On this website you will find a lot of information about Finland, about the history , nature and national parks , the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, the weather and the seasons, about saunas and popular destinations.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomi, Suomen tasavalta), is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia in the East. Finland is a Scandinavian country with its capital Helsinki, by far the largest city.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +2 , during winter time.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +3 , during daylight saving time.
In Finland it is an hour later than in the Netherlands and the country also has summer and winter time.
Most Common Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Highest waterfall: Pihtsusköngäs: 17 meters
Highest mountain: Halti (1,328 meters)
Largest lake: Lake Saimaa (4,500 km²)
Finland has a population of 5,563,153 inhabitants (2023) and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, an Ugric language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe, only 16.4 people per km2. Lapland is the most sparsely populated with 2 to 3 people per km2.
Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended, about 9000 BC. The first settler artifacts left behind that have the current characteristics with those found in Estonia, Russia and Norway. The earliest humans were hunter-gatherers, who did this using stone tools. The first pottery appeared in 5200 BC, when the Kam Ceramic culture was introduced. The arrival of the Rope Beaker culture in the southern coast of Finland between 3000 and 2500 BC. coincided with the beginning of agriculture.
Bronze and Iron Age
The Bronze Age and the Iron Age were characterized by extensive contacts with other cultures in Fennoscandinavia and the Baltic areas and settlement increased towards the end of the Iron Age. At that time, Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewelry.
Part of Sweden
From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish colonization of the coast of Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland was the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to hold public office.
Finland declared its independence after the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik Red Guard backed by the newly emerging Soviet Russia fighting the White Guard backed by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a Kingdom, the country became a Republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union repeatedly attempted to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Salla, Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, but it retained its independence.
Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality. The 1948 Finno-Soviet Treaty gave the Soviet Union leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, and finally the Eurozone upon its creation, in 1999.
Finland was a relatively latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agricultural country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparation payments from Finland, not only in money, but also in materials, such as ships and machinery. This forced Finland to industrialize. It quickly developed an advanced economy and built a comprehensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread wealth and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Finland is a top performer in many national achievements, including education, economy, competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the world by quality of life, human development and press freedom index and as the most stable country in the world in 2011 – 2016 in the states index, and second in the Global Gender Gap Report. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The landscape of ubiquitous forests and water has been a primary source of inspiration for Finnish art and literature. Starting with Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala, the country’s great artists and architects – including Alvar Aalto, Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Juha Ilmari Leiviskä and Eero Saarinen – as well as its musicians, writers and poets – by Jean Sibelius to Väinö Linna, Juhani Aho, Zacharias Topelius and Eino Leino – all drew themes and images from their national landscape. One of the first modernist poets, Edith Södergran, expressed her relationship with the Finnish environment in this way in “Homecoming”.
The notion of nature as the true home of the Finn is expressed time and again in Finnish proverbs and folk wisdom. However, the harsh climate in the northern part of the country has resulted in a population concentration in the southern third of Finland, with about a fifth of the country’s population living in and around Helsinki, Finland’s largest city and northernmost. of continental Europe. But despite the fact that most Finns live in towns and cities, nature – especially the forest – is never far from their minds and hearts.
Finland is densely forested and contains some 188,000 lakes, numerous rivers and extensive swamps; When viewed from the air, Finland looks like an intricate blue-green puzzle. Except in the northwest, the relief features do not vary much, and travelers on the ground or on the water can rarely see beyond the trees in their immediate vicinity. Yet the landscape has a striking beauty.
Finland’s underlying structure is a huge worn shield composed of ancient rock, mainly granite, dating to the Precambrian (from about 4 billion to 540 million years ago). The country is low in the southern part of the country and higher in the center and northeast, while the few mountainous regions are in the extreme northwest, bordering Finland’s borders with Sweden and Norway. In this area there are several high peaks, including Mount Halti, which at 1,328 meters is the highest mountain in Finland.
Finland’s coastline, some 4600 km long, is extremely jagged and dotted with thousands of islands.