|— City —|
|• City manager||Matti Pennanen|
|• City||1,513.37 km2 (584.32 sq mi)|
|• Land||1,410.17 km2 (544.47 sq mi)|
|• Water||103.2 km2 (39.8 sq mi)|
|• Urban||187.1 km2 (72.2 sq mi)|
|Area rank||67th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||6th largest in Finland|
|• Density||135.61/km2 (351.2/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||915.8/km2 (2,372/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||97.3% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||17%|
|• 15 to 64||70.5%|
|• 65 or older||12.5%|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Municipal tax rate||19%|
Oulu (pronounced [ˈoulu] ( listen), Swedish: Uleåborg [ˈʉːleɔˌbɔrj]) is a city and municipality of 191,237 inhabitants (28 February 2013) in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, in Finland. It is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the fifth most populous city in the country. It is one of the northernmost larger cities in the world. Oulu is considered one of Europe's "living labs", where residents experiment with new technology (such as NFC tags and ubi-screens) at a community-wide scale.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
Oulu was founded on April 9, 1605, by King Charles IX of Sweden opposite the fort built on the island of Linnansaari. This took place after favourable peace settlements with the Russians, which removed the threat of attack via the main east-west waterway, the river Oulu. The surrounding areas were populated much earlier. Oulu is situated by the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of river Oulujoki, which is an ancient trading site. Oulu was the capital of the Province of Oulu from 1776 to 2009.
In 1822, a major fire destroyed much of the city. The architect Carl Ludvig Engel, chiefly known for the neoclassical (empire style) buildings around Helsinki Senate Square, was enlisted to provide the plan for the rebuilding of the city. With minor changes, this plan remains the basis for the layout of Oulu's town center. The Oulu Cathedral was built in 1832 to his designs, with the spire being finished in 1844.
Once known for wood tar and salmon, Oulu has evolved into a major high-tech centre, particularly in IT and wellness technology. Other prominent industries include wood refining, paper, and steel. The University of Oulu is located six kilometres north of the city center. The Oulu Airport is the second busiest in Finland.
The city is named after the river Oulujoki, which originates in the lake Oulujärvi. There have been a number of theories for the origin of the name Oulu. One possible source for the name Oulu is a word in the Sami language meaning 'flood water', but there are other suggestions. At minimum, the structure of the word requires that if originally given by speakers of a Uralic language, the name must be a derivative. In all likelihood it also predates Finnish settlement and is thus a loanword from one of the now-extinct Saami languages once spoken in the area.
The most probable theory is that the name derives from the Finnish dialectal word oulu, meaning "floodwater", which is related to e.g. Southern Saami åulo, meaning "melted snow", åulot meaning "thaw" (of unknown ultimate origin). Two other word families have also been speculated to be related. The first is seen in the Northern Savo dialectal word uula and its Saami counterpart oalli, both meaning "river channel". The second is the Uralic root reconstructed as *uwa, meaning "river bed" (reflected as vuo in modern Finnish, also in derivatives such as vuolas "heavy-flowing"). To either of these roots, some Saami variety would have to be assumed having added further derivational suffixes.
Oulu has a subarctic climate with cold, snowy winters and short, warm summers. Average annual temperature is 2 °C (36 °F). The average annual precipitation is 433 mm (17.05 in) falling 98 days per year, mostly in late summer and fall.
|Climate data for Oulu, Finland|
|Average high °C (°F)||−6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−9.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−15.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||26
|Avg. precipitation days||8||7||6||6||7||8||9||10||10||9||9||9||98|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||18.6||65.0||127.1||189.0||266.6||288.0||285.2||204.6||126.0||74.4||27.0||6.2||1,677.7|
|Source: Hong Kong Observatory,|
Many artists, writers, and musicians live in the city. A variety of concerts—rock, classical, and jazz—as well as other cultural events take place each year. Examples include the Oulu Music Video Festival, the Air Guitar World Championships, and the Musixine Music Film Competition, all in August. In July is the annual rock festival Qstock. The Oulu Music Festival is held in winter and the Oulunsalo Music Festival in summer. The Irish Festival of Oulu takes place each October and the International Children's Film Festival each November.
Kalmah is a melodic death metal-band from Oulu that formed in 1998.
The University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences (formerly Oulu Polytechnic) are located in Oulu.
Oulu is home to the most northerly architecture school in the world. The school is best known for its strong regionalistic ideas for developing architecture. This movement is named "the Oulu school" ("Oulun koulu") of architecture.
Oulu Vocational College has over 13 000 students. It houses several different study subjects in different units which are spread over Oulu and neighboring municipalities. Oulu Vocational College School of Business Studies is one of the few vocational schools which has game programming in it´s curriculum.
Oulu is served by Oulu Airport, the second largest airport in Finland by passenger volume. It is located 15 kilometres (9 mi) south-west of the city centre.
The shortest travel time from Oulu railway station to Helsinki Central railway station is 5 h 44 mins, operated by VR. Other destinations include, for instance, Kolari, Rovaniemi, Seinäjoki and Tampere.
The most important road in Oulu is Highway 4 (E8/E75) that runs from Helsinki to Utsjoki via Lahti, Jyväskylä, Oulu, Kemi and Rovaniemi. Other highways running to and from Oulu are Highway 20 to Kuusamo and Highway 22 to Kajaani.
As of December 31, 2008, the active working population was employed as follows:
|Farming, forestry and mining||582|
In 2011, the most important employers were:
|Employer||No. of employees|
|City of Oulu||9,709|
|Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District||6,144|
|University of Oulu||3,045|
|Nokia Siemens Networks||2,100|
|The Oulu Region Joint Authority for Vocational Training||1,955|
|Cooperative Arina Group (S Group)||1,107|
|Stora Enso Group||1,155|
|ISS Palvelut Oy||730|
Ice hockey is the most popular spectator sport in Oulu. The local club Kärpät have won the SM-liiga championship title five times (1981, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008). They have also been the runner-up in the IIHF European Champions Cup twice, in 2005 and 2006.
In football AC Oulu and OPS are playing in Ykkönen, the second tier of Finnish league system. Up to date only OPS have claimed Finnish football championship by winning Mestaruussarja twice in 1979 and 1980.
Oulu has two well known bandy clubs. OLS which has become Finnish champions 14 times, and OPS with their 7 championships. Currently only OLS is playing in Bandyliiga, the top level in Finnish bandy. In 2001 the city was the main venue for the Bandy World Championships.
Terwa Marathon & Run is an annual event run in late May (since 1989).
The educational department takes part in Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in Finland.
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