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Vaasan kaupunki
Vasa stad
Vaasa Trinity Church.jpg
Coat of arms
Location of Vaasa in Finland
Coordinates: 63°06′N021°37′E / 63.100°N 21.617°E / 63.100; 21.617 Coordinates: 63°06′N021°37′E / 63.100°N 21.617°E / 63.100; 21.617
CountryFlag of Finland.svg  Finland
Region Pohjanmaan maakunnan vaakuna.svg Ostrobothnia
Sub-region Vaasa sub-region
Charter 1606
   City manager Tomas Häyry
 (2018-01-01) [1]
  City545.14 km2 (210.48 sq mi)
  Land188.81 km2 (72.90 sq mi)
  Water208.63 km2 (80.55 sq mi)
66.65 km2 (25.73 sq mi)
Area rank 210th largest in Finland
 (2019-01-31) [2]
  Rank 15th largest in Finland
  Density357.97/km2 (927.1/sq mi)
  Urban density981.5/km2 (2,542/sq mi)
Population by native language
   Finnish 69.8% (official)
   Swedish 24.8%
Population by age
  0 to 1416%
  15 to 6467.4%
  65 or older16.7%
Time zone UTC+02:00 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate [5] 19.5%

Vaasa (Finnish:  [ˈʋɑːsɑ] ; Swedish : Vasa [ˈvɑ̂ːsa] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ), Finland Swedish:  [ˈvɑːsɑ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city on the west coast of Finland. It received its charter in 1606, during the reign of Charles IX of Sweden and is named after the Royal House of Vasa. Vaasa has a population of 67,588 (31 January 2019) [2] (approximately 120,000 in the Vaasa sub-region), and is the regional capital of Ostrobothnia (Swedish : Österbotten; Finnish : Pohjanmaa).


The city is bilingual with



Over the years, Vaasa has changed its name several times, due to alternative spellings, political decisions and language condition changes. At first it was called Mustasaari or Mussor after the village where it was founded in 1606, but just a few years later the name was changed to Wasa to honor the royal Swedish lineage. Mustasaari (Finnish) or Korsholm (Swedish) remains as the name of the surrounding mostly rural municipality, which since 1973 surrounds the city. The city was known as Wasa between 1606 and 1855, Nikolaistad (Swedish) and Nikolainkaupunki (Finnish) between 1855 and 1917, Vasa (Swedish) and Vaasa (Finnish) after the February revolution, with the Finnish spelling of the name being the primary one from ca 1930 when Finnish speakers became the majority in the city.


Old Vaasa in the 1840s by Johan Knutsson Gamla Vasa 1840-tal.jpg
Old Vaasa in the 1840s by Johan Knutsson

The history of Korsholm and also of Vaasa begins in the 14th century, when seafarers from the coastal region in central Sweden disembarked at the present Old Vaasa, and the wasteland owners from Southwest Finland came to guard their land.

In the middle of the century, Saint Mary's Church was built, and in the 1370s the building of the fortress at Korsholm, Crysseborgh, was undertaken, and served as an administrative centre of the Vasa County. King Charles IX of Sweden founded the town of Mustasaari/Mussor on October 2, 1606, around the oldest harbour and trade point around the Korsholm church approximately seven kilometres (4.3 miles) to the southeast from the present city. In 1611, the town was chartered and renamed after the Royal House of Vasa.

Thanks to the sea connections, ship building and trade, especially tar trade, Vaasa flourished in the 17th century and most of the inhabitants earned their living from it.

In 1683, the three-subject or Trivial school moved from Nykarleby to Vaasa, and four years later a new schoolhouse was built in Vaasa. The first library in Finland was founded in Vaasa in 1794. In 1793, Vaasa had 2,178 inhabitants, and in the year of the catastrophic town fire of 1852 the number had risen to 3,200.

Vaasa in the Finnish War

During the Finnish War, fought between Sweden and Russia in 1808–1809, Vaasa suffered more than any other city. In June 1808, Vaasa was occupied by the Russian forces, and some of the local officials pledged allegiance to the occupying force.

On 25 June 1808 the Swedish colonel Johan Bergenstråhle was sent with 1,500 troops and four cannons to free Vaasa from the 1,700 Russian troops who were led by generalmajor Nikolay Demidov. The Battle of Vaasa started with the Swedish force disembarking north of Vaasa in Österhankmo and advancing all the way to the city where they attacked with 1,100 troops, as some had to be left behind to secure the flank. There was heavy fighting in the streets and in the end the Swedish forces were repelled and forced to retreat back the way they came.

Generalmajor Demidov suspected that the inhabitants of Vaasa had taken to arms and helped the Swedish forces, even though the provincial governor had confiscated all weapons that spring, and he took revenge by letting his men plunder the city for several days. During those days 17 civilians were killed, property was looted and destroyed, many were assaulted and several people were taken to the village of Salmi in Kuortane where they had to endure the physical punishment called running the gauntlet. The massacre in Vaasa was exceptional during the Finnish war as the Russian forces had avoided that kind of cruelty that far. It was probably a result of the frustration the Russians felt because of intensive guerilla activity against them in the region.

On 30 June the Russian forces withdrew from Vaasa, and all officials that had pledged allegiance to Russia were discharged, and some were assaulted by locals. On 13 September the Russian forces returned and on the next day the decisive Battle of Oravais, which was won by Russia, was fought some 50 kilometres (30 mi) further north. By winter 1808, the Russian forces had overrun all of Finland, and in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn (17 September 1809) Sweden lost the whole eastern part of its realm. Vaasa would now become a part of the newly formed Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire.

Town fire

The Court of Appeal, nowadays the Church of Korsholm, survived the fire of 1852 Korsholms kyrka.jpg
The Court of Appeal, nowadays the Church of Korsholm, survived the fire of 1852

The mainly wooden and densely built town was almost utterly destroyed in 1852. A fire started in a barn belonging to district court judge J. F. Aurén on the morning of August 3. At noon the whole town was ablaze and the fire lasted for many hours. By evening, most of the town had burned to the ground. Out of 379 buildings only 24 privately owned buildings had survived, among them the FalanderWasastjerna patrician house (built in 1780–1781) which now houses the Old Vaasa Museum.

The Court of Appeal (built in 1775, nowadays the Church of Korsholm), some Russian guard-houses along with a gunpowder storage and the buildings of the Vaasa provincial hospital (nowadays a psychiatric hospital) also survived the blaze. The ruins of the greystone church, the belfry, the town hall and the trivial school can still be found in their original places. Much of the archived material concerning Vaasa and its inhabitants was destroyed in the fire. According to popular belief, the fire got started when a careless visitor from Vöyri fell asleep in Aurén's barn and dropped his pipe in the dry hay.

New town

The new town of Nikolaistad (Finnish : Nikolainkaupunki), named after the late Tsar Nicholas I, rose in 1862 about seven kilometres (4.3 miles) to the northwest from the old town. The town's coastal location offered good conditions for seafaring. The town plan was planned by Carl Axel Setterberg in the Empire style. In the master plan the disastrous consequences of the fire were considered. Main streets in the new town were five broad avenues which divided the town into sections. Each block was divided by alleys.

The town was promptly renamed Vasa (Vaasa) after the Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown in 1917.

Site of Government

During the Finnish Civil War, Vaasa was the capital of Finland from 29 January to 3 May 1918. As a consequence of the occupation of central places and arresting of politicians in Helsinki the Senate decided to move the senators to Vaasa, where the White Guards that supported the Senate had a strong position and the contacts to the west were good.

The Senate of Finland began its work in Vaasa on 1 February 1918, and it had four members. The Senate held its sessions in the Town Hall. To express its gratitude to the town the senate gave Vaasa the right to add the cross of freedom, independent Finland's oldest mark of honour designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, to its coat of arms. The coat of arms is unusual not only in this respect, but also because of its non-standard shape and that decorations and a crown are included. Because of its role in the civil war, Vaasa became known as "The White City". A Statue of Freedom, depicting a victorious White soldier, was erected in the town square.

Post-war history

The language conditions in the city shifted in the 1930s, and the majority became Finnish-speaking. Therefore, the primary name also changed from "Vasa" to "Vaasa", according to Finnish spelling.

Post-war, Vaasa was industrialized, led by the electronics manufacturer Strömberg, later merged into ABB.

In 2013 the municipality of Vähäkyrö was merged into Vaasa. It is currently an exclave area of the city, since it is surrounded by other municipalities.


Near the Polar Circle, Vaasa falls in continental subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc) with severe dry winters and almost warm summers. The prevailing direction of the winds, North Atlantic Current and the proximity of the Gulf of Bothnia gives a climate a certainly livable in the city although despite the latitude, similar to the south of Alaska, where continentality, proximity to the poles and moderation intersect. [6] The Föhn wind, for example, passes over the Scandinavian Mountains and leaves a milder and drier weather in the lee of the mountains where Vaasa is found, affecting especially in the winter which explains sunny days even in the season of curt solar duration. [7]

The location of some sea distance gives a seasonal delay of spring and summer at the same time that autumn and winter are affected late. The average annual temperature is only 4.2 °C (normal from 1981-2010). The low Ostrobothnia usually receives little snow but the contact of cold air with warmer and humid air can generate heavy snowfall. Early summer (as well as spring) tends to be drier and the wettest month does not coincide with the warmer month. End of April is usually the growing season with 250-300 mm approximately. [8] The maritime breeze explains the difference in temperature, distribution of precipitation and sunshine, different from the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Bothnia brings the sea wind in places further distant about 50 km from the coast. [9] The city gets more sun than inland places, although current log are unavailable. [10]

Climate data for Vaasa, 1961-1990 normals and extremes
Record high °C (°F)7.4
Average high °C (°F)−4.6
Daily mean °C (°F)−7.8
Average low °C (°F)−12.0
Record low °C (°F)−36.2
Average precipitation mm (inches)30.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 29.171.9131.1190.2277.5303.0282.8220.0131.584.639.820.91,782.4
Source: NOAA [11]

University City

Vaasa has three universities. The largest one is the University of Vaasa, which is located in the neighbourhood of Palosaari. Palosaari is a peninsula near the center of Vaasa, connected to it by bridges. The other two universities are Åbo Akademi, headquartered in Turku, and the Hanken School of Economics headquartered in Helsinki. Unique to Vaasa is the Finland-Swedish teachers training school Vasa övningsskola, part of Åbo Akademi. The University of Helsinki also has a small unit, specialized in law studies, in the city centre.

The city has two universities of applied sciences: Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (former Vaasa Polytechnic), located right next to the University of Vaasa, and Novia University of Applied Sciences (former Swedish University of Applied Sciences).


Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 775 (1.15%)
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 561 (0.83%)
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia 369 (0.55%)
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 365 (0.54%)
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia 347 (0.51%)
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 320 (0.47%)
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 274 (0.41%)
Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan 242 (0.36%)
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 210 (0.31%)
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 199 (0.30%)
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan 181 (0.27%)
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 178 (0.26%)
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 177 (0.26%)
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 172 (0.26%)
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 169 (0.25%)
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 165 (0.24%)
Flag of India.svg  India 160 (0.24%)
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  DR Congo 151 (0.22%)
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 106 (0.16%)
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 99 (0.15%)
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 98 (0.15%)
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 90 (0.13%)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 77 (0.11%)
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 73 (0.11%)
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 72 (0.11%)


Vaasa is generally speaking an industrial town, with several industrial parks. Industry comprises one-fourth of jobs.[ citation needed ] There is a university (University of Vaasa), faculties of Åbo Akademi and Hanken, and two universities of applied sciences in the town. Many workers commute from Korsholm, Laihia, and other municipalities nearby.

The film production company Future Film has its head office in Vaasa. [12] [13] Kotipizza has its head office in the Vaskiluodon Satamaterminaali. [14]


Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

As of 2006, Vaasa has town twinning treaties or treaties of cooperation signed with the following ten cities: [15] [16]

Malmö Skanes vapen.svg Scania Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1940 1
Umeå Vasterbottens vapen.svg Västerbotten Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1940 2
Harstad Troms vapen.svg Troms Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 1949 2
Helsingør Capital Region of Denmark Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 1949 2
Pärnu Parnumaa lipp.svg Pärnu County Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 1956 2
Schwerin Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.svg Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 1965 2
Kiel Flag of Schleswig-Holstein.svg Schleswig-Holstein Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 1967 2
Šumperk Flag of Olomouc Region.svg Olomouc Region Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 1984 2
Morogoro Flag of Tanzania.svg Morogoro Region Flag of Tanzania.svg  Tanzania 1988 3
Bellingham Flag of Washington.svg  Washington Flag of the United States.svg  United States 2009 4

^1 Godfather Town
^2 Twin Town
^3 Cooperation Treaty
^4 Sister City


See also

Related Research Articles

Vasa may refer to:

Kokkola Town in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland

Kokkola is a town and municipality of Finland. The town is located in the Central Ostrobothnia region. The town has a population of 47,706 and covers an area of 2,730.80 square kilometres (1,054.37 sq mi) of which 1,286.61 km2 (496.76 sq mi) is water. The population density is 33.03 inhabitants per square kilometre (85.5/sq mi). Neighbour municipalities are Halsua, Kalajoki, Kannus, Kaustinen, Kronoby, Lestijärvi, Larsmo and Toholampi.

Wasa may refer to any of the following:

Åbo Akademi University Finnish university

Åbo Akademi University is the only exclusively Swedish language multi-faculty university in Finland. It is located mainly in Turku but has also activities in Vaasa. Åbo Akademi should not be confused with the Royal Academy of Åbo, which was founded in 1640, but moved to Helsinki after the Turku fire of 1827 and is today known as the University of Helsinki.

Kankaanpää Town in Satakunta, Finland

Kankaanpää is a town and municipality of Finland. Kankaanpää was founded in 1865, became a township in 1967 and finally a town in 1972. It is located in the crossroads of Hämeenkangas and Pohjankangas ridges. It belongs to the region of Satakunta. Kankaanpää has a population of about 11,500 inhabitants.

Ostrobothnia (region) Region in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Ostrobothnia is a region of Finland. It is located in Western Finland. It borders the regions of Central Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, and Satakunta and is one of the four modern regions making up the historical province of Ostrobothnia.

Korsholm Municipality in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Korsholm is a municipality of Finland. The town of Vaasa was founded in Korsholm parish in 1606 and today the municipality completely surrounds the city. It is a coastal, mostly rural municipality, consisting of a rural landscape and a large, fractured archipelago. The administrative center is Smedsby, situated 3 km (2 mi) from Vaasa center along Finnish national road 8.

University of Vaasa business-oriented university in Vaasa, Finland

The University of Vaasa is a multidisciplinary, business-oriented university in Vaasa, Finland. The campus of the university is situated by the Gulf of Bothnia adjacent to downtown Vaasa. The university has evolved from a school of economics founded in 1968 to a university consisting of four different schools: The School of Accounting and Finance, The School of Management, The School of Marketing and Communications and the School of Technology and Innovations. Philosophy and Faculty of Technology. University of Vaasa is one of the largest business universities in Finland. The university has personnel of around 500 which includes a teaching staff of 180 and 54 professors. Around 5000 students are currently studying in various degree programs at the university.

Petri Salo Finnish educationist

Petri Salo is Finnish educational researcher, and public figure in adult education. He is a professor in adult education at the Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa (Finland). Previously he has worked as Assistant Professor and Professor of adult education besides his institution also at University of Tampere. From the beginning of 2007, he is the chief editor for the Finnish scientific journal Aikuiskasvatus.

Seppo Evwaraye is a Finnish former offensive guard in American football and current general manager and interim head coach of Finnish team Wasa Royals of Maple league. Seppo was first signed by Carolina Panthers as a free agent in 2006, and also played for Minnesota Vikings as an international practice squad member.

Vaasa University of Applied Sciences popularly called VAMK, is an international higher education institution in Vaasa, Finland. VAMK educates Bachelors of Business Administration, Engineering, Hospitality Management and Social Services as well as Registered Nurses and Public Health Nurses in Finnish, Swedish and English for the demanding needs of the working life. It has approximately 3,300 students enrolled and a staff of circa 250 members.

Wasaline, previously Oy Vaasa-Umeå Ab (1948–1965), Vaasa-Umeå AB (1965–1979), Oy Vaasanlaivat – Vasabåtarna Ab (1979–1991) and Wasa Line (1991–1993) is different names for the Finnish shipping company that ceased trading in 1993 when it merged into Silja Line. Since 2013 the name is being used by a new company that operates between Vaasa (homebase) and Umeå.

Margareta Capsia Finnish artist

Margareta Capsia was a Swedish/Finnish artist, the first professional native female artist in Finland, which during her lifetime was a part of Sweden. She mainly painted altarpieces, but was also active as a portrait painter.

The governorates of the Grand Principality of Finland were the administrative division of the Grand Principality of Finland as part of the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917.

Grönvik glasbruk or simply Grönvik was a glassworks in the present-day Grönvik village in Korsholm, Western Finland. It was founded by merchant Johan Grönberg and existed from 1812 to 1907. Several glass manufactures were produced at Grönvik. At first bottles and drinking-glass were made here, but beginning in the 1890s solely window glass. Also pharmaceutical glass was manufactured. The glassworks produced as the first factory in Finland pressed glass, which came about from the 1840s. The domestic market for glass was during the time of the glassworks smallish and glassblowing products were exported to e.g. Lübeck, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm and Denmark, as well as to other parts of Europe. Grönvik was able to successfully assert its position, despite the competition from other glassworks in Finland. Eventually, it became the most distinguished in the country. The glassworks also become the largest in the Nordic countries.

Grönvik gård

Grönvik gård is a mansion in the village of Grönvik, Korsholm municipality in Western Finland. The house is in Swedish mansion style. Its shell is made of logs and the facade of wooden deals, on top of birch bark. It remains on the same location as where it was built. The year of construction and first owner of the mansion are not known, though it is assumed that it was built around 1780, for an associate judge of appeal in Vaasa, Johan Casimir de la Chapelle. However, it might have built by master builder Johan Johansson Kallinen (Kallis), who was registered in Iskmo 1791–1802. Both of them owned land of the hide on which the mansion lies. The original appearance of the house is unknown too, however, it is thought that the house was originally in one floor, with the current second story possibly added in 1812.

Vasa övningsskola (VÖS) is a Swedish-speaking normal school in Vaasa, Finland. VÖS is a part of Åbo Akademi University, and its Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies located in Vaasa. It is the only Swedish normal school in Finland. VÖS provides preschool, primary and lower and upper secondary education, and in addition is one of the 17 schools in Finland with an International Baccalaureate upper secondary school programme.

FC Korsholm

FC Korsholm is a football club from Korsholm (Mustasaari), the municipality that surrounds the city of Vaasa, in Finland. The club was formed in 1998 and their home ground is at the Botniahalli, Sepänkylän keskusurheilukenttä. The men's first team currently plays in the Kolmonen. The Chairman of FC Korsholm is Calle Berg.

From 1906 to 1926, the Finnish Swimming Federation did not arrange a dedicated national competition, but spread out the hosting duties of the championship events to multiple clubs.

Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna Swedish politician

Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna af Korsholm och Wasa, 1st Count of Korsholma and Vaasa, Finnish: Gabriel Pentinpoika Oxenstierna, was a Swedish statesman, jurist and diplomat.




  1. "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Suomen virallinen tilasto (SVT): Väestön ennakkotilasto [verkkojulkaisu]. Tammikuu 2019" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  3. 1 2 "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 and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  5. "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  6. "Vaasa, Finland Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  7. "Suomen muuttuva ilmasto -". Ilmasto-opas (in Finnish). Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  8. "Suomen muuttuva ilmasto -". Ilmasto-opas (in Finnish). Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  9. "Merituuli ja maatuuli - Ilmatieteen laitos". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  10. "Kesätilastot - Ilmatieteen laitos". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  11. "City (02911) - WMO Weather Station". NOAA . Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  12. "Etusivu." Future Film. Retrieved on 19 January 2011. "Future Film Oy - Hovrättsesplanaden 9, 65100 VAASA - FIN"
  13. "Contact Information Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine ." Future Film. Retrieved on 19 January 2011. "Office Oy Future Film Ab Hovioikeudenpuistikko 9 65100 VAASA FINLAND"
  14. "Yhteystiedot & Palaute." Kotipizza. Retrieved on 11 October 2011. "Käyntiosoite: Vaskiluodon Satamaterminaali II kerros, 65170 Vaasa"
  15. "Vänorter" (in Swedish). Malmö stad. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  16. Bellingham Sister Cities Association,




Tritonia is the Academic Library of Vaasa and is shared by the city's three universities Tritonia, Vasa vetenskapliga bibliotek, sommaren 2003..jpg
Tritonia is the Academic Library of Vaasa and is shared by the city's three universities