Rantasalmi [ ˌ rɑntɑ sɑlmi ] is a municipality in the Finnish countryside Savo with 3924 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012). It is located halfway between the cities of Savonlinna and Varkaus on the south bank of the Haukivesi Lake which is part of the Saimaa lake system. Much of the Linnansaari National Park is located in the municipality of Rantasalmi. The rural community lives mainly from agriculture and forestry and tourism.

  • 4.1 Administrative
  • 4.2 Coat of Arms
  • 4.3 community partnerships
  • 5.1 Economics
  • 5.2 traffic


Location and extent

Rantasalmi lies in the eastern Finnish landscape of Southern Savo in the midst of the Finnish Lake District. The community center located 42 kilometers northwest of Savonlinna, 44 kilometers southeast of Varkaus and 82 kilometers northeast of Mikkeli. In the capital, Helsinki, is 311 kilometers.

Neighboring cities and municipalities are Savonlinna in the southeast, Sulkava in the south, Juva in the southeast and Joroinen and Varkaus in the Northeast.

The municipality of Rantasalmi covers an area of ​​926 square kilometers (a little over Berlin). Due to its location in the Finnish Lake District Rantasalmi is rich in inland waters: About 40 percent of the municipal area is covered by water.

Landscape and Nature

Characteristic of Rantasalmi is the difference between the lakes in the northern part and the forest and arable landscape in waters less rich southern part of the township. Traditionally the north Rantasalmis as Vesikansa ( " water people" ), the southern part as Maakansa ( " country people " ) is called. Almost the entire north-eastern part of its territory is occupied by Haukivesi Lake, which is part of the Saimaa lake system. The coastline of Haukivesi is heavily rutted: Open basins alternate with coves, straits and island groups. Part of the island world of Haukivesi is provided as Linnansaari National Park conservation area. To the northwest lies the Haapaselkä Lake, which is separated by a narrow isthmus from Haukivesi.

The less rich waters south Rantasalmis shape extending moraine and eskers in northwest-southeast direction. The settlements and agricultural areas are located on the higher elevations, in the valleys between them are wetlands and elongated lakes. The largest of these are the approximately 15 km long Kolkonjärvi, the Tuusjärvi and the Alans. The highest point of the municipality is the village of the hill Hippinginmäki Osikonmäki, which rises 156.6 meters above sea level and 80 meters above the Haukivesi Lake.

The name Rantasalmi literally means " Ufersund " and refers to a sound that was once the lakes Haapaselkä Haukivesi and bound them together. A remnant of the Sound presents nor the elongated Raudanvesi Lake, while the connection is silted for Haapaselkä now. The Raudanvesi divided into the Suuri Raudanvesi ( "big Raudanvesi " ) and Pieni Raudanvesi ( " small Raudanvesi ").


The center of the municipality is the end of the Pieni - Raudanvesi Lake located Kirchdorf Rantasalmi, formerly known as Rantasalo. The parish village is the only settlement center ( taajama ) the community. Here 1,552 people, or about 40 percent of the population live Rantasalmis (as at 31 December 2011). In addition to the Kirchdorf to the municipality Rantasalmi includes the villages (or scattered settlements ) Asikkala, Haapaniemi, Haapataipale, Hiismäki, Hiltula, Ihamaniemi, Joutsenmäki, Kolkontaipale, Lahdenkylä, Mielojärvi, Osikonmäki, Parkumäki, Pirilä, Porosalmi, Puikonniemi, Putkisalo, Reijola, Repomäki, Rita Lahti, Riuttanen, Tammen Lahti, Teemassaari, Torosalo, Tornionniemi, Tuusmäki, Vaahersalo and Voinsalmi.


The parish was founded in 1578 Rantasalmi from parts of the parishes Sääminki and Juva. Previously Rantasalmi had been a chapel of the parish church Sääminki at least since 1544. The parish was originally Rantsalmi far greater than the current community and also included the northeast adjacent municipalities Kangaslampi and Heinavesi. Heinavesi received in 1744 a private house of prayer, was in 1810 raised to the chapel congregation and finally became detached in 1852 as a separate parish from Rantasalmi. Kangaslampi in 1869 to the Chapel congregation and 1894 into an independent parish. Since 2005 it belongs to the town of Varkaus.

1781, the first cadet school was Finland (founded 1779) of Kuopio moved to Rantasalmi. In the cadet school Haapaniemen kadettikoulu to 1819 a total of 210 officers from Savo and Karelia were trained.

By the Treaty of Fredrikshamn (1809 ), the border ran to Russia in Rantasalmi.


The population of Rantasalmi is 3924 (as of 31 December 2012). The municipality is sparsely populated: The population density was 7 people per square kilometer ( based on the land area calculated without internal waters). 98 percent of the population Rantasalmis speak Finnish as their mother tongue, officially the community is monolingual Finnish speakers. The proportion of foreigners is 1.5 percent low even by Finnish standards.

The population development of Rantasalmi is, as in most rural communities in Finland, in descending order. Had the church in the 1950s still about 9000 inhabitants, 2010, the 4000 population mark was exceeded for the first time. Currently, the population is shrinking by an average of 1.4 percent per year. As a result of continuous migration, the population Rantasalmis is clearly obsolete: If the proportion of over-65s in state funds at 18 percent, 27 percent of the population is in Rantasalmi. Also, education and income levels are lower than in the Finnish average: only 17 percent of the over 15 - year-old resident Rantasalmis have a higher education ( national average: 28 percent). The average taxable income per worker has about 18,500 euros approximately one third lower than in the Finnish average.



As generally in the rural areas of Finland, the Centre Party is also in Rantasalmi the strongest political force. At the municipal election in 2012, she received more than half of the votes, the council, the highest decision-making authority in local affairs, holding it with 12 out of 21 deputies absolute majority. The second strongest party, the Social Democrats with just under a quarter of the vote and five seats in the municipal council. The conservative Coalition Party plays, although one of the nation's three major parties in Rantasalmi with a vote of 10 percent and two seats only a subordinate role. Also with two seats are the right-wing populist " True Finns " represented on the council.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Rantasalmi was designed by Ahti Hammar heraldist and adopted in 1958. The blazon is: The golden shield, a corrugated black oblique bar. The speaking crest refers to the name Rantasalmi ( " Ufersund " ) and symbolizes the eponymous sound between two shores. The colors black and gold are the arms of the historic landscape Savo removed.

Community partnerships

Rantasalmi maintains community partnerships with the following towns:

  • Nordre country (Norway )
  • Tomelilla (Sweden, 1972 )
  • Præstø (Denmark, 1988 )

Economy and infrastructure


The traditional main industries in Rantasalmi are the Agriculture, Forestry, today employ 26 percent of the working population. Of the vast forest areas in the municipality, around 90 percent are privately owned. In agriculture, especially dairy industry operates. In the industrial and construction sector work 19 percent of the workforce. In Rantasalmi especially small and medium-sized enterprises in the wood processing industry, besides also the metal industry are located. An increasingly important role is played by the service sector, which employs 52 percent of the population Rantasalmis. Mentioned here is primarily tourism. Rantasalmi benefits from its scenic location in the Saimaa lake region. In the village there are 2000 Holiday Homes ( mökki ) as well as several holiday villages and hotels.

The unemployment rate of Rantasalmi is 17 percent higher than the Finnish average of 10 percent ( as of 2010).


The most important link Rantasalmis is the regional road 464, which crosses the municipality and Rantasalmi connects with the cities of Varkaus and Savonlinna. From the church village Rantasalmi from it leads to the northwest and connects to the north of Joroinen with the state highway 5 towards Varkaus. In the south-east regional road leads 464 into the state highway 14, which runs through the southern part of the municipality and leads to Savonlinna. In the direction of Juva and Mikkeli leads from Kirchdorf Rantasalmi from the regional road 467 south over the train station to the main road Rantasalmi The remaining places in the municipality 14 are served by smaller, mostly unpaved roads to the road network.

By Rantasalmi the railway line from Parikkala via Savonlinna to Pieksämäki. The train station of Rantasalmi located six kilometers south of the village church. Since 1988, operate on the section from Savonlinna to Pieksämäki no more passenger trains, the route is only used for the carriage of goods. From the bus station in Kirchdorf Rantasalmi There are direct buses to Varkaus, Savonlinna and Pieksämäki.

Rantasalmi has a small airfield for general aviation. The nearest airports that are served in regular service are the Varkaus Airport (38 kilometers northwest ) and the Savonlinna Airport (60 kilometers south-west ).


The Kirchdorf Rantasalmi is scenic zwischem the shore of Lake Pieni - Raudanvesi and a parallel Os. On the Os is surrounded by an old cemetery, the church of Rantasalmi which overlooks the village with its towering steeple. The red brick church was built in 1904 according to plans by Josef Stenbäck in the Gothic Revival style. In 1984, she burned after a lightning strike out to the outer walls. After the fire, the church was rebuilt while maintaining the old exterior walls with a modern interior and re-consecrated in 1989. The vicarage of Rantasalmi, a representative timber from 1870, is now in private ownership. In the rectory of the famous architect Eliel Saarinen was born in 1873, whose father was a pastor in Rantasalmi at the time. Also located in Kirchdorf Museum of Rantasalmi, an open air museum with historic buildings from the 19th century.

The main attraction of the village in the heart of the Finnish Lake District Rantasalmi likely to be the nature of the community. Most of the Linnansaari National Park with the eponymous island Linnansaari belongs to the municipality of Rantasalmi. The national park was founded in 1956 to protect the island landscape of Haukivesi Lake and is home to a population of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal was and one of the largest osprey populations in southern Finland. On the island of Linnansaari, consists of the Porosalmi from a boat connection, there is an old Kate, was in their environment according to traditional methods, such as he was operated until the 1930s, resumed in 1993 the Schwendbau. Also on Linnansaari there are several hiking trails and a lookout on Linnanvuori Rock. The information center of the National Park, the " nature center Oskari ", is located in Kirchdorf Rantasalmi.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950), architect
  • Jarkko Immonen (* 1982 ), National Hockey player