Lapland (Finnish: Lappi, Finnish pronunciation: [ˈlɑpːi]; Northern Sami: Sápmi; Swedish: Lappland; Latin: Lapponia) is the largest and northernmost region of Finland. The municipalities in the region cooperate in a Regional Council. There are 21 municipalities in Lapland region. Lapland borders the region of North Ostrobothnia in the south. It also borders the Gulf of Bothnia, Norrbotten County in Sweden, Troms and Finnmark County in Norway, and Murmansk Oblast and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. Topography varies from vast mires and forests of the South to fells in the North. The Arctic circle crosses Lapland, so polar phenomena such as the midnight sun and polar night can be seen in Lapland.
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 67°N 026°E|
|• Total||100,366 km2 (38,752 sq mi)|
|• Land||92,667 km2 (35,779 sq mi)|
|• Water||7,699 km2 (2,973 sq mi)|
|• Density||1.8/km2 (4.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FI-10|
Lapland's cold and wintry climate, coupled with its relative abundance of conifer trees such as pines and spruces means that it has become associated with Christmas in some countries, most notably the United Kingdom, and holidays to Lapland are common towards the end of the year. However, Lapland region has developed its infrastructure for year-round tourism and for example 2019 on snow-free period tourism increased more than during the winter season. Rovaniemi Airport is the third busiest airport in Finland. Besides tourism, other important sectors are trade, manufacturing and construction.
The region was associated with Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas when first proposed by Finnish radio host Markus Rautio in 1927.
The area of the Lapland region is 100,367 km², which consists of 92,667 km² of dry land, 6,316 km² fresh water and 1,383 km² of sea water. In the south it borders the Northern Ostrobothnia region, in the west Sweden, in the north and west Norway and in the east Russia. Its borders follow three rivers: Tana, Muonio and Torne. The largest lake is Lake Inari, 1,102 km². Highest point is on Halti, which reaches 1,324 m (4,344 ft) on the Finnish side of the border.
The areas of Enontekiö and Utsjoki in northern Lapland are known as Fell-Lapland. The bulk and remaining Lapland is known as Forest-Lapland. Lake Inari, the many fens of the region and the Salla-Saariselkä mountains are all part of Forest-Lapland. Fell-Lapland lies in the fells of the Scandinavian Mountains. Where it is not made up of barren ground like blockfields but instead has a vegetation of birch forests, willow thickets or heath. Common soil types in Forest-Lapland are till and sand with conifer forests growing on top. These forests show little variation across Lapland. Compared to southern Finland forest tree species grow slower. Understory is typically made of blueberry, lichens, crowberry and ling.
The landscape of large parts of Lapland is an inselberg plain. It has been suggested the inselberg plains were formed in the Late Cretaceous or Paleogene period by pediplanation or etchplanation. Relative to southern Finland Lapland stands out for its thick till cover. The hills and mountains are typically made up of resistant rocks like granite, gneiss, quartzite and amphibolite. The ice sheet that covered Finland intermittently during the Quaternary grew out from the Scandinavian Mountains. The central parts of the Fennoscandian ice sheet had cold-based conditions during times of maximum extent. This means that in areas like north-east Sweden and northern Finland pre-existing landforms and deposits escaped glacier erosion and are particularly well preserved at present. Northwest to southeast movement of the ice has left a field of aligned drumlins in central Lapland. Ribbed moraines found in the same area reflects a later west to east change in movement of the ice. During the last deglaciation ice in Lapland retreated from the north-east, east and southeast so that the lower course of the Tornio was the last part of Finland to be deglaciated 10,100 years ago. Present-day periglacial conditions in Lapland are reflected in the existence of numerous palsas, permafrost landforms developed on peat.
The bedrock of Lapland belongs to the Karelian Domain occupying the bulk of the region, the Kola Domain in the northeast around Lake Inari and the Scandinavian Caledonides in the tip of Lapland's northwestern arm. With few exceptions rocks are of Archean and Proterozoic age. Granites, gneiss, metasediments and metavolcanics are common rocks while greenstone belts are recurring features. More rare rock associations include mafic and ultramafic layered intrusions and one of the world's oldest ophiolites. The region hosts valuable deposits of gold, chromium, iron and phosphate.
The very first snowflakes fall to the ground in late August or early September over the higher peaks. The first ground-covering snow arrives on average in October or late September. Permanent snow cover comes between mid-October and the end of November, significantly earlier than in southern Finland. The winter is long, approximately seven months. The snow cover is usually thickest in early April. Soon after that the snow cover starts to melt fast. The thickest snow cover ever was measured in Kilpisjärvi in 19 April 1997 and it was 190 cm. The annual mean temperature varies from a couple of degrees below zero in the northwest to a couple of degrees above zero in the southwest (Kemi-Tornio area). Lapland exhibits a trend of increasing precipitation towards the south, with the dryest parts being located at the two arms.
The area of Lapland was split between two counties of the Swedish Realm from 1634 to 1809. The northern and western areas were part of Västerbotten County, while the southern areas (so-called Peräpohjola) were part of Ostrobothnia County (after 1755 Oulu County). The northern and western areas were transferred in 1809 to Oulu County, which became Oulu Province. Under the royalist constitution of Finland during the first half of 1918, Lapland was to become a Grand Principality and part of the inheritance of the proposed king of Finland. Lapland Province was separated from Oulu Province in 1938.
During the Interim Peace and beginning of the Continuation War the government of Finland allowed the Nazi German Army to station itself in Lapland as a part of Operation Barbarossa. After Finland made a separate peace with the Soviet Union in 1944, the Soviet Union demanded that Finland expel the German army from its soil. The result was the Lapland War, during which almost the whole civilian population of Lapland was evacuated. The Germans used scorched earth tactics in Lapland, before they withdrew to Norway. Forty to forty-seven percent of the dwellings in Lapland and 417 kilometres (259 mi) of railroads were destroyed, 9,500 kilometres (5,900 mi) of roadways were mined, destroyed or were unusable, and 675 bridges and 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of telephone lines were also destroyed. Ninety percent of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, was burned to the ground, with only a few pre-war buildings surviving the destruction.
After the Second World War, Petsamo municipality and part of Salla municipality were ceded to the Soviet Union. The decades following the war were a period of rebuilding, industrialization and fast economic growth. Large hydroelectric plants and mines were established and cities, roads and bridges were rebuilt from the destruction of the war. In the late 20th century the economy of Lapland started to decline, mines and factories became unprofitable and the population started to decline rapidly across most of the region.
|1. United Kingdom||233,295||273,603||285,359|
|5. China (including Hong Kong)||54,116||85,109||90,751|
Lapland is the home of about 3.4% of Finland's total population, and is by far the least densely populated area in the country. The biggest towns in Lapland are Rovaniemi (the regional capital), Tornio, and Kemi. In 2011, Lapland had a population of 183,320 of whom 177,950 spoke Finnish, 1,526 spoke Sami, 387 spoke Swedish and 3,467 spoke some other languages as their mother tongue. Of the Sami languages, Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami are spoken in the region. Pelkosenniemi is the smallest municipality in Finland in terms of population, while Savukoski is sparsely populated in terms of population density.
Lapland's population has been in decline since 1990.
|People with a foreign background|
|Country of origin||Population (2017)|
The 21 municipalities of Lapland are organised into a single Region, where they cooperate in the Lapland Regional Council, Lapin liitto or Lapplands förbund.
Lapland has seven seats in the 200-seat parliament of Finland. In the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election, three seats went to Centre Party, and the Finns Party, the Left Alliance, the Social Democratic Party and the National Coalition Party got one seat each.
The votes were distributed as follows:
Sami Domicile Area
The northernmost municipalities of Lapland where the Sami people are the most numerous, form the Sami Domicile Area. Sami organization exists in parallel with the provincial one.
The region of Lapland is made up of 21 municipalities, of which four have city status (marked in bold).
(pop. per km²)
- Riisitunturi National Park in Posio, southern Lapland is renowned for its crown snow trees
- Saana fell in Enontekiö with Lake Kilpisjärvi in northwesternmost Finland; one of the most recognized landscapes in Finland
- A traditional Lapponian timber house in Siida museum
- Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, during wintertime
- Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi; tourism is crucial to Lapland's economy
- Kakslauttanen's igloo village in Sodankylä
- Sámi people celebrating Easter
- River Tornio near Ylitornio town
- Flag of Sámi
- Levi, a ski resort in Kittilä
- Lapland was burnt down almost totally in World War II (Sodankylä)
- Enontekiö Church, a typical post-World War II-erected church
- Reindeer in Enontekiö
- Utsjoki Church and church cabins; the northernmost church in Finland
- Tornio Town Hall
- Wilderness in Enontekiö
- A view towards Lake Inari
- A general view of Kemi town centre with the Gulf of Bothnia in the background
- Pallastunturi Fell in Muonio in wintertime twilight
- Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church from 1760 managed to avoid getting burnt in World War II
- Kemijärvi town centre
- A giant's kettle in Salla, one of the largest in the world
- A bilingual (Finnish and Sámi) street sign
- A view from Saana fell
- Architecture in Kemi
- Keminmaa Church
- Lake Iso-Vietonen, Ylitornio
- River Kevo in Utsjoki
- Sami boots in a museum in Rovaniemi
- An old gold mine in Inari
- Kolari Railway Station, the northernmost Railway Station in Finland
- Pihtsusköngäs Waterfall, Enontekiö
- Lappia House in Rovaniemi, a culture venue designed by Alvar Aalto
- Ranua Church
- Isokuru Canyon, Pelkosenniemi
- A Traditional North-Osthrobothnian house in Tornio
- Lake Peltojärvi in Inari
- A view from Haparanda, Sweden to Tornio; the two towns are located so close, divided only by a river, that they're called a twin-town
- A view from the annual Snow Castle in Kemi
- A Sámi shaman drum mask
- A polar bear in Ranua; although in a zoo.
- Finnish Lakeland
- Lapland War
- Laponia (historical province of Finland)
- National parks in Lapland
- Sami people
- Sápmi (area)
- Sea Lapland
- Southern Lapland
- Among the glacial deposits of Finnish Lapland pre-Quaternary Cenozoic marine microfossils have been found. These findings were first reported by Astrid Cleve in 1934, leading to the assumption that the areas were drowned by the sea during the Eocene. However, as of 2013, no sedimentary deposit from this time has been found and the marine fossils may have arrived much later by wind transport.
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- Eilu, P., Ahtola, T., Äikäs, O., Halkoaho, T., Heikura, P., Hulkki, H., Iljina, M., Juopperi, H., Karinen, T., Kärkkäinen, N., Konnunaho, J., Kontinen, A., Kontoniemi, O., Korkiakoski, E., Korsakova, M., Kuivasaari, T., Kyläkoski, M., Makkonen, H., Niiranen, T., Nikander, J., Nykänen, V., Perdahl, J.-A., Pohjolainen, E., Räsänen, J., Sorjonen-Ward, P., Tiainen, M., Tontti, M., Torppa, A. & Västi, K. (2012). "Metallogenic areas in Finland". In Eilu, Pasi (ed.). Mineral deposits and metallogeny of Fennoscandia. Geological Survey of Finland, Special Paper. 53. Espoo. pp. 19–32. ISBN 978-952-217-175-7.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "Snow statistics". Finnish Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-11-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Eduskuntavaalit 2019, Tulospalvelu, Lapin vaalipiiri
- Lapland Regional Council – Official site
- House of Lapland
- Lapland State Provincial Office – Official site
- Lapland Club
- Finnish Lapland travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences – video portal – Videos about Lapland experiences and lifestyle.
- Levi-Lapland – Information on Lapland, the ski resorts and the Lapland Super Pass.
- Midnight Sun Film Festival