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Kuopion kaupunki
Kuopio stad
City of Kuopio
Kuopio Montage.jpg
Clockwise from top-left: the cityscape of the center, the Puijo Tower, the Kuopio Market Hall, the Kuopio Marina, the Governor Palace, the Väinölänniemi Beach, the Technopolis MicroTower, and the Kuopio City Hall.
Promised Land of Kalakukko [1] [2]
Kuopio sijainti Suomi.svg
Coordinates: 62°53′33″N27°40′42″E / 62.89250°N 27.67833°E / 62.89250; 27.67833
Country Finland
Region Northern Savonia
Sub-region Kuopio
Charter 17 November 1775
   City manager Soile Lahti
 (2018-01-01) [3]
  Total4,326.35 km2 (1,670.41 sq mi)
  Land3,241.74 km2 (1,251.64 sq mi)
  Water719.85 km2 (277.94 sq mi)
  Rank 18th largest in Finland
 (2023-12-31) [4]
  Rank 8th largest in Finland
  Density38.25/km2 (99.1/sq mi)
Population by native language
   Finnish 95% (official)
   Swedish 0.1%
Population by age
  0 to 1414.5%
  15 to 6463.8%
  65 or older21.7%
Time zone UTC+02:00 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code
Website www.kuopio.fi/en/

Kuopio ( /kuˈpi/ KUO-pi-ou, [7] Finnish: [ˈkuo̯pio] ) is a city in Finland and the regional capital of North Savo. It is located in the Finnish Lakeland. The population of Kuopio is approximately 124,000, while the sub-region has a population of approximately 145,000. It is the 8th most populous municipality in Finland, and the seventh most populous urban area in the country.


Kuopio has a total area of 4,326.35 square kilometres (1,670.41 sq mi), of which 719.85 km2 (277.94 sq mi) is water [3] and half is forest. Though the city's population is spread out 38/km2 (98/sq mi), the city's urban areas are populated comparably densely (urban area: 1,618 /km²), [8] making Kuopio Finland's second-most densely populated city. At the end of 2018, its urban area had a population of approximately 90,000. [9] Along with Joensuu, Kuopio is one of the major urban, economic, and cultural hubs of Eastern Finland.

Kuopio is known nationwide as one of the most important study cities and centers of attraction and growth. [10] [11] [12] The city's history has been characterized by several municipality mergers since 1969, as a result of which Kuopio now includes much countryside; Kuopio's population surpassed 100,000 when the town of Nilsiä joined the city at the beginning of 2013. When Maaninka joined Kuopio at the beginning of 2015, Kuopio became Finland's largest milk producing community and Finland's second largest beef producing community. In addition, at the end of the 2010s, Kuopio was noted for numerous large projects, which are the largest nationwide after the Helsinki's metropolitan area. [13] With the large tourist center in Tahkovuori, Kuopio has also grown into a major tourist city. Kuopio Airport, located in the Siilinjärvi municipality, is Finland's fifth-busiest airport, with over 235,000 passengers in 2017. [14]

According to Kuntarating 2017 survey, Kuopio has the most satisfied residents among the 20 largest cities, [15] and according to the 2018 survey, Kuopio is the best city for real estate investors. [16] In the Kuntien imago 2018 survey, Kuopio ranks second among large cities of Finland after Seinäjoki of South Ostrobothnia. [17] In T-media's attraction and influence of the ten biggest cities study in 2021, 2022 and 2023, Kuopio is the second most attractive city in Finland, with Tampere holding the first place. [18] [19] [20]

Kuopio was the European Region of Gastronomy in 2020. [21] [22] It is also known as home of Kalakukko , a traditional food of Savonia, [23] which is why Kuopio is also known by the nickname the "Promised Land of Kalakukko". [1] [2]


Several explanations are behind the name Kuopio. The first is that in the 16th century, a certain influential person named Kauhanen in Tavinsalmi changed his name to Skopa and the people's pronunciation was Coopia and finally Cuopio. The second explanation is that it comes from the verb kuopia, meaning "paw", as when a horse paws the ground with its hoof. A third explanation is that it came from a certain Karelian man's name Prokopij, from Ruokolahti in the Middle Ages. [24] This explanation is the most likely, and is supported by the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland. [25] [26]


Original 1823 drawing of the coat of arms Kuopio vaakuna 1823.jpg
Original 1823 drawing of the coat of arms

The coat of arms of Kuopio was designed in 1823 based on a drawing by the town councilor Karl Hårdh [27] or possibly his artist son, Adolf Hårdh. [28] The coat of arms was approved for use in 1823 by the Kuopio Magistrate in accordance with the order of Alexander I of Russia. [29] [30] The coat of arms building, which represents Kuopio Cathedral, has often been mistakenly considered to be Kuopio City Hall, completed in 1886. [28]

The current design of the coat of arms is the work of architect Seppo Ruotsalainen. [28] The coat of arms in its current form was approved at a meeting of Kuopio City Council on 25 November 1957, and the Ministry of the Interior confirmed the coat of arms and its explanation on 12 June 1958. [31]


In the 1550s, under the influence of Mikael Agricola, a church and a parish were founded in Kuopionniemi. Governor Peter Brahe founded the city of Kuopio in 1653, but the official date is recognized as 17 November 1775, when King Gustav III of Sweden ordered the formal establishment of the city. [32]

The period of Russian rule (1809–1917) brought notable transportation development within Eastern Finland. The Saimaa Canal (1856) opened up a summer route towards the Baltic Sea, and the Savonia railway (1889) improved transport in winter. [32]

Kuopio's old railway station building and passengers in 1910. Kuopion asema.jpg
Kuopio's old railway station building and passengers in 1910.

After World War II, the city's population grew significantly, due in part to the settlement of Karelian evacuees and the high birth rate. The rapid growth of the population forced the expansion of schools; at the end of the 1940s, support was also provided for school transports [33] and the provision of free school meals (the poor people had received it in Kuopio since 1902). [34] The large number of young people and the lack of activities for youths also gave rise to outbreaks of violence in the city, such as the Kuopio Market Riot in September 1965 which was a spontaneous event instigated by two young men; 30 young people were fined for rioting. [35] [36] In the 1960s, the first construction of the actual suburb, Puijonlaakso, began. Since then, the new areas have each grown in turn: in the 1960s, Puijonlaakso and Tiihotar (as part of Saarijärvi); In the 1970s Saarijärvi, Kelloniemi and Levänen; In the 1980s, Jynkkä and Neulamäki.[ citation needed ]

The municipality of Maaninka joined the city of Kuopio in 2015, the town of Nilsiä in 2013, and Karttula [37] in 2011, as did Vehmersalmi in 2005, Riistavesi in 1973, and Kuopion maalaiskunta in 1969. [32]


Kuopio is almost completely surrounded by lake Kallavesi. Kallavesi.png
Kuopio is almost completely surrounded by lake Kallavesi.

The city is surrounded by Lake Kallavesi, [38] and several parts of it are built on islands. With an area of 472.76 square kilometres (182.53 sq mi) Lake Kallavesi is the tenth largest lake in Finland. In the wake of the Yoldia Sea, which followed the Weichselian glaciation and preceded the Baltic Sea, there are ancient beaches up to 140 m above the current sea level, of which the current Lake Kallavesi is 82 m above sea level. [39] Kuopio's ample waterfronts and islands are also used in the Saaristokaupunki (lit. Archipelago city) -project, the biggest residential area currently being built in Finland. [40] Saaristokaupunki will accommodate a total of 14,000 inhabitants in 2015. All houses will be situated no more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the nearest lakeshore. [41]

Kuopio Market Square is the undisputed center of the city [38] and the city center follows a densely built grid pattern with several parks and narrow gutter streets. [42] The environment of the city is quite distinctive; the surface shapes of the waterfront-lined center are so variable that a flat property is a desired rarity. [43] The settlement has spread outside the center of Kuopio according to a dense and sparse finger model that is affordable for public transport, [44] and the new districts have been built in a municipal drive at once; for example, the Saaristokaupunki was banned for building for the previous 25 years, [45] and this Kuopio zoning tradition has a long history. [45] Due to the above-mentioned factors, the population density of the Kuopio city center is the highest in Finland. [46]

With the surrounding lakes, the shoreline in Kuopio is 4,760 kilometers. [47] The terrain is also characterized by rich forests, and the clear center of the Kuopio's lund forest is mainly located in the area between Kuopio, Nilsiä and Siilinjärvi. [48] [49] Of the Finnish municipalities, Kuopio has the second largest number of summer cottages and holiday homes. In 2013, the number of summer cottages was 8,684. The number of summer homes in Kuopio has increased in recent years due to municipal associations. [50] Due to the abundance of water bodies, Kuopio also has a remarkably favorable climate compared to the latitude. The annual sum of the effective temperature is about as high in Kuopio as in places further south than, for example, Tampere and Lahti. [51]


An aerial view of Kuopio. Kuopio aerial 6.jpg
An aerial view of Kuopio.
Boats in the Rono district. Ronon asutusalue Kuopiossa.jpg
Boats in the Rönö district.

There are more than 50 districts and villages in Kuopio. [43]


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Kuopio falls in the continental climate zone (Köppen climate classification Dfb), bordering on subarctic climate zone (Köppen "Dfc"). Winters are long and cold, with average highs staying below freezing from November until March, and summers are short and relatively mild. Most precipitation occurs in the late summer and early fall. The summers are relatively warm for its latitude, especially the lows. This is due to influence from the lake, making it much warmer on summer nights than in areas away from water. In winter, maritime moderation is eliminated as the lake freezes over. Average temperatures for all seasons have warmed in recent decades.

Climate data for Kuopio Airport (1991-2020 normals, extremes 1940-present)
Record high °C (°F)7.9
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)−5.2
Daily mean °C (°F)−8.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)−11.2
Record low °C (°F)−39.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)41
Average precipitation days11997910111110111111120
Source: Finnish Meteorological Institute [52]

FMI(record highs and lows 1940-1961) [53]



The city of Kuopio has 124,011 inhabitants, making it the 8th most populous municipality in Finland. The region of Kuopio is the 7th largest in Finland, after the regions of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä and Lahti. Kuopio is home to 2% of Finland's population. 5% of the population has a foreign background, which is below the national average. [54]

Population size of Kuopio (and merged municipalities) 1980–2020 [54]


Population by mother tongue (2022) [54]

  Finnish (95.0%)
  Russian (1.3%)
  Arabic (0.6%)
  English (0.3%)
  Estonian (0.2%)
  Thai (0.2%)
  Farsi (0.1%)
  Other (2.3%)

Kuopio is the fourth largest monolingual Finnish-speaking municipality in Finland after Tampere, Oulu and Jyväskylä. The majority of the population - 116,431 people or

At least 100 different languages are spoken in Kuopio. The most common foreign languages are Russian (1.3%), Arabic (0.6%), English (0.3%) and Estonian (0.2%). [54]


Population by country of birth (2022) [54]
NationalityPopulation %
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 11657695.1
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 9580.8
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 5210.4
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 3260.3
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 2630.2
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 2450.2
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 2180.2
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 1790.1
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 1620.1
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 1420.1
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1390.1

In 2022, 6,127 people with a migrant background lived in Kuopio, representing 5% of the population. [note 1] There are 6,018 residents who were born abroad, which makes up 4.9% of the population. The number of foreign citizens in Kuopio is 3,924. [56] Most foreign-born citizens come from the former Soviet Union, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, and Syria. [54]

The relative proportion of immigrants in Kuopio's population is below the national average. It is lower than in the major Finnish cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa or Turku. Nevertheless, the Kuopio's new residents are increasingly of foreign origin. This will increase the proportion of foreign residents in the coming years.


In 2022, the Evangelical Lutheran Church was the largest religious group with 67.1% of the population of Kuopio. Other religious groups accounted for 3.8% of the population. 29.1% of the population had no religious affiliation. [54]

Kuopio Cathedral Kuopio, Kuopio Cathedral.JPG
Kuopio Cathedral

The largest church denomination in Finland, Lutheran Church has a diocese in Kuopio, which is shepherded by bishop Jari Jolkkonen. [57] One of the most significant Lutheran churches in the city is the Kuopio Cathedral, completed in 1816. [58]

Kuopio is home of the Finnish Orthodox Church where its primate, archbishop of Karelia and all Finland Leo (Makkonen) is seated. This is an autonomous jurisdiction affiliated with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is the only mainstream Orthodox faction to celebrate Easter on the Latin date. The late Archbishop Paul had been successful in producing literature of popular theology. The city is also the location of RIISA- Orthodox Church Museum of Finland.

Kuopio also has an Islamic mosque. [59] Muslims from various parts of the world and certain Finnish Muslims live in Kuopio.

The town is also home to the first Burmese Buddhist monastery in Finland, named the Buddha Dhamma Ramsi Monastery. [60] [61]


Matkus Shopping Centre in Hiltulanlahti, Kuopio Kauppakeskus Matkus - C-sisaankaynti - Hiltulanlahti - Kuopio - m.jpg
Matkus Shopping Centre in Hiltulanlahti, Kuopio

Kuopio's economic structure is very diverse. In 2008, there were about 4,200 enterprises in Kuopio, [62] of which approximately 180 were export companies. [63] These provided about 45,000 jobs. [63] In 2016, this grew to a total of about 5,050 companies, of which more than 190 also trade abroad. There are a total of 50,877 jobs. The business service of the City of Kuopio plays a significant role in the development of Kuopio's business life. The business service promotes the development of companies operating in Kuopio and improves the operating environments of companies. The most important thing in developing operating environments is to improve the supply of estate and business premises. The Kuopio University Hospital (KUH) is Kuopio's second largest employer after the City of Kuopio; in 2011, KUH employed a total of 4,113 people. [64]

Tourism is of great importance to Kuopio's business life; [65] the Rauhalahti camping site is one indication of Kuopio's expertise, as it is the only five-star camping site in Finland. [65] The city has also a comprehensive hotel offer for tourism, one of the most notable is Hotel Savonia, part of the Best Western hotel chain, in the Puijonlaakso district. Arranging accommodation and program services gives many jobs. Kuopio's Entrepreneurs (Kuopion Yrittäjät), the local association of Savonia Entrepreneurs (Savon Yrittäjät), operates in Kuopio.

Technology centre Technopolis Kuopio is situated in Kuopio Science Park. Technology Centre Teknia Ltd Microteknia area.jpg
Technology centre Technopolis Kuopio is situated in Kuopio Science Park.

The most significant recent business projects are the centralization of Honeywell's Finnish operations in Kuopio, the completion of Ark Therapeutics' gene medicine plant, the marine industry concentration built by Bella Boats at the Marine Park in Haapaniemi's Siikaniemi and the construction of Junttan's EUR 15 million assembly plant at Kylmämäki at the end of 2008. The site of Junttan's current factory in Särkilahti will have space for a large shopping center. The 9.7-hectare plot purchased by Savocon and TKD Finland for EUR 11 million has a building right for 58,500 square meters. The two companies plan to invest a total of about 40 million euros in the project. [66] A significant industrial player is also Savon Sello company in Sorsasalo, which is currently owned by Powerflute Oyj. One of the biggest projects and investments of recent years is the preparation of the construction of Finnpulp's largest and most modern softwood pulp mill in Kuopio. [67] The most significant retail investments are the Prisma hypermarket completed in December 2007 and the Päiväranta's K-Citymarket completed in August 2008. A hardware store Kodin Terra was opened in Pitkälahti, as well as the Ikano Group's Matkus Shopping Center in the Hiltulanlahti area in November 2012 [68] and an IKEA department store in May 2013. [69]


Kuopio Museum in a National Romantic style building Kuopion museo 2012.jpg
Kuopio Museum in a National Romantic style building
Bust of J. V. Snellman at the Snellman Park (Snellmaninpuisto) J.V. Snellmanin rintakuva.jpg
Bust of J. V. Snellman at the Snellman Park (Snellmaninpuisto)

Kuopio is known as the cultural center of Eastern Finland. One of Kuopio's most important cultural venues are the Kuopio Museum, the Kuopio Art Museum and the Kuopio City Theatre in the city center. A wide range of musical (from kindergarten to doctorate-level studies) and dance education is available and the cultural life is active. Notable events include ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio Dance Festival, Kuopio Rockcock, Kuopio Wine Festival, Kuopio Marathon and Finland Ice Marathon in winter. A notable place, however, to enjoy the local flavor of Kuopio life and food is Sampo, a fish restaurant loved by locals and tourists as well.

Kuopio is known for its association with a national delicacy, Finnish fish pastry (Kalakukko), and the dialect of Savo, as well as the hill of Puijo and the Puijo tower. [38] Besides being a very popular outdoor recreation area, Puijo serves also as a stage for a yearly World Cup ski jumping competition. [38]

In inhabitants of Kuopio have a special reputation: they are known as jovial and verbally joking.[ citation needed ] Within the Savo culture, the onus is placed on the listener to interpret the story. People of the Kuopio region and Eastern Finland have always had many health problems and the mortality has been higher than on an average in Finland. Because of this, Eastern Finland has been a hotspot for Public Health studies. The North Karelia Project by the University of Kuopio in coordination with the National Public Health Institute and the World Health Organization, beginning in the 1970s was one of its first steps towards world class research.[ citation needed ] Niuvanniemi a historical psychiatric hospital is also located in the western part of the city in the Niuva district. [70]

During the 2000s, Kuopio has placed very well in a number of image, popularity and city-attractiveness surveys. In 2007 it was placed third, behind Tampere and Oulu.

Kuopio Market Square with the Market Hall in foreground and the City Hall in the background Kuopio Market Square2.jpg
Kuopio Market Square with the Market Hall in foreground and the City Hall in the background


Puijo Ski Jumps with the Observation Tower in the background Kuopio PuijoTower 01.jpg
Puijo Ski Jumps with the Observation Tower in the background
KuPS vs HJK at Magnum Areena, Kuopio. Finnish League Cup, March 11, 2008. Lusty looks KuPS HJK 03 08.jpg
KuPS vs HJK at Magnum Areena, Kuopio. Finnish League Cup, March 11, 2008.

Kuopio bid for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, a youth sports festival in the tradition of the Olympics. It became a finalist in November 2008, but ultimately lost to Innsbruck, Austria. Kuopio's image as a small city with a large University and many active young people was considered a model of what the International Olympic Committee seeks for the Games. [71]


Check-in at Kuopio Airport EFKU check-in 20081109.jpg
Check-in at Kuopio Airport

The city has a nationally unique feature in its street network, where every other street is reserved for pedestrian and cycle traffic, [72] so-called "rännikatu" (derived from the Swedish gränd, alley). These streets provide pedestrians a calm environment away from vehicular traffic. [73] This setup dates back to Kuopio's first town plan by Pehr Kjellman in 1776. Originally, rännikadut were created as a fire barrier to prevent a possible fire escalating in a mainly wood-constructed city. [74]

Two Finnish highways cross Kuopio: Finnish national road 5 (Vt 5; part of E63 in the northern side of city), which extends south to Helsinki and north to Sodankylä, and Finnish national road 9 (Vt 9; part of E63 in the western side of city), which extends west to Turku and east to the Niirala checkpoint on the Finnish-Russian border. The Blue Highway passes through Kuopio. It is an international tourist route from Mo i Rana, Norway to Pudozh, Russia via Sweden and Finland.

Long-distance transport connections from Kuopio include Pendolino and InterCity trains from Kuopio railway station to several destinations around Finland, operated by VR, as well as multiple daily departures from Kuopio Airport on Finnair to Helsinki. The passenger harbour of the port of Kuopio, located on the shore of Lake Kallavesi, is the busiest port for passenger traffic in the Vuoksi drainage basin and the Finnish Lakeland. [75] [76]


Higher Education in Kuopio
University of Eastern Finland 6 229 [77]
Savonia University of Applied Sciences 5 000 [78]
HUMAK University of Applied Sciences ~150
Sibelius Academy ~100

Kuopio has always been a city of education. Some of the first schools offering education in Finnish (such as the School for the Blind in 1871, and the Trade School in 1887) were established in Kuopio. Currently the most important institutions are the University of Eastern Finland, the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Vocational College of Northern Savonia and the Kuopio department of the Sibelius Academy. One of the oldest schools in the city is Kuopio Lyceum High School, which was officially established in 1872, but was originally built in 1826 and designed by Carl Ludvig Engel.

Kuopio is known as a strong center of health (e.g. it has the biggest yearly enrollment rate of medical students in Finland), pharmacy, environment, food & nutrition (all legalized Clinical and Public Health Nutritionists in Finland graduate from the University of Eastern Finland), safety (education in Emergency Services is centered in Kuopio [79] ) and welfare professions, as the major organisations University of Kuopio (now part of the University of Eastern Finland since January 2010. [80] ), Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Technopolis Kuopio are particularly oriented to those areas.

Notable people

Minna Canth, a writer and a social activist Minna Canth.jpg
Minna Canth, a writer and a social activist

International relations

Kuopio is twinned with 15 cities around the world. It also has one twin county, Lääne-Viru County, Estonia. [81]

Twin towns – Sister cities

Kuopio is twinned with: [81]

See also


  1. Statistics Finland classifies a person as having a "foreign background" if both parents or the only known parent were born abroad. [55]

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Hiltulanlahti is a rural village and urban area in the southern part of Kuopio, Finland, right next to the European route E63. At the end of 2011, the area had 242 inhabitants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maljalahti</span> City district in Kuopio, Finland

Maljalahti is a district in the central part of the city of Kuopio, Finland. The northern boundary of the district is the Savonia railway, the Hatsalankatu street in the west, Suokatu in the south and Lake Kallavesi in the east. Neighboring parts of Maljalahti are Puijo and Linnanpelto in the north, Itkonniemi in the east, Vahtivuori and Multimäki in the south and Hatsala in the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kuopio Steelers</span> American football team from Kuopio, Finland

Kuopio Steelers are an American football team originally from Varkaus, Finland in years 1991-2005, and since 2006 from Kuopio, Finland. The team plays in the Finnish Maple League and it has also played in the European Football League. The club's home field is Väinölänniemi Stadium in the Väinölänniemi district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Snellman Park</span> Park in Kuopio, Finland

The Snellman Park is the oldest park in the city of Kuopio, Finland, located at the Vahtivuori district in the city center between the Kauppakatu and Minna Canthin katu streets, in the adjacent block of Kuopio Cathedral. The park covers an area of 1.4 hectares. Today, the park and its surroundings are part of the larger Kuopio National City Park, established in late 2017. The park is named after J. V. Snellman (1806–1881), the senator and the Fennoman, who influenced the affairs of the Grand Duchy from Kuopio, among other places.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kuopio University Hospital</span> Hospital in Kuopio, Finland

Kuopio University Hospital is a teaching hospital of the University of Eastern Finland along Puijonlaaksontie at the Puijonlaakso district in Kuopio, Finland. It serves as one of the main hospitals in the country and operates in the facilities of Central Hospital of Puijo, Children's Hospital of Alava and Psychiatric Hospital of Julkula in Kuopio, and also former Tarina Hospital in Siilinjärvi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Säyneinen</span> Former municipality in Kuopio Province, Finland

Säyneinen is a village and a former municipality of Finland at the time of its existence in the Kuopio Province, now in Northern Savonia. Together with Muuruvesi, it was consolidated with Juankoski in 1971, since 2017 part of Kuopio.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muuruvesi</span> Former municipality in Kuopio Province, Finland

Muuruvesi is a village and a former municipality of Finland at the time of its existence in the Kuopio Province, now in Northern Savonia. Together with Säyneinen, it was consolidated with Juankoski in 1971, since 2017 part of Kuopio.


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