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Rovaniemi travel guide — Rovaniemi tourism and travel information

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Rovaniemi travel guide

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about Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi (Roavenjarga in Sami) is the administrative capital and the centre of commerce of Finland's northernmost Province, Lapland. It is situated close to the Arctic Circle and between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, at the confluence of the Kemijoki River and its tributary, the Ounasjoki River. Due to its advantageous location it is the starting point of the Great Arctic Highway. The city is completely surrounded by Rovaniemen maalaiskunta (Rural municipality of Rovaniemi). The two municipalities will be joined into one on January 1, 2006. and the new municipality will have an area of 7 900 km² and an approximate population of 57 000.

The word Rovaniemi has often been considered to be of Lappish origin, as "roavve" in Sami denotes a forested ridge or hill or the site of an old forest fire. In the dialects of southern Lapland, however, "rova" means a heap of stones, a rock or a group of rocks in a stretch of rapids, or even a sauna stove.

Rovaniemi history

There has probably been continuous settlement in the Rovaniemi area since the Stone Age. Periodic clearance of new land for agriculture and the practice of slash-and-burn cultivation began around 750-530 B.C. Artifacts found in the area suggest that an increasing number of travellers from Karelia in the east, Häme in the south and the Arctic Ocean coast in the north must have come there from 500 A.D. onwards. The Sami are considered to be Lapland's own indigenous population.

The exploitation of Lapland's natural resources in the 1800s boosted Rovaniemi's growth. Extensive logging sites and gold fever attracted thousands of people to Lapland. As the mining of natural resources was increased, Rovaniemi became the business centre of the Province of Lapland.

In the Lapland War, during the Second World War, approximately 90% of the total property in the town was destroyed by German troops. The rebuilding of Rovaniemi began in 1946. Several public and private buildings designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto have been erected in the town. One example is the Administrative and Cultural Centre, which comprises the City Hall, the Lappia Hall (housing the City Theatre, Orchestra and Congress Hall), and the Provincial Library.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rovaniemi".

This city is also known as: Rovaniemi.

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