Savonia (historical province)

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Arms of Savonia: Sable, per bend a drawn composite bow Or fletched and strung Argent Savo.vaakuna.svg
Arms of Savonia: Sable, per bend a drawn composite bow Or fletched and strung Argent

Savonia (Finnish : Savo, Swedish : Savolax) is a historical province in the east of Finland. It borders Tavastia, Ostrobothnia, and Karelia. Currently, Savonia is divided into two provinces: Northern Savonia and Southern Savonia. The largest cities in Savonia by population are Kuopio, Mikkeli, Savonlinna, Varkaus and Iisalmi.



Historical province of Savonia in dark blue (modern regions bordered in yellow) Historical province of Savonia, Finland.svg
Historical province of Savonia in dark blue (modern regions bordered in yellow)

In the 19th century, Savonia was divided between Kuopio Province and Mikkeli Province. From 1997 to 2010, it lay within the administrative province of eastern Finland. (The provinces have no administrative function today, but live on as a historical legacy.) Since 2010, Savonia has been divided between the regions of northern Savonia and southern Savonia.


The province of Savo represents the original homeland of the Savonians, one of the subgroups that later became assimilated to form the Finns. It was the heartland of the east Finnish or Savonian dialects.

The people of Savonia traditionally pursued slash-and-burn agriculture, which settlers successfully imported into Ostrobothnia and Kainuu, Värmland in southwestern Sweden, and eastern Norway. Savonian settlers also migrated to Finnish Karelia, Ingria (see: Ingrian Finns) and to southern Sweden and Norway (see: Forest Finns).

Savonia, which had been a part of Sweden from the late-13th century, was separated from Sweden when Finland was ceded to Russia in September 1809.


Traditionally, the Savonian people have often been considered as "sneaky". Recent research has shown that this reputation is largely due to misunderstandings caused by Savonians' traditional lack of social directness. [1]

Famous Savonians


The arms of Savonia are crowned by a count's coronet, though by Finnish tradition this more resembles a Swedish baronial coronet. Blazon: "Sable, a drawn hand bow in and arrow aimed toward dexter chief, or; bow string, arrowhead and feathered tail, argent." The traditional colors of the province are black and gold.

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Uusimaa (historical province)

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Ostrobothnia (historical province)

Ostrobothnia, Swedish: Österbotten, Finnish: Pohjanmaa is a historical province comprising a large western and northern part of modern Finland. It is bounded by Karelia, Savonia, Tavastia and Satakunda in the south, the Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay and Swedish Västerbotten in the west, Laponia in the north and Russia in the east.

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The historical provinces of Finland are a legacy of the country's joint history with Sweden. The provinces ceased to be administrative entities in 1634 when they were superseded by the counties, a reform which remained in force in Finland until 1997. The provinces remain as a tradition, but have no administrative function today. The spread of Finnish language dialects approximately follows their borders.

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Karelians are an ethnic group who are indigenous to the Northern European historical region of Karelia, which is today split between Finland and Russia. Karelians living in Russian Karelia are considered a distinct ethnic group closely related to Finnish Karelians, who are considered a subset of Finns. This distinction historically arose from Karelia having been fought over and eventually split between Sweden and Novgorod, resulting Karelians being under different cultural spheres.

Karelia (historical province of Finland) Historical province of Finland

Karelia is a historical province of Finland which Finland partly ceded to Russia after the Winter War of 1939–40. The Finnish Karelians include the present-day inhabitants of North and South Karelia and the still-surviving evacuees from the ceded territories. Present-day Finnish Karelia has 315,000 inhabitants. The more than 400,000 evacuees from the ceded territories re-settled in various parts of Finland.

North Savo Region of Finland

Northern Savonia or, officially, North Savo is a region in eastern Finland. It borders the regions of Southern Savonia, Central Finland, North Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, and North Karelia. Kuopio is the largest city in the region and Lake Kallavesi is the largest lake in the region.

Karelia, the land of the Karelian people, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Russia, the USSR, Finland and Sweden. It is currently divided among the northwestern Russian Federation and Finland.

Finland is divided into 70 sub-regional units. The sub-regions are formed by groups of municipalities within the 19 regions of Finland. The sub-regions represent a LAU 1 level of division used in conjunction with the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.

South Savo Region of Finland

Southern Savonia or, officially, South Savo is a region in the south-east of Finland. It borders the regions of Northern Savonia, North Karelia, South Karelia, Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme, and Central Finland. The total area of Southern Savonia is 18,768.33 km2, with a population of 153,738 (2011).

Pieksämäki Town in Southern Savonia, Finland

Pieksämäki is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located in the Southern Savonia region, about 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of Mikkeli, 85 kilometres (53 mi) east of Jyväskylä and 95 kilometres (59 mi) south of Kuopio. The town has a population of 17,376 and covers an area of 1,836.22 square kilometres (708.97 sq mi) of which 266.76 km2 (103.00 sq mi) is water. The population density is 11.07 inhabitants per square kilometre (28.7/sq mi). Neighbour municipalities are Hankasalmi, Joroinen, Juva, Kangasniemi, Leppävirta, Mikkeli, Rautalampi and Suonenjoki.

Savonia or Savonian may refer to:

Savonian dialects

The Savonian dialects are forms of the Finnish language spoken in Savonia and other parts of Eastern Finland. It belongs to the eastern Finnish dialects and it is divided into more specific dialect groups.

Savonians are a subgroup of the Finnish people descending from the inhabitants of historical province of Savonia. Savonians differ from other Finnish clans by their dialect and cultural tradition. Originally they are descendants of the historical Finnish Karelians and the Tavastians. Nowadays the historical homeland of the Savonians is divided between the provinces of Northern Savonia and Southern Savonia. The regional identity of Savonians, like that of the other traditional Finnish clans, is declining. Savonians and Karelians were the first people in Finland to use surnames, beginning during the Middle Ages. These surnames are recognisable for containing the "nen" diminutive.

Forest Finns

Forest Finns were Finnish migrants from Savonia and Northern Tavastia in Finland who settled in forest areas of Sweden proper and Norway during the late 16th and early-to-mid-17th centuries, and traditionally pursued slash-and-burn agriculture, a method used for turning forests into farmlands. By the late 18th century, the Forest Finns had become largely assimilated into the Swedish and Norwegian cultures, and their language, a variety of Savonian Finnish, is today extinct, although it survived among a tiny minority until the 20th century.

The Kuopio Province was a province of Finland from 1831 to 1997. The province was named after its capital, city of Kuopio.


  1. Yle News - Savolainen kierous onkin vaarinymmarrys :

Coordinates: 62°35′00″N27°49′00″E / 62.5833°N 27.8167°E / 62.5833; 27.8167