Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Finland - Oulu (1)
Sent by Pirjo, a postcrosser from Finland.
This is from Wikipedia : Oulu (pronounced [ˈoulu], old Northern Ostrobothnian dialect meaning literally “Flood”; Swedish: Uleåborg [ˈʉːleɔˌbɔrj], literally “Ule River Fort”) is a city and municipality of 141,742 inhabitants (31 January 2011) in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, in Finland. It is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the sixth most populous city in the country. It is one of the northernmost larger cities in the world.
Oulu was founded on April 8, 1605, by King Charles IX of Sweden opposite to 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. One possible source for the name Oulu is a word in the Sami language meaning 'flood water', but there are other suggestions. 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.
From being a town known for wood tar and salmon in the past, Oulu has evolved into a major centre of competence in the field of high technology, particularly IT and wellness technology. Other prominent industries include wood refining as well as paper and steel industry. The University of Oulu is located six kilometres north of the city center. The Oulu Airport, located in neighbouring municipality of Oulunsalo, is the second busiest in Finland.
The municipality of Ylikiiminki was merged to the city of Oulu on January 1, 2009. The city of Oulu, and the municipalities of Haukipudas, Kiiminki, Oulunsalo and Yli-Ii will be merged together to form a new city of Oulu on January 1, 2013.