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Suomussalmi municipality
coat of arms map
Suomussalmi coat of arms Location of Suomussalmi in Finland
Basic data
State : FinlandFinland Finland
Landscape : Kainuu
Administrative community : Kehys-Kainuu
Geographical location 64 ° 53 '  N , 29 ° 5'  E Coordinates: 64 ° 53 '  N , 29 ° 5'  E
Surface: 5,857.94 km²
of which land area: 5,270.76 km²
of which inland waterways: 587.18 km²
Residents : 7,862 (Dec. 31, 2018)
Population density : 1.5 inhabitants / km²
Municipality number : 777
Language (s) : Finnish
Website :

Suomussalmi [ ˈsuɔmusːɑlmi ] is both a municipality in northeastern Finland and the largest town in that municipality. While the community was founded in 1867 when all Finnish rural communities were separated from the church administration, Suomussalmi was only given its name in 1996.

The community

Suomussalmi is part of northern Finland and borders the Russian Republic of Karelia in the east . It is part of the landscape ( finn. Maakunta ) Kainuu . The region is very sparsely populated, with only 7862 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018) living in an area more than twice the size of the Saarland.

The landscape is characterized by wooded hills, swamps and lakes, which take up a good ten percent of the community area. On average, the country is about 200 m above sea level. The region is known for good water hiking opportunities, several rapids offer variety. The largest lake, Kiantajärvi, is located in the middle of the municipality, is 45 km long and has a water surface of 191.15 km². The wood industry is predominantly in the western part of the region , the predominant tree species are pine and spruce. In the wilderness of the eastern part near the border there are bears, wolves, wolverines and lynxes.

The administrative center and at the same time the largest town is Suomussalmi with its old town center Ämmänsaari (for this name see the explanation below ), which is located on the south side of Lake Kiantajärvi.
Other places in the municipality are Alajärvi, Ala-Vuokki, Hossa, Jumaliskylä, Juntusranta, Kaljuskylä, Kerälä, Kiannanniemi, Korpela, Kuivajärvi, Myllylahti, Näljänkä, Pesiökylä, Piispajärvi, Suannomylä, Raannylämen, Raannylämen, Raannomikiva, Raannomikiva, Rairkalansiva Yli-Vuokki.

Värikallio rock painting near Hossa from the time 2500 to 1500 BC Chr.

Important north-south thoroughfares are State Road 5 ( European Road E 63) and the tourist Via Karelia .

Since 1994, the installation Das Stille Volk (Finnish: Hiljainen kansa ) by the Finnish artist Reijo Kela, about 30 km north of Suomussalmi, has been a special attraction with its over a thousand figures.

Some of the most important Stone Age sites in Finland are located in the municipality of Suomussalmi. The region was already inhabited 10,000 years ago. The oldest rock carvings in Finland can be found near the town of Hossa . They date from 2500 to 1500 BC. The rich early history of the region is documented in the Jalonniemi museum complex on the peninsula of the same name on Lake Kiantajärvi.

In the recent history of Finland, Suomussalmi is of particular importance as the scene of the Battle of Suomussalmi , the bloodiest battle of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union . At the turn of the year 1939/40, Finnish associations managed to stop the advance of the Red Army . Numerous monuments in the affected region remind of what happened, including Alvar Aalto's flames near the town of Suomussalmi.

The place Suomussalmi

Art installation “The Silent People” on State Road 5 to Suomussalmi

The use of the place name Suomussalmi gives rise to confusion. Until the fighting of the Winter War there was the place Suomussalmen kirkonkylä (Finnish for the church village Suomussalmi ) on the southeast side of the Kiantajärvi lake. Not only was the church located there, but also the seat of the municipal administration by resolution of the first municipal meeting on October 12, 1867. After the complete destruction of the town center in December 1939, the administration was moved to the then still small town of Ämmänsaari on the island of the same name, Ämmänsaari (Finnish for bitch island ) a few kilometers to the south . The new community center grew and spread to the surrounding area, also promoted by the fact that trunk road 5 (E 63) runs through this place. In 1996, the municipality decided to give this newly created main town the name Suomussalmi, but the old town center was left with the name Ämmänsaari. So it happens that despite the renaming, this place name is still in use. The parish village of Suomussalmen kirkonkylä has been rebuilt and received a new church in 1950, a burial ground commemorates those who died there in the two Finnish-Soviet wars (1939–1940, 1941–1944 ).

The Ämmänsaari terminus is located in Suomussalmi , a 92-kilometer-long railway line from Kontiomäki that was opened there on December 1, 1955 (the first section from Kontiomäki to Hyrynsalmi had been in operation since December 1, 1939). Kontiomäki is also the nearest railway station for passenger traffic, because the non-electrified line to Ämmänsaari has only been used for freight traffic since 1966; occasionally there are also museum trains. Wood transports for the paper and wood products company UPM-Kymmene account for most of the freight . A hydropower plant has been in operation in the Ämmänsaari district since the late 1950s . The nearest airport is 110 km southwest in Kajaani .


As in general in the rural areas of Northern Finland, the Center Party is the strongest political force in Suomussalmi . She received more than half of the votes in the 2017 local elections; in the municipal council, the highest decision-making body in local matters, it has an absolute majority with 17 out of 31 seats. The second strongest force is the leftist alliance , which is disproportionately represented here. It was able to unite almost a third of the votes and has ten seats on the municipal council. The conservative National Collection Party was able to win three seats with 9.4 percent of the vote, while the right-wing populist True Finns fell from 12.2 percent to 4.9 percent and are now represented in the municipal council with only one seat.

Composition of the municipal council (2018-2021)
Political party Election result 2017 Seats
Center Party 53.7% 17th
Left alliance 29.9% 10
National rally party 9.4% 3
True Finns 4.9% 1

Community partnerships

Sons and daughters

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Maanmittauslaitos (Finnish land surveying office): Suomen pinta-alat kunnittain 1.1.2016 (Finnish municipal usable areas 1.1.2016) (Excel; 32.8 kB)
  2. Statistical Office Finland: Table 11ra - Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018
  3. ^ Along the Via Karelia. In: Matkailu kotimaassa (Tourism in Finland). 2020, accessed July 17, 2020 (Finnish website).
  4. The silent people. In: Congregation website, 2020, accessed July 17, 2020 .
  5. ^ Municipality of Suomussalmi (Municipality of Suomussalmi). In: Congregation website, 2016, accessed February 12, 2017 (information cited is only on Finnish and English pages).
  6. Suomussalmen kunnanhallitus, Hallintosääntö 2. joulukuu 1996, § 400. (Finnish: resolution of the Suomussalmi municipal administration, December 2, 1996, § 400).
  7. Finnish Ministry of Justice: Result of the 2017 local elections