Savonlinna is a town and a municipality of inhabitants in the southeast of Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, in the heart of the Saimaa
Saimaa is a lake in southeastern Finland. At approximately , it is the largest lake in Finland, and the fourth largest in Europe. It was formed by glacial melting at the end of the Ice Age. Major towns on the lakeshore include Lappeenranta, Imatra, Savonlinna, Mikkeli, Varkaus, and Joensuu. The...

 lake region. The Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 name of the town means "Castle of Savonia
Savonia (historical province)
Savonia is a historical province in the east of Finland. It borders to Uusimaa, Tavastia, Ostrobothnia, and Karelia. Largest cities in Savo by population are Kuopio, Mikkeli, Savonlinna and Varkaus.-Administration:...

" and the Swedish name means "Newcastle".


The city was founded in 1639, based on Olavinlinna
Olavinlinna is a 15th century three-tower castle located in Savonlinna, Finland. It is the northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing.- Construction :...

 castle. The castle was founded by Erik Axelsson Tott in 1475 in an effort to protect Savonia
Savonia (historical province)
Savonia is a historical province in the east of Finland. It borders to Uusimaa, Tavastia, Ostrobothnia, and Karelia. Largest cities in Savo by population are Kuopio, Mikkeli, Savonlinna and Varkaus.-Administration:...

 and to control the unstable border between the Kingdom of Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and its Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n adversary. During the Russo-Swedish War (1741–1743), the castle was captured by Field-Marshal Peter Lacy
Peter Lacy
Count Peter von Lacy, or Pyotr Petrovich Lacy , as he was known in Russia , was one of the most successful Russian imperial commanders before Rumyantsev and Suvorov...

. It was held by Russia between 1743 and 1812, when it was granted back to Finland as a part of the "Old Finland
Old Finland
thumb|right|260px|The areas that Sweden lost to Russia in the wars of 1721 and 1743Old Finland is a name used for the areas that Russia gained from Sweden in the Great Northern War and in the Russo-Swedish War...


In 1973 the municipality of Sääminki was consolidated with Savonlinna. In the beginning of year 2009 the municipality of Savonranta
Savonranta is a former municipality of Finland. It became part of Savonlinna in the beginning of the year 2009.It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Southern Savonia region. The municipality had a population of 1,263 and covered an area of 568.59 km² of which 182.55...

 and a 31.24 km² (12.1 sq mi) land strip from Enonkoski
Enonkoski is a municipality of Finland. It is located about north of Savonlinna in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Southern Savonia region.-History:...

 between Savonlinna and Savonranta were consolidated with Savonlinna.


This town is 335 kilometres (208.2 mi) away from the capital of Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 by road, some four hours away by train. There is an airport
Savonlinna Airport
-Statistics:-External links:* *...

 in the town, and the journey to Helsinki takes 40–60 minutes by plane. It is built on a chain of islands located throughout a number of large lakes.


University of Joensuu has a campus in Savonlinna, primarily for teacher education.


The city hosts the famous annual Savonlinna Opera Festival
Savonlinna Opera Festival
Savonlinna Opera Festival is held annually in the city of Savonlinna in Finland. The Festival takes place at the medieval Olavinlinna , built in 1475...

. The opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

s are performed on a stage built inside the castle. It also has hosted the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships annually since 2000.


The ice hockey team of Savonlinna, SaPKo
Savonlinnan Pallokerho is an ice hockey team from Savonlinna, Finland, playing in the Mestis league. It plays its home matches in Talvisalon jäähalli.The sports club Savonlinnan Pallokerho was founded in 1929...

 or Savonlinnan Pallokerho, is playing in the second tier Mestis
Mestis, , is the second-highest ice hockey league in Finland.The league was established in 2000 to replace the first division. Since 2000, Mestis has been the highest hockey league in Finland that can be reached with playing merits only; the SM-liiga was closed in 2000...

. Notable SaPKo alumni include Jarmo Myllys
Jarmo Myllys
Jarmo Myllys is a retired Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender. He was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars as their ninth-round pick, #172 overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft...

, Ville Leino
Ville Leino
Ville Leino is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward who plays for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League .-Finland:Leino started playing hockey at age 17 for his hometown team SaPKo in the Suomi-sarja...

, Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Mikael Rask is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League . Rask was drafted 21st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs...

 and Hannu Aravirta
Hannu Aravirta
Hannu Aravirta is a Finnish ice hockey player and an ice hockey coach for the Finnish national men's team, SM-liiga and Elitserien.-Career as player:...


The top-tier volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 team Saimaa Volley plays some of its home matches in Savonlinna. The football team Savonlinnan Työväen Palloseura
Savonlinnan Työväen Palloseura
Savonlinnan Työväen Palloseura or STPS for short, is a football club located in Savonlinna, Finland. The club was founded in 1947. STPS has a strong labour movement background, "työväen palloseura" meaning "workers ball club" in Finnish....

 (STPS), is playing in Kolmonen
Kolmonen is the fourth highest football league in Finland. The most famous club competing at this level is Helsingin Palloseura who won the Finnish Championship on 9 occasions, the last time being in 1957. They also won the Finnish Cup in 1962...

, the fourth tier.

External links

Map of Savonlinna
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