Oulu [ ɔu̯lu ] ( listen? / I ) (Swedish Uleåborg [ ʉ ː ː ˌ lɛo bɔrj ] ) is a city in northern Finland. It is the most important city in Northern Finland and the sixth largest city in Finland. Oulu is the northernmost major city in the European Union.

While Oulu was famous in earlier times for wood tar and salmon, the city is now known primarily as a center of the Finnish IT industry and for their distinctive wellness culture. Other important industries include wood processing, paper manufacturing and steel production. Oulu Airport is the second busiest in the country and is located approximately 15 kilometers south, in Oulunsalo. The University of Oulu is the second largest in the country and located six kilometers north of the city center.

Oulu is famous for the annual Air Guitar World Championships there, the Mieskuoro Huutajat ( The Screaming Men's Choir ) and a wide range of cultural opportunities.

After the city of asteroid ( 1512) Oulu is named.

  • 3.1 Town twinning
  • 4.1 Museums
  • 4.2 Structures
  • 4.3 Regular events
  • 4.4 Sport
  • 4.5 Regular sports events
  • 6.1 traffic
  • 6.2 Economic Structure
  • 6.3 Established businesses
  • 6.4 Education


Oulu is located at the mouth of Oulujoki in the Gulf of Bothnia. The city covers an area of ​​449.2 km ², of which 79.5 km ² water surface take one. At the beginning of 2009, the city area around 1061.07 km ² and nearly 3,400 inhabitants was extended by the incorporation of the eastern municipality of Oulu Ylikiiminki.

Air table


The name ( originally " Owla " or " Oula ") of the city comes from the Sami language and means something like flooding or running water.

Oulu was founded on April 8, 1605 by King Charles IX. founded by Sweden. Five years after the founding of the city received city rights. 1776, the city became the capital of the province of Oulu. After the almost complete destruction by fire in 1822 it was rebuilt Ehrenström, designed by Johan Albrecht. In the 19th century Oulu was next to Arkhangelsk one of the major northern European ports for the export of wood tar. This was produced in large quantities in the hinterland, carried in Teerfässern over the river Oulujoki and then shipped from Oulu from all over Europe. In 2005, Oulu celebrated the 400th anniversary of the city.

Grow for some years, also because of the resident in Oulu technology companies, Population and Town rapidly, so that Oulu is now referred to as " Boomtown " of the North. In addition, wearing the high birth rate of North Ostrobothnia region in Oulu is by far the largest city, to growth. It is located at 2.38 children / woman, which is more than the 2.1 children that are necessary to a stagnant population.

Development of the population (31 December):

  • 2000-120753
  • 2001-123274
  • 2002-124588
  • 2003-125970
  • 2004-127226
  • 2005-128962
  • 2006-130178
  • 2007-131585
  • 2008-133541
  • 2010-139133

Coat of arms

Description: The coat of arms is divided into red and silver. Up a golden crenellated castle with two blue open doorways on the golden towers with just such colored pennants are displayed to the left and each one has a blue window. Below is a rotgeflosster floating to the left blue salmon with red eye.


The city of Oulu is twinned with the following cities:

  • Arkhangelsk, Russia Russia
  • Leverkusen, Germany Germany
  • Halle ( Saale), Germany Germany
  • Bursa, Turkey Turkey
  • Odessa, Ukraine
  • Siófok, Hungary Hungary
  • Boden, Sweden Sweden
  • Alta, Norway Norway

Culture and sights


13 km southeast of the town is the open-air museum Turkansaari, on the grounds 27 historic wooden buildings and a church are located. In Ainola Park north of the city center is the local history museum for the city and the province of Oulu, further, there is an art museum and a maritime museum.


As in Helsinki, the architect Carl Ludwig Engel has also in Oulu a share of the historic structure. He took over after the fire of 1822 the reconstruction of the resulting 1771-1776 Cathedral ( Tuomiokirkko ). Is the oldest oil paintings in Finland, the portrait of John Messenius Above the door to the sacristy. In Oulu is also the Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral

Southwest of the Cathedral is the decorated neo-Renaissance town hall of 1886. It has a lovely reception room with Bohemian crystal chandeliers.

Regular events

Regularly end of February is the place of Oulu International Theatre Festival for Children and Youth.

In mid-June of each year will be held the week of Teerbrennens, a glimpse of the time, has made as tar Oulu famous.

Since 1996, the Air Guitar World Championships as part of the Oulu Musiikki video Festivaalit (Oulu Music Video Festival ) will be held in Oulu.


Most important sports facility is the Energia Areena Oulu, home of the ice hockey team Oulu Kärpät and Kiekko laser. Kärpät is a five-time Finnish ice hockey champion and was twice runner-up of the IIHF European Champions Cup

The football club AC Oulu plays in the First Division. Oulu further has two teams participating in the highest bandy league: Oulu Luistinseura, OLS, is 15 times Finnish champion, while Oulu Palloseura, OPS, seven championships won. 2001 in Oulu the Bandy World Championship was held.

Regular sports events

The end of May each year takes place the Terwahölkkä Marathon, a running event at the 1000 running enthusiasts participate.

In addition, there are a variety of events in the fields of winter sports, water sports and fun sports such as the Holzteerrudern mid-June on the Oulujoki.


In the local elections on 2012, the liberal Centre Party dissolved with 27.0 % of the vote, the conservative National Coalition Party, which received 19.9% ​​, as the strongest party from. The council, composed of 67 deputies, they put 19 ​​or 13 seats. The Left Alliance has ten seats, the Social Democratic party of nine. Furthermore, the base Finns ( 8 seats), the Green Confederation ( 7 seats) and Christian Democrats ( 1 seat) represented on the council.

Economy and infrastructure


The fastest train offers the Pendolino VR, he needed the distance of 680 kilometers between Oulu and Helsinki 5 hours 44 minutes. The speed on this route Oulu -Helsinki is different. From Oulu to Seinäjoki (about 350 km south of Oulu ) is 140 km / h From Seinäjoki Tampere (about 180 km) is there a quick connect at 160 km / h From Tampere to Helsinki (about 175 km) the velocity is usually 200 km / h The reason for these rates was to come with the aim connected as quickly as possible by Finland, what is still working with new new lines.

At the station the covering of the trains of electric locomotives no longer needs to be converted to diesel operation, as these go for some years to Rovaniemi with electric locomotives. The station has a loading dock for car trains.

From Oulu airport in the neighboring municipality Oulunsalo there are direct flights to Helsinki flights in and holiday destinations within Europe.

Oulu has a very well developed network of bike lanes, often with underpasses under main roads and up to two meters in width. Oulu creates in winter the high bicycle share of 12 % of the way and organized in 2013 the world's only conference on cycling in winter.

Economic structure

Oulu is an internationally known center of high technology, particularly for telecommunications and IT. Even more traditional industries such as paper and steel industries are strongly represented in Oulu. Subjects of today, future-oriented development work in IT, media technology, biotechnology and environmental technology, as well as in the wellness industry will be strongly encouraged in Oulu. The production of wood tar, became famous with the Oulu has largely lost its importance.

Oulu is eager to promote settlement of high-tech companies and this ensures the availability of construction area and good infrastructure.

Established businesses

Here may be mentioned in particular Technopolis, Stora Enso, VTT ( Technical Research Centre ) and Nokia. The largest producing companies in Oulu, Nokia is offering 4,700 employees ( 2008). The largest employer in the city of Oulu is Oulu even with 9,760 employees ( 2008), the University Hospital has 5,546 employees and 4th place (after Nokia) is the University of Oulu with 3,050 employees. Other Employer: Stora Enso Oyj ( 1,155 Emplo ), K - ryhmä ( 1,054 Emplo ), Itella Oyj (920 empl ), Osuuskauppa Arina (830 empl ), ODL Konserni ( 694 empl ) (all 2008 )


The University of Oulu was founded in 1958, with nearly 17 000 students one of the largest universities in Finland. It is located five kilometers north of the city center in the district Linnanmaa. The university is divided into faculties of humanities, natural sciences, medicine, education, engineering and economics, the largest of which are the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering. Historically, the University has played a major role in the boom of the IT sector in the 1990s.

Furthermore, there is a technical college with various departments, spread across the entire city area and a conservatory. 9000 students take the opportunity to study in various fields.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • William Nylander (1822-1899), botanist and Lichenologe
  • Teuvo Pakkala (1862-1925), writer
  • Kyosti Haataja (1881-1956), politician
  • Yrjö Saarela (1884-1951), wrestler and Olympic Champion
  • Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947), composer
  • Heikki A. Alikoski (1912-1997), Astronomer
  • Alpo Aho ( b. 1934 ), Bandyspieler
  • Matti Ahde (* 1945), politician and sports official
  • Jouko Öystilä ( born 1952 ), former ice hockey player
  • Martti Korhonen ( b. 1953 ), politician
  • Reijo Ruotsalainen ( born 1960 ), ice hockey player
  • Antti Niemi (born 1972 ), football player
  • Jussi Hautamäki (* 1979), ski jumper and musician
  • Antti Aarnio ( born 1981 ), ice hockey player
  • Matti Hautamäki (* 1981), ski jumpers
  • Antti Okkonen ( b. 1982 ), football player
  • Juha -Pekka Haataja (* 1982 ), ice hockey player
  • Susanna Pöykiö (* 1982 ), figure skater
  • Tuukka Kaukoniemi (* 1985), skier
  • Riikka Korpela Tinja - ( born 1986 ), football player
  • Anssi Koivuranta (* 1988), Nordic combined


Pedestrian zone in the city center

Guest harbor on the marketplace of Oulu

Oulu Market Hall (1901 )

The Mannerheim Park in Oulu

Lyceum of Oulu ( 1831)

Wooden houses on the market square

Residential buildings in the district Intiö

Toripolliisi sculpture in front of the Market Hall

Power plant Merikoski on Oulujoki in Oulu