EVENTS. Puijo International Winter Games (March); Kuopio Dance and Music Festival (June); Cross-Country Motorcycle Race (July); International Athletic Games (summer).
SPORTS and RECREATION. Tennis, squash, bowling, riding, archery, gliding, walking, swimming, water-skiing, sailing, rowing, canoeing; in winter skiing (downhill and cross-country).
Kuopio is beautifully situated on a peninsula in the Kaliavesi, with Puijomaki rearing up on the INI. It is the economic and cultural hub of the province of the same name and the see of a Lutheran bishop as well as of the archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Finland. It has Finland’s most recent university, founded in 1972. The town is an important focus of communications, for traffic both by water and on land, in a flat but richly diversified region intermingling woodland and water.
Kuopio received its municipal charter from Per Brahe in 1 652, was deprived of its privileges for a period but was granted a new charter by Gustav III in 1782.
Orthodox Church Museum Puijomaki During the 1808-9 war the town surrendered to the Russians without a fight. It was later recaptured in a surprise attack by a Finnish unit under Colonel Sandels.
One of the outstanding Finnish figures of the 19th c. the philosopher, politician and statesmen J. V. Snellman, was rector of the grammar school from 1843 to 1849. He persuaded Alexander II of Russia in 1863 to agree that Finnish should be one of the official languages, together with Swedish and Russian (little used in practice), of the Grand Duchy of Finland.
SIGHTS. The central feature of the town is the Market Square (Kauppatori), in which the local specialty, kalakukko (a fish and pork pie), can be bought. Around the square are the Town Hall (by F. A. Sjostrom, 1 884), opposite it the Market Hall, and beyond this, on the far side of Kauppakatu, the Grammar School (1825). Kauppakatu runs E to the Cathedral, situated on a low hill (designed by Jacob Rijf; completed in 1815 by Pehr Granstedt). Immediately beyond it is Snellman Park, with a bronze statue of Snellman. To the N of the park, in Kauppakatu, are the Municipal Museum (history, folk traditions) and the Municipal Library. Along the E side of the Snellman Park runs Maaherrankatu, atthe N end of which, in a small garden to the left, is a monument to the important Finnish writer Minna Canth (1844-97).
To the SW of the town, adjoining a large sports field, is a modern children’s home and hospital, Savon Lastenlinna. It is the counterpart of the similarly named institution in Helsinki. To the SE is the Orthodox St Nicholas’s Church (1903), seat of the Archbishop, who is responsible for two dioceses, each with 30,000 members Karelia (14 parishes) and Helsinki (11 parishes). To the S of the church is the narrow peninsula of Vaindlanniemi, with a park, sports grounds, a bathing beach and (at the southern tip) a summer restaurant, the Peranniemen Kasino. At the near end of the peninsula is a statue of Hannes Kolehmainen, winner of the marathon in the 1 920 Olympics.
Tothe Wofthetown, near Lake Valkeinen (sports facilities, fishing), is the modern Municipal Theatre. A little way N, on a smaller lake (Mustilahti), are an indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley. Karjalankatu, to the E, runs N to the Orthodox Church Museum (1969), part of a complex which also includes the Archbishop’s residence, a seminary for priests and the offices of the Finnish Orthodox Church, the second largest religious community in Finland. To the NW, in Vuorikatu, Kirkkokatu and Sav-onkatu, are timber houses in the 18th c. Finnish style.
SURROUNDINGS. Immediately N of the town, on the wooded hill of Puijomaki, is a lookout tower 75 m (245 ft) high (1963) which stands 225 m (740 ft) above the Kallavesi. It has two viewing platforms and a restaurant (65 m 213 ft) with a revolving floor (360° per hour). There are water-buses to the resort of Ritoniemi, on the island of Soisao. cular stamp. The lakes are frequently edged by sheer granite cliffs; in many places the rivers are hemmed in by the rocks, flowing through deep gorges and over rapids.