Kuopio, city (1998 pop. 86,203), Eastern Finland prov., central Finland, on Lake Kallavesi. Situated in a large forest region, its industries are based on timber. It is at the head of the Saimaa lake system and is a tourist and inland-navigation center. Kuopio was chartered in 1782. A university was founded there in 1972.
Kuopio is a Finnish city and municipality located in the province of Eastern Finland and the region of Northern Savonia. A population of 91,000 makes it the eighth biggest city in the country. The city has a total area of 1,730 km², of which 805 km² is water and half forest. The population density is only 52 inhabitants/km², but the center of the city is populated very densely, even comparable to the Helsinki metropolitan area. The population of the entire Kuopio region is 119,472 (source: Kuopion Kaupunkilehti, 19 March 2008, bottom of page 4).

Kuopio was founded in 1653 by Governor Peter Brahe, but the official date is recognized as November 17, 1775, when King Gustav III of Sweden ordered the establishment of the city of Kuopio. The municipality of Vehmersalmi joined the city of Kuopio on January 1, 2005 like the municipality of Kuopion maalaiskunta in 1969 and the municipality of Riistavesi in 1973.

The city is surrounded by lake Kallavesi, and several parts of it are built on islands. 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. Besides being a very popular outdoor recreation area, Puijo serves also as a stage for a yearly World Cup ski jumping competition.

Transport connections to Kuopio include Pendolino trains and air service from Finnair and Blue1.

Education and business

Kuopio has always been a school town. 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 Kuopio, the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Vocational College of Northern Savonia and the Kuopio department of the Sibelius Academy.

Kuopio is known as a strong center of health (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 Kuopio), safety (education in Emergency Services is centered in Kuopio ) and welfare professions, as the major organisations University of Kuopio, Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Technology Centre Teknia are particularly oriented to those areas.

There are about 3,800 enterprises in Kuopio, of which approximately 150 are export companies. These provide nearly 40,000 jobs. As of January 1 2006, the biggest employers of the city were:

People and culture

Kuopio is known as the cultural center of Eastern Finland. 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 and Finland Ice Marathon In Finland the inhabitants of Kuopio have a special reputation: they are known as jovial, verbally joking and lacking self-irony. People of 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 sweetspot for Public Health studies. The North Karelia Project by the University of Kuopio in the 1970s was one of its first steps towards world class research.

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

Kuopio is the seat of the Finnish Orthodox Church. This is an autonomous cell within the autocephalous jurisdiction of 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.

Notable persons

Sports in Kuopio

Kuopio is bidding for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.

Sister Cities


"Kuopio" is one of the few words that is typed entirely with the right hand on the QWERTY keyboard, but entirely with the left hand on the Dvorak keyboard layout.

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