Last updated
Kotkan kaupunki
Kotka stad
City of kotka.png
The cityscape of Kotka with the harbour.
Coat of arms
Kotka sijainti Suomi.svg
Location of Kotka in Finland
Coordinates: 60°28′N026°56.5′E / 60.467°N 26.9417°E / 60.467; 26.9417 Coordinates: 60°28′N026°56.5′E / 60.467°N 26.9417°E / 60.467; 26.9417
CountryFlag of Finland.svg  Finland
Region Kymenlaakso
Sub-region Kotka-Hamina sub-region
Charter 1879
   City manager Esa Sirviö
 (2018-01-01) [1]
  Total949.77 km2 (366.71 sq mi)
  Land271.29 km2 (104.75 sq mi)
  Water678.45 km2 (261.95 sq mi)
Area rank 239th largest in Finland
 (2021-03-31) [2]
  Rank 19th largest in Finland
  Density190.21/km2 (492.6/sq mi)
Population by native language
   Finnish 94.4% (official)
   Swedish 1%
Population by age
  0 to 1413.1%
  15 to 6459.2%
  65 or older27.7%
Time zone UTC+02:00 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code
Municipal tax rate [5] 21.5%
Climate Dfb
Website www.kotka.fi

Kotka (Finnish pronunciation:  [ˈkotkɑ] ; lit. "eagle"; Latin : Aquilopolis) is a city in the southern part of the Kymenlaakso province on the Gulf of Finland. Kotka is a major port and industrial city and also a diverse school and cultural city, which was formerly part of the old Kymi parish. The neighboring municipalities of Kotka are Hamina, Kouvola and Pyhtää. Kotka belongs to the Kotka-Hamina subdivision, and with Kouvola, Kotka is one of the capital center of the Kymenlaakso region. It is the 19th largest city in terms of population as a single city, but the 12th largest city of Finland in terms of population as an urban area.


Kotka is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of Kymi River and it is part of the Kymenlaakso region in southern Finland. The city center is located on an island surrounded by the sea called Kotkansaari ("Island of Kotka"). [6] [7] The most important highway in Kotka is Finnish national road 7 (E18), which goes west through Porvoo to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and extends east to St. Petersburg, Russia. The Port of Kotka is a major Finnish sea port that serves both the foreign trade of Finland and Russia. [8] The municipality is officially unilingually Finnish, with 89.8% being native Finnish speakers, 1% Swedish, and 9.3% speaking some other language. [9]


The bridge of Kotka burnt on July 26, 1855, during the naval warfare of the Gulf of Finland 'Kotka bridge, burnt July 26th 1855' (Finland) RMG PZ4673.tiff
The bridge of Kotka burnt on July 26, 1855, during the naval warfare of the Gulf of Finland

On April 16, 1878, the Senate of the Grand Duchy of Finland issued a declaration establishing a city on the southern part islands from the old Kymi parish, so in 1879 the islands of Kotkansaari and Hovinsaari were separated from Kymi and the city of Kotka was established. [10] [11]

The Second All-Russian Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was held in Kotka, on 21–23 July (3–5 August) 1907.

Historically, Swedish was the official language in the city until 1902. From 1902 until 1906, the city was officially bilingual. Kotka has a Swedish speaking minority (see: Swedish-speaking population of Finland), which in the 1890s accounted for 16% of the city population and 3% in the 1950s. [12] Today around 1% of the city's population are Swedish speakers. There is one school in Kotka where Swedish is the language of instruction, Kotka Svenska Samskola, which was founded in 1885. [13]

Kotka region was one of the first heavily industrialized regions of Finland. Paper and pulp mills of Kotkamills and Stora Enso still remain important employers. In the last decades several factories have undergone restructuring which has led to an increasing unemployment. Since the 1980s the population of Kotka has been slowly decreasing, mostly due to domestic migration to Helsinki region.


Kotka's three largest employers at the beginning of 2008 were the City of Kotka, the Kymenlaakso Hospital, and Steveco. [14] The largest livelihoods in 2004 were social services (31.7%) and local industry (21.9%). [15] In 2006, the city's total expenditure was just over EUR 370 million and municipal tax revenue amounted to EUR 141.3 million with an income tax rate of 18.75%. [16] At the end of 2015, the unemployment rate in Kotka was 22.2%, which is one of the highest and largest cities in Finland. [17] In 2005, the unemployment rate in Kotka was 14.4% and in 2006 12.9%. In 2010, the relative number of unemployed in the city started to rise and at the end of 2012 the rate was 17.1%. [18]

Culture and architecture

Kotka Maritime Festival (Kotkan meripaivat) in 2008 Meripaivat.JPG
Kotka Maritime Festival (Kotkan meripäivät) in 2008

Maritime Centre Vellamo is home to the Maritime Museum of Finland, the Museum of Kymenlaakso, the Coast Guard Museum, Information Centre Vellamo and the Kotka Cultural Centre. In addition to this, the building holds classrooms, seminar rooms, a 200-seat auditorium, Restaurant Laakonki with 100 seats, and Museum Shop Plootu.

The Kymenlaakso Museum operates at the Kantasatama Harbour in Kotka, at Maritime Centre Vellamo. The museum building, which has aroused much attention, was designed by the architect Ilmari Lahdelma. The area of operation of the Kymenlaakso museum, which is maintained by the City of Kotka, covers seven municipalities. The museum information services and the work of the regional archaeologist cover the entire region of Kymenlaakso. In building research, the museum serves as a public authority, with duties such as the issuing of opinions in building protection matters. The collections of Kymenlaakso museum have been compiled since the 1920s. Alongside collections of museum items, the museum has an extensive archive of photographs. The collections are located at Metsola in Kotka.

Langinkosken keisarillinen kalastusmaja is a fishing lodge in the valley of River Kymijoki. Kymijoki is one of the biggest rivers in Finland with a drainage basin with 11% of the area of Finland. Alexander III first visited Langinkoski in 1880 as Crown Prince. During his second visit to Langinkoski, he stated that he wanted a small fishing lodge near rapids. Construction of the house began in the summer of 1888 and was inaugurated the following year. The museum is visited annually by about 14,000 visitors a year.

Maretarium Aquarium opened in 2002, is located on Kotka Island, on the shore of the Gulf of Sapokka. It focuses on the presentation of Finnish fish species and water bodies. There are about 60 native and established fish species from Finland. The Maretarium was created in collaboration between the City of Kotka, the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute. In addition to aquariums, there are also facilities for researchers and the nature school. There is also the Maritime Theater, Meri Café Kristina and a souvenir shop.

The Church of St Nicholas is located in Isopuisto Park in Kotka city centre. Based on designs by Jakov Perrin, the neoclassical church was constructed between 1799–1801, and it is the oldest building in Kotka today. Facade consists of pillars for three entries, the bell tower and a cross dome.


In the 1980s, Baltic herring, salmon soup, head cheese, turnip potatoes called "lanttujyrkkö", and groat pie ("ryynipiirakka") were named Kotka's traditional parish dishes. [19] Deep-fried doughnuts called "possos"  [ fi ] are also considered traditional pastries in Kotka. [20] [21]

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kotka is twinned with: [22]


KTP team in 1951 2593b8dabe8e3cc9aa35cb764e0d9f76-d33kxzc.jpg
KTP team in 1951

The local football team is KTP. Founded in 1927, KTP has long, and successful football history. KTP won the Finnish football championship in 1951 and 1952, and Finnish Cup 4 times, in years 1958, 1961, 1967, and 1980. Currently the club plays in the Finnish second league Ykkönen.

KTP-Basket plays in Korisliiga

Notable people

Awak Kuier Awak Kuier.jpg
Awak Kuier

Local government

City Council of Kotka
Social Democratic Party 16
National Coalition Party 12
Finns Party 11
Left Alliance 5
Green League 4
Centre Party 1
Christian Democrats 1
Swedish People's Party 1

See also

Related Research Articles

Helsinki Capital of Finland

Helsinki is the capital, primate, and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 656,250. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research; while Tampere in the Pirkanmaa region, located 179 kilometres (111 mi) to the north from Helsinki, is the second largest urban area in Finland. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

Southern Finland Province Place in Finland

Southern Finland was a province of Finland from 1997 to 2009. It bordered the provinces of Western Finland and Eastern Finland. It also bordered the Gulf of Finland and Russia.

Mikkeli Town in Etelä-Savo, Finland

Mikkeli is a town and municipality in Finland. It is located in what used to be the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Etelä-Savo region. The municipality has a population of 52,530 and covers an area of 3,229.57 square kilometres (1,246.94 sq mi) of which 424.7 km2 (164.0 sq mi) is water. The population density is 30.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (80/sq mi) The town is located on lake Saimaa.

Kouvola City in Kymenlaakso, Finland

Kouvola is a city and municipality in southeastern Finland. It is located on the Kymijoki River in the region of Kymenlaakso and 134 kilometres (83 mi) northeast of the capital, Helsinki. With Kotka, Kouvola is one of the capital centers and is the largest city in the Kymenlaakso region.

Lohja City in Uusimaa, Finland

Lohja is a city and municipality in the Uusimaa region of Finland. The city has a population of 47,518 (2017), and it covers an area of 1,109.73 square kilometres (428.47 sq mi) of which 91.78 km2 (35.44 sq mi), or 8.3 percent, is water. The population density of Lohja is 131.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi). The municipality is bilingual, with the majority being Finnish and minority Swedish speakers. Lohja has the fourth-most summer houses of any municipality in Finland, with 8,468 located within the city as of June 2018. Lohja is located near Greater Helsinki, and it benefits from a good road network. It takes less than an hour to drive from Helsinki to Lohja on the E18 motorway, which is one of the most significant main road connections in Lohja next to Hangonväylä.

Kymenlaakso Region of Finland

Kymenlaakso is a region in Finland. It borders the regions of Uusimaa, Päijät-Häme, South Savo and South Karelia and Russia. Its name means literally The Valley of River Kymi. Kymijoki is one of the biggest rivers in Finland with a drainage basin with 11% of the area of Finland. The city of Kotka with 51,000 inhabitants is located at the delta of River Kymi and has the most important import harbour in Finland. Other cities are Kouvola further in the inland which has after a municipal merger 81,000 inhabitants and the old bastion town Hamina.

Päijät-Häme Region of Finland

Päijänne Tavastia or, officially, Päijät-Häme is a region in Southern Finland south of the lake Päijänne. It borders the regions of Uusimaa, Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, South Savo and Kymenlaakso. The biggest city in the region is Lahti.

Kymi (river)

The Kymi is a river in Finland. It begins at Lake Päijänne, flows through the provinces of Päijänne Tavastia, Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso and discharges into the Gulf of Finland. The river passes the towns of Heinola and Kouvola. The town of Kotka is located on the river delta. The length of the river is 204 kilometres (127 mi), but its drainage basin of 37,107 square kilometres (14,327 sq mi) extends to almost 600 kilometres (370 mi) inside the Tavastia, Central Finland, Savonia and Ostrobothnia. The furthest source of the river is Lake Pielavesi, its furthest point being some 570 kilometres (350 mi) from the sea measured by flow route. The name of the river, itself, kymi, means "large river", in Old Finnish.

Vellamo Deity

Vellamo, also spelled Wellamo, is the goddess of water, lakes and seas in Finnish mythology.

Viipuri Province

The Viipuri Province was a historical province of Finland from 1812 to 1945.

The history of rail transport in Finland began on January 31, 1862, with the opening of the railway line between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna. By 1900 most of the future main lines had been constructed, including the line to St. Petersburg. By the time of the birth of the new Finnish Republic in 1917 lines connected all major cities, major ports, and reached as far as the Swedish border, and inner Finland as far north as Kontiomäki in Paltamo region, as well as eastwards into Karelia.

Ruotsinsalmi sea fortress

Ruotsinsalmi sea fortress is a fortification system in Kotka, Finland. It is part of the South-Eastern Finland fortification system built by Russia after Russo-Swedish War of 1788-1790. Ruotsinsalmi sea fortress formed the southern part of a double fortress together with Kyminlinna and it was built to counter the Swedish sea fortresses of Svartholm in Loviisa and Sveaborg (Suomenlinna) in Helsinki. Ruotsinsalmi also acted as an outpost of the Kronstadt sea fortress in Saint Petersburg. During the Crimean War, a British-French fleet destroyed the Ruotsinsalmi fortifications in 1855.

Kymen Sanomat (KySa) is a Finnish language daily newspaper published in the Kymenlaakso region of Finland.

Valter Thomé

Valter Thomé was a Finnish architect who worked in the National Romantic or Art nouveau style.

Battle of Ahvenkoski

The Battle of Ahvenkoski was fought during the Finnish Civil War between 10 April and 5 May 1918 at Ahvenkoski, Finland between the German Empire and the Red Guards of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, more commonly known as Red Finland. For most of the battle both sides occupied trenches along the Kymi river. Ahvenkoski and the surrounding Kymi valley region were the last strongholds of the Reds. The battle ended with the surrender of the last of the Red Guards on 5 May, which ended the war with White Finland and Germany defeating Red Finland.

Kotkan Kiri is a Finnish sports club from the city of Kotka.

Villähde railway station Railway station in Nastola, Finland

The Villähde railway station is located in the city of Lahti, Finland, in the district of Villähde. It is located along the Lahti–Kouvola line, and its neighboring stations are Lahti in the west and Nastola in the east.

Kotka Harbour railway station Railway station in Kotka, Finland

The Kotka Harbour railway station is located in the town of Kotka, Finland, right by the Port of Kotka. It is the terminus of the Kouvola–Kotka railway, and its neighboring station in the west is Kotka.

Kouvola–Kotka railway

The Kouvola–Kotka railway, also called the Kotka railway is a 1,524 mm railway in Finland, connecting the towns of Kouvola and Kotka in the region of Kymenlaakso.


  1. "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M03*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland . Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  3. "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.
  4. "Population according to age (1-year) and sex by area and the regional division of each statistical reference year, 2003-2020". StatFin. Statistics Finland . Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  5. "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2021" (PDF). Tax Administration of Finland. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. Kotkansaari - Kotkan kaupunki (in Finnish)
  7. Kotkan Kauppatie (in Finnish)
  8. "Efficient logistics hub for the needs of global traffic". PortOfKotka.fi. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-28. Retrieved 2020-02-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Kotkan synty ja kasvu (in Finnish)
  11. City of Kotka – Kotka Wooden Boat Fair
  12. Henricson, Sofie (2005). ""Ingen pratar svenska här" – om svenskan på språköarna". Sprakbruk.fi (in Swedish).
  13. "Huvudsidan". www.kotkasamskola.com. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  14. "Suurimmat työnantajat 1.1.2008" (in Finnish). City of Kotka. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  15. "Elinkeinorakenne" (in Finnish). City of Kotka. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  16. "Kaupungin talous ja verotus" (in Finnish). City of Kotka. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  17. http://www.kymensanomat.fi/Online/2016/01/27/Kotkan%20työttömyys%20hyppäsi%20ennätyslukemiin/2016320220319/4 (in Finnish)
  18. http://www.stat.fi/tup/kunnat/kuntatiedot/285.html (in Finnish)
  19. Jaakko Kolmonen (1988). Kotomaamme ruoka-aitta: Suomen, Karjalan ja Petsamon pitäjäruoat (in Finnish). Helsinki: Patakolmonen. p. 100. ISBN   951-96047-3-1.
  20. Koivisto, Ilona (June 12, 2014). "Posso on rakas, ohut ja rapea". YLE (in Finnish). Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  21. Mäenpää, Veikko (November 9, 2016). "Kotkan tunnetuin herkku posso syntyy käsityönä". Kymen Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hassinen, Raino. "Kotka - International co-operation: Twin Cities". City of Kotka. Archived from the original on 2019-08-22. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  23. "International co-operation of Gdynia". Gdynia.pl. Archived from the original on 2016-10-19.
  24. "Twin-cities of Klaipėda". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  25. "Some 15 Finnish towns have twinned with friendship cities in China". Helsingin Sanomat International Edition. 2013-06-20. Archived from the original on 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-07-29.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Kotka at Wikimedia Commons