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Kuopio is a Finnishmarker city and municipality located in the province of Eastern Finlandmarker and the region of Northern Savoniamarker. A population of makes it the ninth biggest city in the country. The city has a total area of , of which is water and half forest. The population density is only , but the city's urban areas are populated very densely (urban area: 1 617.6 /km²), nationally second only to capital Helsinkimarker (urban area: 1 690.0 /km²). The population of the entire Kuopio region is 119,472.

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 Vehmersalmimarker joined the city of Kuopio on January 1, 2005 like the municipality of Kuopion maalaiskunta in 1969 and the municipality of Riistavesi in 1973. Karttulamarker will join Kuopio in 2011.
The city is surrounded by lake Kallavesimarker, and several parts of it are built on islands. Kuopio's ample waterfronts and islands are also utilized in the Saaristokaupunki (lit. Archipelago city) -project, the biggest residential area currently being built in Finland. Saaristokaupunki will accommodate a total of 14,000 inhabitants in 2015. All houses will be situated no more than 500 meters from the nearest lakeshore.

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 Puijomarker and the Puijo towermarker. Besides being a very popular outdoor recreation area, Puijo serves also as a stage for a yearly World Cup ski jumping competition.

The city has a nationally unique feature in its street network, where every second street is practically a pedestrian and cycle street, so called "rännikatu" (lit. rain gutter street). These streets provide pedestrians a calm environment aside from the main street traffic. This setup dates back all the way to 1776 and the first town plan by Pehr Kjellman. Originally rännikatu, gränd (in Swedish) were created as a fire barrier to prevent a possible fire escalating in a city mostly built with wood.

Transport connections to Kuopio include Pendolino trains and air service from Kuopio Airportmarker with Finnair, Blue1 and Finncomm (domestic, to Helsinki-Vantaamarker), and airBaltic (international, to Rigamarker).

The city was a finalist to host the inaugural edition of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.
Biggest Employers as of Jan 1, 2008
Employer Staff
City of Kuopio 5 905
Kuopio University Hospital 3 898
University of Kuopiomarker 1 732
PeeÄssä Co-op 734
Savo Consortium for Education 706
Niuvanniemi Hospital 629
Itella Group 553
ISS A/S 490
Savonia University of Applied Sciences 439
Honeywell 370
Keskisuomalainen 296
Kesko 296
Tieto 288
OP-Pohjola Group 265
Lemminkäinen Group 263

Education and business

Higher Education in Kuopio
University Students
University of Kuopiomarker 6 229
Savonia University of Applied Sciences 5 000
HUMAK University of Applied Sciences ~150
Sibelius Academymarker ~100
Kuopio City Hall (built 1882–1886) on a fair day.
Kuopio has always been a city of education. 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 Kuopiomarker, the Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Vocational College of Northern Savonia and the Kuopio department of the Sibelius Academymarker.

Kuopio is known as a strong center of health (e.g. 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 Technopolis Kuopio are particularly oriented to those areas.
There are about 4,200 enterprises in Kuopio, of which approximately 180 are export companies. These provide about 45,000 jobs.

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 Festivalmarker, Kuopio Dance Festival, Kuopio Rockcock, Kuopio Wine Festival and Finland Ice Marathon. A notable place, however, to enjoy the local flavor of Kuopio life and food is Sampo, a fish restaurant loved by locals and tourists as well.

In Finland the inhabitants of Kuopio have a special reputation: they are known as jovial and verbally joking. Within the Savo culture, the onus is placed on the listener to interpret the story. 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 Kuopiomarker in coordination with the National Public Health Institute and the World Health Organization, beginning 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 Tamperemarker and Oulumarker.

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 bid for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, a youth sports festival in the tradition of the Olympics. It became a finalist in November 2008, but ultimately lost to Innsbruck, Austriamarker. Kuopio's image as a small city with a large University and many active young people was considered a model of what the International Olympic Committeemarker seeks for the Games.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kuopio is twinned with:


External links

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