from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pudasjärven kaupunki
coat of arms map
Pudasjärvi coat of arms Location of Pudasjärvi in ​​Finland
Basic data
State : FinlandFinland Finland
Landscape : Northern Ostrobothnia
Administrative community : Oulunkaari
Geographical location 65 ° 22 ′  N , 26 ° 59 ′  E Coordinates: 65 ° 22 ′  N , 26 ° 59 ′  E
Surface: 5,867.23 km²
of which land area: 5,638.61 km²
of which inland waterways: 228.62 km²
Residents : 7,990 (Dec. 31, 2018)
Population density : 1.4 inhabitants / km²
Municipality number : 615
Language (s) : Finnish
Website : pudasjarvi.fi

Pudasjärvi [ ˈpudɑsjærvi ] is a city in northern Finland with 7990 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018). The administrative city area is very extensive with 5,867 km² and largely sparsely populated. The main town and administrative seat of the city is the settlement of Kurenala, in which around half of the population lives. The name Pudasjärvi goes back to the lake of the same name and describes a lake ( järvi in Finnish ) through which a river arm ( pudas ) flows. Local attractions include Pudasjärvis its nature and the 432-meter-high Iso-Syöte , the southernmost Fjell Finland.


Satellite image of the center of Pudasjärvi

Position and extent

Pudasjärvi is located in the countryside Northern Ostrobothnia on the middle reaches of the river Iijoki . The Lapland landscape begins north of Pudasjärvi and the Kainuu landscape to the southeast . The nearest major city is Oulu, around 80 km southwest. The center of Pudasjärvi is about 130 km south of the Arctic Circle . The neighboring communities of Pudasjärvi are Ranua and Posio in the north, Taivalkoski in the east, Suomussalmi , Puolanka and Utajärvi in the south and Oulu and Ii in the west. Together with five other municipalities in the Oulu area, Pudasjärvi belongs to the Oulunkaari administrative community . Traditionally, however, the city is counted with Posio, Taivalkoski and Kuusamo to the Koillismaa region .

Pudasjärvi covers an area of ​​5687.3 km², of which 229.1 km² is water. This makes Pudasjärvi the second largest city in Finland after Rovaniemi and more than twice the size of Luxembourg . The municipality is very sparsely populated and consists largely of forests and swamps . Therefore the population density is only 1.6 inhabitants per km². The population is spread over 15 villages (see below), of which the Kurenala community center with 4554 inhabitants (2004) is the largest.

City structure

The 15 villages of Pudasjärvi

The urban area of ​​Pudasjärvi is divided into 15 villages. The town is named after the parish village of Pudasjärvi on the banks of the lake of the same name, which used to be the center of the village thanks to the local rectory and courtroom. However, with the construction of the road from Oulu to Kuusamo , the city center moved to Kurenala on the Iijoki River. Today around half of the population of Pudasjärvi lives in Kurenala. Most of the villages are located on the banks of the rivers and lakes in the urban area. Because of the shrinking population, schools, post offices, shops etc. had to be closed in many villages.

The villages of Pudasjärvi (population as of December 31, 2004):

  • Aittojärvi (154 inhabitants)
  • Hetekylä (316 inhabitants)
  • Hirvaskoski (493 inhabitants)
  • Iinattijärvi (266 inhabitants)
  • Jaurakkajärvi (150 inhabitants)
  • Kipinä (359 inhabitants)
  • Kokkokylä (175 inhabitants)
  • Kurenala (4554 inhabitants)
  • Pärjänsuo (480 inhabitants)
  • Pintamo (127 inhabitants)
  • Pudasjärvi (1132 inhabitants)
  • Puhos (264 inhabitants)
  • Sarakylä (500 inhabitants)
  • Siurua (279 inhabitants)
  • Syötekylä (272 inhabitants)

Landscape and nature

In the Olvassuo wetland

In the Pudasjärvi area, three types of landscape meet: the Bottnian coastal plain, the hill country in eastern Finland and the fjell landscape of Lapland . The south-west of Pudasjärvi is one of the flat marshlands of northern Ostrobothnia. Over half of the urban area consists of swamps, which makes Pudasjärvi one of the swampiest areas in Finland. Most of them are open, boggy marsh bogs with many small ponds. Quarry forests grow in the vicinity of streams . The largest swamp area extends in the south of the urban area on the border with Utajärvi with the swamps Olvassuo, Oravisuo, Näätäsuo and Sammakkosuo.

On the summit of Iso-Syöte

The eastern part of Pudasjärvi is dominated by hills (Finnish vaara ) and fells ( tunturi ). The glacial , undulating hill country of Eastern Finland ( Vaara-Suomi ) stretches from Northern Karelia via Kainuu to the eastern parts of Northern Ostrobothnia. Heights that exceed the tree line are known as fells. This type of landscape is typical for the Finnish part of Lapland. The highest point of Pudasjärvi is the Iso-Syöte with a height of 432 m above sea level. NN. The Iso-Syöte ("Groß-Syöte") is the highest peak of the Syöte ridge. Its highest point is just above the tree line, making it the southernmost fell in Finland.

The forests of Pudasjärvi consist mainly of pine trees . In the hilly east spruce forests are predominant. Numerous wild animals live in the nature of Pudasjärvi. Moose are common in all of Finland, and you can also find semi-domesticated reindeer roaming free . The forests are home to several species of predator, including bears , wolverines , wolves and lynxes . In addition, a population of the rare flying squirrels lives in Pudasjärvi .

229.1 km² of the municipality consists of water. The Iijoki , the third longest river in Finland, flows east-west through Pudasjärvi. It rises at Kuusamo and flows into the Gulf of Bothnia at Ii . In Pudasjärvi it ​​initially flows through the sparsely populated hilly country. Further downstream in the flat west of the city, it is bordered by meadows and villages on the riverbank. In the central and eastern part of Pudasjärvi there are some larger lakes: Puhosjärvi, Jongunjärvi, Jaurakkajärvi and the eponymous Pudasjärvi.



The Pudasjärvi area was originally inhabited by semi-nomadic Sami . Many place names such as Puhos, Kollaja, Jaurakka and Iijoki come from their language. About 1000 years ago, Finns from Häme began to hunt in the Iijoki river valley. The Sami population slowly retreated north. In the 13th century the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia was permanently populated. Both the coastal population and the residents of Karelia use the Iijoki as a waterway on their trade trips and military expeditions.

Swedish rule

Historic storehouses in the Pudasjärvi Local History Museum

The permanent settlement of Pudasjärvi goes back to the late 16th century. Around 1570, ten families from Savo settled on the Iijoki and Livojoki rivers. They practiced shifting cultivation and began to slash and burn the forests. In 1639 Pudasjärvi became an independent parish. In the period after the Great Northern War (1700–1721) Pudasjärvi continued to grow. Settlement spread along the waters and today's villages were founded.

Russian rule

In 1809 Pudasjärvi came under Russian rule like all of Finland . In the 19th century, the region suffered from famine several times. Nevertheless, the population increased sevenfold within 120 years because the low population density protected against epidemics and the birth rate was high. Laestadianism , a conservative Lutheran revival movement, began to take hold in Pudasjärvi in the second half of the 19th century . He is still very influential in the city, as in much of northern Finland. In 1865, the administrative structure was disconnected from the parishes and the Pudasjärvi parish was founded. The first elementary school was founded in 1872. Because of the low population density, however, they had to rely on teachers moving from village to village for a long time. The last hiking school, probably the last in Finland, was not closed until 1952.

Until the 20th century, the people of Pudasjärvi earned their living mainly from hunting, fishing, reindeer herding and agriculture and forestry. The place was an important producer of butter and tar . The only industrial operations were sawmills and mills. Small industries did not develop in Pudasjärvi until after the Second World War. In the summer of 1903 the telephone line to Pudasjärvi was completed.

Since independence

A total of 417 soldiers from Pudasjärvi were killed in World War II . The first fighting between Finnish and German troops in the Lapland War took place on September 28, 1944 in the area of ​​Pudasjärvi at the intersection of the roads to Oulu and Hetekylä. Another battle of the Lapland War took place in Aittojärvi. After the war, electrification of Pudasjärvi began in the late 1940s. Road and bridge construction kept many of the town's residents busy until the 1960s. In the same decade, however, the strong move that has continued to this day began because local agriculture and forestry could not offer enough jobs for the baby boomers. In 1980 the Iso-Syöte mountain was expanded into a skiing center, and tourism began to play a bigger role in Pudasjärvi. Pudasjärvi has had city status since 2004.


The population of Pudasjärvi on June 30, 2006 was 9,367. Of these, 4,459 (47.6%) were women and 4908 (52.4%) were men. Almost half the population lives in the Kurenala Community Center.

age structure

The age structure of Pudasjärvi shows the large proportion of older residents. The 20 to 39 year olds make up the smallest group in relative terms.

Age number
0-14 1,833
15-19 740
20-29 814
30-39 894
40-49 1,442
50-64 1,998
65– 1,839

Population development

Pudasjärvi has long been a municipality with a significant population deficit. In the sixties of the 20th century, the population peaked at around 16,000, and has fallen constantly since then. The population is falling by over 100 every year. Mainly younger people are moving away from Pudasjärvi in ​​search of study places and jobs. The emigration is mainly concentrated in Oulu , the center of the region. The influx to Pudasjärvi is mainly based on the return of pensioners back to their hometown.

Development of the population:

year population
1951 13,684
1960 15,530
1970 13,985
1980 11,493
2000 10,231
2002 9,907
2003 9,794
2004 9,674
2005 9,561
2006 9,380



Pudasjärvi pennant and chairman's gavel

The Pudasjärvi City Council, the highest decision-making body in local affairs, has 35 members. As usual in rural areas of Finland, the Finnish Center Party has the largest following. In the 2008 local elections it received over half of the votes and thus has a comfortable absolute majority with 20 seats on the city council. The other two major parties in the country, the Social Democrats and the National Collection Party , on the other hand, play no significant role with single-digit election results and three or two seats on the city council in Pudasjärvi. The second strongest force is the left-wing alliance , which, with 14.2% of the vote and five deputies in the city council, is quite well represented in northern Finland, as is generally the case. The right-wing populist “ True Finns ” achieved an election result of 8.8% in the last local elections and have three members of the city council. Furthermore, the local electoral list “For Pudasjärvi” ( Pudasjärven Puolesta ) is represented in the city council , which was created in 1999 through a split from the Center Party. With an election result of 6.1% and two seats in the city council, she was unable to build on past successes in the 2008 local elections.

Composition of the City Council (2009–2012)
Political party Election result Seats
Finnish Center Party 54.4% 20th
Left alliance 14.2% 5
True Finns 8.8% 3
Social democrats 8.5% 3
National rally party 8.0% 2
For Pudasjärvi 6.1% 2

The executive body is the city administration, which consists primarily of members of the city council. The municipality of Pudasjärvi has eleven members and its chairman is Matti Holmström.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Pudasjärvi is divided into black and gold by a pine cut. Below in gold a running black, red-armored bear and above in black the golden constellation of the Big Dipper . It goes on the flag of a volunteer company from the war of the Swedish King Gustav III. against Russia (1788–1790).

Town twinning

Pudasjärvi has twinned cities with Vindeln (Sweden, since 1943), Kronstadt (Russia, since 1991) and Louchi ( Republic of Karelia , Russia, since 1996).


Museums and monuments

Windmill in the Pudasjärvi Local History Museum

The Pudasjärvi Local History Museum shows the life of the local population in centuries past. It is one of the largest open-air museums in Northern Finland. Over 8,000 objects are exhibited in almost 20 historical buildings on an area of ​​three hectares.

In the village of Kipinä, a memorial commemorates the Lapland War from 1944 to 1945. It is located at the intersection of National Road 20 and the road to Hetekylä, at the point where the first fighting between Finnish and German troops took place on September 28, 1944. Another monument in Aittojärvi commemorates a second battle of the Lapland War that was fought in Pudasjärvi.

The wooden church of Pudasjärvi


The wooden cruciform church in Pudasjärvi dates from 1781. It is located away from the center on the bank of Lake Pudasjärvi. The building offers space for around 700 believers. In the interior there are paintings from the 18th century. The three-storey bell tower, which tapers towards the top, is separated from the church building and was built in 1761.

Cultural events

The most important music event in Pudasjärvi is the all summer Pudasjärvi Open Air Festival , where not only local bands but also well-known Finnish music groups perform. In 2005 Uniklubi played at the festival , in 2006 Kwan . The city of Pudasjärvi regularly organizes exhibitions in the library of Pudasjärvi with works by local and foreign artists.


Deep snow cross-country skier

The city of Pudasjärvi maintains the sports center, which was completed in 1983 and houses a sports hall, two fitness centers, a running track and a swimming pool under the roof. There is a sports field and three tennis courts in Suojalinna. Five schools in Pudasjärvi are equipped with ice hockey rinks, and the schools' sports halls can also be used by citizens. Public cross-country skiing trails are set up in winter . In addition, there are two smaller ski jumps in Pudasjärvi with K-points of 19 and 35 meters.

The sports business in Pudasjärvi is actively promoted by the Pudasjärven Urheilijat ry association. In cooperation with the city administration, the association organizes the Pohjantähti Games athletics tournament as well as two more exotic sporting events: the world championships in deep-snow cross-country skiing and summer ice fishing.

In deep-snow cross-country skiing, the individual discipline runs an eight-kilometer marked route in unprepared terrain. There is also a team ski orienteering competition . Teams of 3–5 participants walk through specified checkpoints in the impassable wilderness and cover a total of 25–50 km. There is a special rating for snowshoe runners. The world championship in deep snow cross-country skiing has been held every February in the Syöte area since 1998. The record number of participants was 448 in 2001.

In summer ice fishing, the ice hole is replaced by a firmly anchored raft made of foam polystyrene and wood with a hole in the middle. The summer ice fishing world championship has been held every summer on Lake Pudasjärvi since 2004.

Economy and Infrastructure


Ski slopes on the Iso-Syöte

The main industries in Pudasjärvi are agriculture, wood processing and tourism. The largest industrial companies in Pudasjärvi are Kontiotuote Oy, a manufacturer of log houses with 269 employees, and Profin Oy, a manufacturer of doors and windows. Unemployment is high at 19.9% ​​(January 2006).

There are two ski sports centers in the Syöte area, Iso-Syöte and Syötekeskus. The skiing center on the 432 meter high Iso-Syöte mountain has 15 slopes. The ski season lasts from late October to early May. Iso-Syöte has become a popular family destination and the number of foreign visitors in particular is increasing. The ski sports center Syötekeskus offers ten slopes especially for children and young people on a 370 meter high mountain. The hotels and restaurants of the ski sports centers are an important economic factor in Pudasjärvi.


State road 20 between Oulu and Kuusamo and main road 78 from Kajaani to Rovaniemi run through Pudasjärvi . The 87 km long route to the nearest large city Oulu can be covered in about an hour. Pudasjärvi is not connected to the railway network, the nearest train stations are in Oulu and Taivalkoski . The Pudasjärvi airfield was built during the Second World War. After the war it was first used privately by hobby pilots until it was expanded into a public airfield between 1988 and 1990. It is used by the Finnish Air Force for training flights and by glider pilots ; There is no passenger traffic. 7,000–10,000 take-offs and landings are carried out every year. The nearest commercial airports are in Oulu and Kuusamo.


There are twelve primary schools in Pudasjärvi. Two of them are in the Kurenala Community Center and the others are in the scattered villages of the community. There is also an upper secondary school and a vocational school in Pudasjärvi. The latter offers courses in agriculture, tourism and forestry. An adult education center is responsible for adult education.

The main office of the Pudasjärvi library has more than 80,000 books. The remote areas of Pudasjärvi and parts of the neighboring municipality of Ylikiiminki are supplied by a mobile library .

Web links

Commons : Pudasjärvi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Maanmittauslaitos (Finnish land surveying office): Suomen pinta-alat kunnittain January 1, 2010 . (PDF; 199 kB)
  2. Statistical Office Finland: Table 11ra - Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018
  3. Finnish Ministry of Justice: Result of the 2008 local elections

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 15, 2006 .