Kainuu is located in the Oulu province and it borders the regions of Northern Ostrobothnia, North Karelia and Northern Savonia. In the east it also borders Russia. The administrative capital is Kajaani. The total population of the region is 79 289 (2012), Kajaani being the the capital and the biggest city with 37973 inhabitants (2012). Land area is 24 452 km2 and population density 3,51 km2 .
The region consists of eight municipalities and two cities. The administrative capital is Kajaani. Municipalities of Kainuu: Hyrynsalmi, Kuhmo, Kajaani, Paltamo, Puolanka, Ristijärvi, Sotkamo, Suomussalmi, Vaala and Vuolijoki.
The Town of Kajaani was founded by Count Per Brahe in 1651. The River Kajaaninjoki and the ruins of the historical Kajaani Castle are situated in heart of the town. Kajaani Castle celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004.
The nature of Kainuu features forested hills, lakes and vast expanses of uninhabited forests at its most typical — 95% of the land area is forest. The climate is continental. At Kajaani’s latitude, the mean monthly temperatures range from -11°C (12°F) in January to 16°C (61°F) in July.
The nature of Kainuu features forested hills, lakes and vast expanses of uninhabited woods at its
most typical — 95% of the land area is forest. Kainuu is one of the snowiest parts of Finland, with a 70-80 cm covering of snow during average winters.
The economy of Kainuu is driven by the lumber industry, which employs 8% of the workforce
in the region. In addition, Kainuu Brigade, a base of the Finnish Defence Forces, is located near Kajaani. Kainuu’s fields of know-how include instrument technology, measurement technology, software technology, wireless data communications and embedded systems.
Business sectors include e.g. wood processing industry, transport, data communications, commerce, welfare services, travel, defence technology and biotechnology. Expectations and possibilities for new business applications have been set especially in the sectors of welfare technology, travel and biotechnology.
Transport Infrastructure in Kainuu
Kainuu is easy to reach by car, train or plane. E63 highway, which the Finns call Highway 5, goes through the region from south to north. The gateway to east is the Vartius frontier checking point, only 120 km from the centre of Kajaani. Three flights per day take you to Helsinki in only 50 minutes. Trains to Oulu and Southern Finland depart many times per day.
The Kainuu region has been very active in the transport and logistics sector in the Barents region due to its important geographic location as a gateway to Russia and also as a location through which the so called Barents Link or the Northern East West Freight Corridor is going through.
Kainuu offers rather diverse possibilities for studying and participating in trainings both in youth education and degree-oriented education and in adult education.
Kajaani, with its variety of educational institutions, is a city of learning. The Kajaani University Consortium, under the coordination of the University of Oulu, trains teachers for childhood and school education. Oulu University’s Department of Information Processing offers software production and software business operation as study orientation alternatives. Measurement technology is an example of a specialist field within the university research programme.
At Kajaani Polytechnic degrees may be completed in nursing, health sciences, sports and leisure, engineering and business administration. The Bachelor of Business Administration (international business) and Bachelor of Hospitality Management (tourism) degree programmes are conducted in English.
Kainuu Vocational College provides vocational study for young people and adults. The college has centres in Kajaani, Kuhmo, Sotkamo, Suomussalmi and Vaala.
History and culture
Original inhabitants of Kainuu were Sami hunter-fisherers. In the 1600s, the Governor General of Finland Per Brahe fostered the population growth of Kainuu by giving a ten year tax exemption to settlers. It was necessary to populate Kainuu with Finnish farmers because the area was threatened from the east by the Russians. The immigrants to Kainuu were mainly from Savo and because of that the Kainuu dialect is very close to the Savo dialect.
Kalevala, Lönnrot and Kainuu - the epic took shape in the province of Kainuu, where it was compiled from an extensive collection of rich folk poetry by Elias Lönnrot, district physician in the provincial capital of Kajaani from 1833 to 1853.
Kajaani Poetry Week, Kainuu Jazz, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and other events attract people also from far away. Kajaani City Theatre, Theatre Retikka and Generator have made a national reputation, while sports events include the World Swamp Football Championships, which is arranged in Hyrynsalmi each year.
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