Heinola (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhei̯nolɑ]) is a town and a municipality of 18,349 inhabitants (31 December 2021)[2] located in the eastern part of the Päijänne Tavastia region, Finland, near the borders of the South Savonia region and the Kymenlaakso region. It is the third largest municipality in the region in terms of population after Lahti and Hollola.[6] The neighbour municipalities of Heinola are Asikkala, Hartola, Iitti, Kouvola, Mäntyharju, Nastola, Pertunmaa and Sysmä.

Heinolan kaupunki
Heinola stad
A view from Heinola railway bridge towards the town center
A view from Heinola railway bridge towards the town center
Flag of Heinola
Coat of arms of Heinola
Location of Heinola in Finland
Location of Heinola in Finland
Coordinates: 61°12′N 026°02′E / 61.200°N 26.033°E / 61.200; 26.033Coordinates: 61°12′N 026°02′E / 61.200°N 26.033°E / 61.200; 26.033
Country Finland
RegionPäijänne Tavastia
Sub-regionLahti sub-region (current)
Heinola sub-region (former)
City rights1839
 • Town managerJari Parkkonen
 • Total839.28 km2 (324.05 sq mi)
 • Land676.33 km2 (261.13 sq mi)
 • Water162.96 km2 (62.92 sq mi)
 • Rank125th largest in Finland
 • Total18,349
 • Rank65th largest in Finland
 • Density27.13/km2 (70.3/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish98% (official)
 • Swedish0.2%
 • Others1.8%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1411%
 • 15 to 6453.9%
 • 65 or older35.1%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]20.5%

In the coat of arms of Heinola, the Tavastia's provincial animal, the Eurasian lynx, crosses a fess resembling an arch bridge; it refers to the Jyränkö Bridge (Jyrängönsilta) from 1932, which crosses Jyrängönvirta, the smaller part of the Kymi River. The coat of arms was designed by Gustaf von Numers and approved by the Heinola Town Council at its meeting on 23 September 1958. The coat of arms was approved for use by the Ministry of the Interior on 11 November of the same year.[7][8]


Heinola used to be a remote village of then larger Hollola until it gained significance in 1776 when Gustav III of Sweden promoted it to be the governmental center of the province in which it was then located. The grid plan of the city center is from that era. Heinola also became a center of commerce for nearby regions.[9]

When Finland became a part of Russia in 1809, the capital of the province was moved eastwards with the state border. To compensate this, Heinola was granted town rights on December 26, 1839 by Czar Nicholas I.[10][11] Before World War II, Heinola was widely known as a spa town, and until 1972 it served as a location for an institute (seminaari) that taught elementary school teachers. These both were established in the 1890s and played an important role in the town life.[9]

Heinolan maalaiskunta was merged into Heinola in 1997.


Heinola is largely situated between two lakes, Ruotsalainen and Konnivesi. A waterway connecting the lakes crosses the town and is, along with an esker also crossing the town, a characterising geographical feature of Heinola. A motorway (Finnish national road 4/E75) connects Heinola to Lahti (distance 35 km or 22 mi) and Helsinki (distance 138 km or 86 mi); it also acrosses Lake Ruotsalainen on the Tähtiniemi Bridge in the northern part of town. Heinola is also southern head of the Finnish national road 5, which goes over 900 kilometres to the north through the cities Kuopio and Kajaani to Sodankylä.


After World War II Heinola has been economically an industrial town, mainly due to its wood processing industry. Industry remained the largest source of employment until the 1970s, when the trade and services sector grew larger, following a national trend.

Heinola has been hit hard by Late-2000s recession. UPM-Kymmene, that used to be the largest employer after the public sector, reported closing down its sawmill and plywood mill in Heinola during 2010.[12]


Heinola Bird Sanctuary

The bird zoo is located just next to the old bus station. The founding idea of the bird zoo is to offer help for birds that have injured themselves in the traffic, power lines and glass surfaces, and to rehabilitate them back to the nature. The birds that remain in the care, and the ones that are not capable of returning to the nature, but are considered to maintain a meaningful life in capture, are available for spectators to see. For school groups and tourists, this can be a good opportunity to identify some of the species that are not so easily spotted in the wild. In the summer, tropical birds that spend the winter inside are also to be seen.[13]



In the 1980s, Heinola's traditional parish dishes were tappaiskeitto ("butchery soup") and pancakes.[14]

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — sister citiesEdit

Heinola is twinned with:[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M12*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Population according to age (1-year) and sex by area and the regional division of each statistical reference year, 2003–2020". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2021" (PDF). Tax Administration of Finland. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. ^ Mielipide: Menneisyyden hehkuttelulla ei ratkaista tämän päivän haasteita – Itä-Häme (in Finnish)
  7. ^ Suomen kunnallisvaakunat (in Finnish). Suomen Kunnallisliitto. 1982. p. 116. ISBN 951-773-085-3.
  8. ^ "Sisäasiainministeriön vahvistamat kaupunkien, kauppaloiden ja kuntien vaakunat 1949-1995 I:8 Heinola" (in Finnish). National Archives of Finland. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "The history of Heinola". Heinolan kaupunki. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  10. ^ "Arkistonmuodostaja: Heinolan maistraatti" (in Finnish). The National Archives of Finland. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  11. ^ "Heinolan historia" (in Finnish). Town of Heinola. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "UPM job losses total 830". YLE. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Heinolan kaupunki. Archived from the original on 18 December 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Jaakko Kolmonen, Jaakko (1988). Kotomaamme ruoka-aitta: Suomen, Karjalan ja Petsamon pitäjäruoat (in Finnish). Helsinki: Patakolmonen. p. 108–109. ISBN 951-96047-3-1.
  15. ^ "Ystävyyskaupungit". heinola.fi (in Finnish). Heinola. Archived from the original on 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2019-12-07.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Heinola at Wikimedia Commons

  • Town of Heinola – official website, finnish, swedish, english and russian