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Joensuu is a city in eastern Finland. It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the North Karelia region. It was founded in 1848. The population of Joensuu is about 58 000(2005).

Joensuu is a vivid student city with over 6000 students in The University of Joensuu and 3500 in North Karelia Polytechnic.

Largest employers are The City of Joensuu, North Karelian Hospital District Federation of Municipalities, Abloy and Perlos.

The European Forest Institute, The University and many other institutes and export enterprises such as Abloy, Perlos and Timberjack give Joensuu an international flavour.


File:Joensuun pääkirkko.jpg
The main Lutheran church of Joensuu is known of its sharp towers, which in this image are coloured by midnight sun and having moon behind them

The city of Joensuu, which was founded by the Czar Nicholas I of Russia in 1848, is the center of the region and the capital of North Karelia. During the 19th century Joensuu was a city of manufacture and commerce. When in 1860 the city received special rights to commerce and the restrictions against industry were removed, local sawmills started to grow and prosper. Water traffic was improved by the building of the Saimaa Canal. Thus, lively commerce between the regions of North Karelia, St.Petersburg and Central Europe was made possible. At the end of the 19th century Joensuu was one of the largest harbour cities in Finland.

Throughout the centuries Karelian traders have travelled along the Pielisjoki River. The river has always been the lively heart of the city. Canals, which were completed at the end of 1870, increased the river traffic. Thousands of steamboats, barges and logging boats sailed along the river during this golden age of river traffic. The Pielisjoki River has also been an important log-raft route, providing wood for the sawmills and for the whole lumber industry.

During the last few decades, the small agrarian town has developed into a vital center of the province. Success in regional annexations, the establishment of the province of Karelia and investments in education have been the most decisive actions in this development. The University of Joensuu has in twenty-five years grown to have five faculties. The University of Joensuu is one of the secrets for the vitality of the city and of all North Karelia. Diversified international cooperation in science, industry and commerce benefits the whole region.

The nearness of the eastern border has been an important factor in the history of the city. The Republic of Karelia is once again a significant area for cooperation with nearby regions in Russia. Export companies in Joensuu continue traditions in foreign trade of the 19th century. The city itself gives many possibilities for different kinds of activities. High-quality cultural events and clean nature increase the attractiveness of the city.

Joensuu has been at times referred to as the 'Forest Capital of Europe', mainly due to the fact that the European Forest Institute is based there. There are other forestry research and educational facilities in Joensuu as well.


Through a symbolic gate of Joensuu is seen the central square, central park and tower of town hall
  • Population (on 2005): about 58,000
  • Unemployment rate (on March 28, 2002): 17.5%
  • Total area: 120.3 km²
  • Land: 81.9 m²
  • Tax rate: 18.5 %
  • Location: 62.36°N, 29.45°E
  • Nearest airport with regular air service: Joensuu airport Liperi, 11 km
  • Nearest inland port: Joensuu
  • Districts: 26


Distances to other Finnish cities:

City Distance Direction
Helsinki 437 km SW
Jyväskylä 245 km E
Kuopio 136 km NW
Lappeenranta 235 km SW
Oulu 393 km NW
Savonlinna 133 km SW
Tampere 393 km SW
Turku 542 km SW
Vaasa 492 km W

External links

bg:Йоенсу de:Joensuu ro:Joensuu fi:Joensuu sv:Joensuu