|coat of arms||map|
|Administrative community :||Northern Lapland|
|of which land area:||11,696.51 km²|
|of which inland waterways:||718.71 km²|
|Residents :||8,444 (Dec. 31, 2018)|
|Population density :||0.7 inhabitants / km²|
|Municipality number :||758|
|Language (s) :||Finnish , North Sami|
Sodankylä [ ˈsɔdɑŋkylæ ] ( North Sami Soađegilli ) is a municipality in the Finnish part of Lapland . It covers an area of over 12,000 square kilometers and with 8,444 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018) only sparsely populated area in central Lapland. Almost two thirds of the inhabitants of Sodankyläs live in the main town of the same name, which is located on the Kitinen River 95 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle . The northern part of the municipality belongs to the settlement area of the Sami people (Lappen), whose members make up four percent of the population of Sodankyläs.
Position and extent
Sodankylä is centrally located in the Lapland landscape in northern Finland. The municipality is located between 40 and 210 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle and comprises a wide and very sparsely populated area. With a maximum east-west extension of around 100 kilometers and a north-south extension of 170 kilometers, the municipality has an area of 12,415.22 square kilometers (almost five times that of Luxembourg ). This makes Sodankylä the second largest municipality in Finland after Inari . With 8,444 inhabitants, this results in an extremely low population density of 0.72 inhabitants per square kilometer of land.
Sodankylä's neighboring towns and cities are Savukoski in the east, Pelkosenniemi and Kemijärvi in the southeast, Rovaniemi in the southwest, Kittilä in the west and Inari in the north. The state border with Russia lies in the northeast . The distance to Rovaniemi, the largest city in Lapland, is 129 kilometers, and the capital Helsinki is 944 kilometers.
The main town of the municipality of Sodankylä is the eponymous church village Sodankylä ( Sodankylän kirkonkylä ). Almost two thirds of the community's population live in the community center and its surroundings. The remaining inhabitants are spread over a number of widely scattered smaller villages and scattered settlements in the municipality.
The villages of Sodankylä (population as of December 31, 2005)
Landscape and nature
In terms of landscape, Sodankylä belongs to the greater Lapland area , more precisely to the so-called forest Lapland. Much of the municipality is forested. The predominant tree species are pine (76%), birch (13%) and spruce (11%). The south of Sodankyläs is flat and rich in aapa bogs . Occasionally, fells (tunturi) rise up from the surroundings , hills characteristic of the Lapland landscape, which tower above the tree line . These include, for example, the 514 m high Luosto , which together with Pyhätunturi , located in the neighboring municipality of Pelkosenniemi, forms a 35 km long mountain range. In the northwest, Sodankylä has a share in Saariselkä , an extensive and completely uninhabited fell area. The highest point is the 718 m high Sokosti .
In Sodankylä there are parts of the Urho-Kekkonen- and Pyhä-Luosto National Parks as well as the Sompio Nature Park . The wilderness of Sodankyläs is home to numerous animals, including all four of Finland's large carnivore species ( brown bears , wolves , lynxes and wolverines ), as well as elk and semi-domesticated reindeer . In total, 28% of the area of Sodankyläs are under nature protection of various degrees. In the past, there were conflicts between conservationists and the forest industry because there are untouched virgin forests under the unprotected areas .
Inland waters cover an area of 718.65 km² in Sodankylä (just under 6% of the municipal area). Several tributaries of the Kemijoki , the longest Finnish river, flow through the municipality . Sodankylä Community Center is on the banks of the Kitinen River . The 278 km long Kitinen rises in the north of Sodankylä and flows south through the municipality before it flows into the Kemijoki at Pelkosenniemi. The Luiro River arises as an outflow of the Luirojärvi Lake in the Saariselkä area and joins the Kitinen shortly before it flows into the Kemijoki. Further tributaries of the Kitinen are the Sattanen and Jeesiöjoki . The lakes in Sodankylä are mostly rather small, but there are two large reservoirs in the municipality that were created for the purpose of hydropower: The Lokka reservoir was created in 1967 by damming the Luiro River and has an area of 216 to 417 km² depending on the water level . Three years later, the Porttipahta reservoir (34 to 214 km²) was created on the upper reaches of the Kitinen.
The climate in Sodankylä is cold-temperate and continental . The annual average temperature is −0.4 ° C (for comparison: Helsinki about +5 ° C, Berlin about +9 ° C). The warmest month is July with a mean average temperature of 14.7 ° C, the coldest is January with −13.5 ° C. The winters are long and are among the coldest in Finland because Sodankylä is already quite far north, but the climate is more continental than in northernmost Lapland. The second lowest temperature ever recorded in Finland was registered in Sodankylä in February 1862 at −51.3 ° C, while Sodankylä holds the cold record for the months from September to November and February. Summers are short but warm. As is typical for Lapland, the amount of precipitation is relatively low at around 500 mm. Most precipitation falls in July, the least in March. A permanent snow cover prevails between October 30th and May 15th.
The community center of Sodankylä is 95 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Accordingly, there are extreme seasonal differences in the duration of sunshine: the midnight sun shines from May 30th to July 15th . Accordingly, the polar night (kaamos) prevails between December 19 and 25 , during which the sun does not rise at all.
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Sodankylä
Prehistory and Swedish time
After the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age , the first human settlement spread to the area of Sodankylä. The oldest traces of settlement date from around 5000 BC. Due to the mixing of the Stone Age indigenous population and the from the 3rd millennium BC The Sami (Lappish) population of Lapland, which remained predominant in Sodankylä for a long time , emerged from the immigrating Finno-Ugrians . The seeds of Sodankylä belonged to the culture of the "forest seeds" of the so-called Kemi-Lappmark , d. H. of the Sami settlement area on the upper reaches of the Kemijoki. This Sami ethnic group spoke Kemi Sami and lived from hunting and fishing. The Sami way of life was semi-nomadic: in the spring they hunted the wild forest reindeer , in the summer they went fishing and gathered berries, in the cold season they gathered in a winter village to trade and to settle their judicial and religious affairs. The inhabitants of a winter village formed a community that had the right to use a specified area. In the area of today's Sodankylä there were two such seed villages: Sodankylä and Sompio. The name Sodankylä literally means “war village” in Finnish. In fact, it is derived from the Sami personal name Sova or Tsoavva via the old form Sovankylä .
From the middle of the 16th century, the Sodankylä area came increasingly under the influence of the Swedish Empire . At that time, the border between the Sami Lapland and the Finnish settlement area ran south of Sodankylä. At the end of the 17th century, the Swedish state began to force the settlement of Lapland: in 1673 all new settlers who settled in Lapland were granted tax exemption for 15 years. As a result, Finnish new settlers engaged in arable farming and cattle breeding settled in Sodankylä. At the same time, the previously shamanistic seeds were Christianized. With the construction of the Old Church of Sodankylä in 1689, the position of the church administration strengthened. In 1747 Sodankylä was raised to its own parish , to which the Samendörfer Sodankylä, Sompio, Kittilä and Keminkylä (today Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski ) belonged.
When Sweden ceded what is now Finland to Russia in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809 , Sodankylä also became part of the newly founded Grand Duchy of Finland . The Sami population of Sodankyläs was gradually assimilated through Finnish immigration and the adoption of sedentary agriculture. Around the same time with the extinction of the forest reindeer, the forest Sami culture Sodankyläs and the Kemi Sami language finally died out in the middle of the 19th century. At the same time, North Sami- speaking reindeer nomads from the northern Lappish area around Kautokeino settled in the north of Sodankyläs , who after the closure of the Russian-Norwegian border in 1852 were no longer able to move with their herds between the inland and the Arctic coast as before Had to move pastureland to the south. This new Sami population group introduced reindeer herding in Sodankylä, which was also taken over as a livelihood by the Finnish population in the following years.
When the population of Sodankyläs increased, the old wooden church of the parish became too small. The New Church was consecrated in 1859. In the meantime, Kittilä had separated from Sodankylä as an independent parish in 1854, while Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski became independent in 1917.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the demand for wood in Lapland increased when, in the course of industrialization, steam-powered sawmills were established in the coastal towns of Tornio and Kemi . In Sodankylä, too, forestry developed into an important branch of industry and brought numerous workers to the area. Large amounts of wood were felled in the municipality's forests and then floated down the Kemijoki . The development of the infrastructure went hand in hand with the emergence of forestry: in 1902 the road from Rovaniemi to Sodankylä was completed. Previously, the community could only be reached by water.
With the Finnish declaration of independence in 1917, Sodankylä also became part of the independent Republic of Finland.
During the Finnish-Soviet winter war of 1939-1940, the border villages of Sodankyläs were evacuated. After the outbreak of the Continuation War , in which Finland fought in so-called brotherhood in arms with Germany against the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944 , there was initially no further evacuation. Only after Soviet partisans attacked the village of Lokka in July 1944 and killed several civilians, the inhabitants were brought to safety. When Finland signed the Moscow armistice with the Soviet Union on September 4, 1944 , in which it undertook to drive the German troops out of the country, the Finnish-German Lapland War broke out. Now the population also had to be evacuated from the rest of the community, as German troops were in Sodankylä, which, like all of northern Finland, had belonged to the area of operations of the Wehrmacht during the Continuation War . The Germans withdrew from Lapland, but used the scorched earth tactic and also destroyed the church village of Sodankylä when they withdrew.
Sodankylä was rebuilt in the post-war period. In order to replace several power plants lost in the war and to promote the economy of Lapland, the Kemijoki and its tributaries were made usable for hydropower. This is how several hydropower plants were built in Sodankylä. The Lokka and Porttipahta reservoirs were built in 1967 and 1970, respectively, in order to regulate the amount of water. Several villages disappeared under the floods, a total of around 600 people had to be relocated.
Population development and structure
Sodankylä currently has almost 9,000 inhabitants. The community is severely affected by the demographic problems of structurally weak Lapland - emigration and aging - in the mid-1990s the population was just under 11,000. But because the structurally weak Lapland was hit harder by the Finnish economic crisis than the south of the country, a wave of emigration to the growth centers of the south began. Since then, the population of Sodankyläs has been falling steadily by an average of one and a half percent per year. At the same time, the average age of the community population has risen rapidly: While only 9% of the residents were older than 64 in 1990, it was already 19% in 2006. During the same period, the proportion of people under 15 years of age fell from 21% to 15%.
The north of Sodankylä belongs to the settlement area of the indigenous people of the Sami (Lapp) in northern Lapland. The place Vuotso (Vuohčču) is the southernmost Sami village in Finland. The rest of the municipality is inhabited by ethnic Finns. Thus the seeds make up only a small part of the total population of Sodankyläs with 4%. However, many Sami have given up their language: Only 123 people, i.e. 1.4% of the community's population, speak Sami as their mother tongue. The northern part of Sodankyläs belongs to the legally established "homeland" (kotiseutualue) of the Sami in Finland. Therefore, the variant of Sami used in Sodankylä, the North Sami language , has an official status in the municipality and may be used in dealing with the authorities.
As is generally the case in rural Finland, the Center Party is the strongest political force in Sodankylä . Although it collapsed significantly in the 2008 local elections and lost its absolute majority, it is still the largest parliamentary group with 14 of 35 members of the local council, the highest decision-making body in local matters. As is customary in Lapland, the left-wing alliance is well represented with more than a fifth of the votes and has eight seats on the local council. The National Assembly Party and the Social Democrats , which are nationwide among the three big parties, as well as the right-wing populist grassroots women, were able to significantly improve their results in the local elections and now have six, four and three members respectively in the local council.
|Political party||2008 election results||Seats|
|National rally party||17.8%||6th|
coat of arms
Sodankylä's coat of arms was designed by Aarno Liuskiala in 1960. In the black shield it shows a bar in silver with a flamed thread in red on top, above a six-pointed star in silver. The coat of arms represents a special form of the campfire known in Finland as rakovalkea , which consists of a burning furrow between two tree trunks, and symbolizes the ranger culture of Lapland. The black color and the star represent the long polar night.
Sodankylä maintains community partnerships with the following cities and communities:
- Kola ( Russia , since 1968)
- Berlevåg ( Norway , since 1971)
- Norsjö ( Sweden , since 1977)
- Heiligenblut ( Austria , since 1979)
Economy and Infrastructure
The economic structure of Sodankyläs shows the characteristics typical of structurally weak Lapland: A disproportionately large part of the municipality's population (70.7%) is employed in the service sector, of which more than half are in public services. The biggest individual employer is the local government, followed by the Finnish army , whose garrison at Sodankylä location of the approximately 1,100-strong Hunter Brigade ( Jääkäriprikaati ), and the Finnish Forest Service Metsähallitus . Thanks to the national parks in the municipality and a ski sports center on Luosto -Fjell, tourism plays a certain role as an industry. Luosto and the neighboring ski center Pyhä am Pyhätunturi record a total of around 110,000 overnight stays per year, making them one of the smaller ski centers in Lapland.
In the agriculture and forestry 11.9% of the working population is employed. Forestry, once the most important branch of Sodankyläs, still plays a major role, but the number of jobs in this sector has fallen sharply due to mechanization. The rafting on the Kemijoki was also finally stopped in 1991. Because of the climatic conditions, agriculture is essentially limited to the dairy industry. In addition, reindeer herding is carried out.
Sodankylä has no industry to speak of. Therefore, mining and energy production are important to the community's economy. In 1934 a gold deposit was discovered in Tankavaara . Today the gold digging tradition of the place is mainly used for tourism. In contrast, gold is still mined in the Pahtavaara mine today: the deposit discovered in 1985 is estimated at 15 tons. The mine has been owned by the Swedish company ScanMining since 2002 and employs around 100 workers. A total of seven hydropower plants belonging to the Kemijoki Oy group are located on the Kitinen and Luiro rivers . The annual electricity production from the power plants is 471.5 GWh , which is around 4% of total Finnish hydropower production.
The unemployment rate in Sodankylä is 17.7% (annual mean 2006), well above the national average and is slightly higher than the mean value in Lapland. The Astropolis Sodankylä project was launched to alleviate unemployment . Among other things, it is supported by the municipality and several Finnish universities and is intended to make the place a hi-tech location.
Two major highways meet in the community center of Sodankylä: State Road 4 , which runs from the capital Helsinki in a north-south direction through all of Finland to Utsjoki , crosses the town. The section from Rovaniemi via Sodankylä to Ivalo is known as the Ice Sea Road ( Jäämerentie ) because the route led to Petsamo on the Arctic coast before the Second World War . The second major north-south connection in Finland, State Road 5 , ends in Sodankylä via Kemijärvi and Kuusamo from southern Finland. Sodankylä is connected to Kittilä to the west by main road 80 . The villages in the municipality can be reached via smaller country roads.
Sodankylä is not connected to the rail network. The nearest train stations are in Kemijärvi and Rovaniemi 108 and 129 kilometers south, respectively. With Sodankylä Airport, three kilometers south of the community center , the community has its own airport, which is currently closed. The airline Air Botnia last offered flights on the Oulu-Rovaniemi-Sodankylä-Ivalo route between 1989 and 1996.
Education and Research
There are nine primary schools in the municipality of Sodankylä: in the schools in the parish, Järvikylät, Lokka and Vuotso, pupils are taught from preschool to ninth grade. The pupils at the schools of Kelujärvi, Orajärvi, Sattanen, Torvinen and Vaalajärvi attend these up to the sixth grade and have to switch to one of the other schools to attend the upper level in the seventh grade. Students at the Gymnasium in Sodankylä can obtain higher education entrance qualifications. Around 1000 primary school students and 200 high school students are taught by around 100 teachers. Adult education is provided by the Sodankylä Adult Education Center. The community library is located in the church village and has a collection of 95,000 books. The remote areas are supplied with a mobile library.
The University of Oulu has a geophysical observatory in Sodankylä . A temporary observation station had already been set up in the village during the First International Polar Year in 1882/83. The current research station was founded in 1913 by the Finnish Academy of Sciences and has been an independent research institute of the University of Oulu since 1997. Among other things, research on the physical processes in the earth's atmosphere is carried out here. In particular, this also includes the scientific observation of the northern lights .
Culture and sights
The community center of Sodankylä is quite a faceless place with unadorned functional buildings from the post-war period. Only the old church of Sodankylä , located on the outskirts in the middle of an old cemetery, is of cultural historical value . It was built in 1689 and is one of the oldest surviving wooden churches in Finland. The church, built in block construction , represents the building type of the pillar church with a rectangular floor plan, as it was particularly common in the Finnish landscape of Ostrobothnia . A sacristy is attached to the north side of the building, which is now without a tower . The interior is closed off by a timber barrel vault from 1703. The church's altar and pulpit have been preserved in their original form. The Old Church remained intact during the Lapland War and was last restored in 1980. Although the small church looks very simple, it is a remarkable monument in view of its old age and good state of preservation as well as the remoteness of Sodankyläs.
Not far from the Old Church is the New Church of Sodankylä . The stone building was completed in 1859 according to plans by Ludvig Isak Lindqvist . The bell tower, which used to stand separately on the south side of the old church, was demolished after the bells had been transferred to the church tower of the new building. The New Church is the main church in the parish today. The old church is only used for special occasions in summer.
The Sodankylä local history museum presents the life of the rural population of Sodankylä at the beginning of the 20th century and consists of a complex of 13 historical buildings not far from the community center. The main building is the Kuukkeli farmhouse, built in 1906. It originally comes from the village of Riesto, which was flooded when the Lokka reservoir was built and moved to the museum grounds in 1962. The museum complex also includes various farm buildings, a smoke sauna and parts of a reindeer fence. The oldest exhibit in the local history museum is a ski that is around 700 years old.
In the center of Sodankylä is the Alariesto Gallery. Here are naive paintings that coming from Sodankylä artist Andreas Alariesto issued (1900-1989). The gold museum in Tankavaara, which opened in 1973, is a reminder of Lapland's gold digging tradition. The museum complex has an open-air section with buildings and fixtures from the time of the Lappish gold rush. Attached is an experience-oriented "gold village" where visitors can try their hand at panning for gold. Also in Tankavaara is the Koilliskaira Nature Center, a visitor center of the Urho Kekkonen National Park with an exhibition on the nature and history of the national park.
Every year in mid-June, the Midnight Sun Film Festival takes place in Sodankylä . The world's northernmost film festival was founded in 1986 by the brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki and regularly attracts 15,000 to 20,000 visitors. It sees itself as a counter-event to glamorous film festivals like Cannes . Films are shown around the clock under the eponymous midnight sun, and a competition was deliberately avoided. The best-known directors who took part in the Midnight Summer Film Festival include Samuel Fuller , Jonathan Demme , Michael Powell , Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders .
On the other hand, during the polar night (kaamos) at the end of November, the Kaamosjazz jazz festival is held in Tankavaara and Saariselkä . The Finnish gold panning championship has been held in the gold digging village of Tankavaara every year since 1974, and the world championship has also been held here seven times (most recently in 2006).
Sons and daughters
- Andreas Alariesto (1900–1989), painter
- Aimo Tepsell (* 1932), orienteer
- Pertti Ukkola (* 1950), wrestler
- Katja Riipi (* 1975), ice hockey player
- sodankyla.fi website of the municipality
- Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory
- Arctic Research Center of the Finnish Meteorological Institute
- Topographic map - with zoom function
- Maanmittauslaitos (Finnish land surveying office): Suomen pinta-alat kunnittain January 1, 2010 . (PDF; 199 kB)
- Statistical Office Finland: Table 11ra - Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018
- Community of Sodankylä: Sodankylä. Taskutieto 2006. ( Memento of the original from November 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish .; PDF; 729 kB)
- Metsänhoitoyhteys Sodankylä ( Memento of the original of September 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- Finland's primeval forests: clear cutting for German paper ( Memento of July 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), Greenpeace, January 23, 2007.
- Association of Forest Owners Northern Finland: Additional protection of the forests of Lapland is not acceptable for the population of the region and drives the forest industry out of Lapland , March 12, 2007 ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Ilmatieteen laitos: Lämpötilan ennätykset (Finnish)
- Sompio: Esihistoria ( Memento of the original from September 20, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- TI Itkonen: Suomen lappalaiset vuoteen 1945: 2 , Porvoo 1984, p. 497. Quoted from: Ylen aikainen: Mistä Sodankylä on saanut nimensä? ( Memento of the original from November 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- Municipality of Sodankylä: Perustietoa Sodankylästä ( Memento of the original from February 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- Tilastokeskus (Finnish Statistics Office) ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- "Saamelaiset" ( Memento of 17 January 2008 at the Internet Archive ). Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, as of 2000.
- As of 2006, Tilastokeskus (Finnish Statistics Office) ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. /
- Finnish Ministry of Justice: Result of the 2008 local elections
- kunnat.net Suomen kuntavaakunat. Saarijärvi - Särkisalo (Finnish)
- Figures for 2004, based on: Municipality of Sodankylä: Sodankylä. Taskutieto 2006. ( Memento of the original from November 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish .; PDF; 729 kB)
- As of 2003, Lapin liitto: Tourism in Finland and Lapland (Engl.), P. 78.
- Geological Survey of Finland: Pahtavaara ( Memento of the original of May 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (engl.)
- Kemijoki Oy: Taskuesite 2007 ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- Finnish Ministry of Labor: Työttömyyslukuja TE-keskuksittain ja kunnittain keskimäärin vuonna 2006 (PDF; 54 kB)
- Website of the schools of Sodankylä (Finnish)
- Website of the library of Sodankylä ( Memento of the original of March 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Finnish)
- J. Keränen: Overview of the activities of the geophysical institutions in Sodankylä (PDF; 1.3 MB). In: Session reports of the Finnish Academy of Sciences 1964 (1966), pp. 123-143