building the holiday of your dreams. See you in Kouvola!

The meaning of Kouvola

It is said that Kouvola received its name from a settler named Kouvo, and one of the meanings of the word is bear. A Bear has become the symbol and mascot of Kouvola. The construction of the St Petersburg railway had a significant impact on the development of the region. Kouvola received a railway station in 1875 which brought a lot of railway workers with it. Thus, the little village with a station started to become a junction.

Kouvola was part of the municipality of Valkeala. It became a semiautonomous community in 1917, an independent municipality in 1922, a market town in 1923 and a city in 1960. Kouvola had become a centre of commerce and administration.

History of the new city of Kouvola

The New City of Kouvola has a long history. The new Kouvola, established on January 1, 2009, was celebrated as the 10th largest city in Finland. The new city of Kouvola, with almost 90 000 residents, was created by merging Anjalankoski, Elimäki, Jaala, Kuusankoski, Valkeala and Kouvola.

The mother municipalities before Kouvola were Elimäki, Iitti and Vehkalahti, from which all of these six municipalities broke away and became independent.

The end of the 18th century was a historically significant time. After the Treaty of Turku in 1743 the Kymi River became the border between Sweden and Russia and remained thus until the beginning of the Age of Autonomy in 1809. Due to the border, the area witnessed several battles and historical events during the 1780s. For example, the Liikkala Note, Anjala Conspiracy and the Battle of Kaipiainen happened during that time (1788-1789).