Rovaniemi lies in a prime place at the place where two great rivers, Kemijoki and Ounasjoki, meet, so it is no surprise that the city has a long history. Since early times it has been the gathering place for lumberjacks, traders and craftsmen, and it has been settled by people since the 1100s.
The chart for the municipality of Rovaniemi was made in 1785 and it received city rights on 1.1.1960.
At the beginning of 1939, there were about 6 500 inhabitants in Rovaniemi. The same year the WW II started. The war destroyed Rovaniemi almost completely, but a new Rovaniemi rose out from the burnt ruins. In 1946, the great rebuilding based on the architecture of Alvar Aalto got underway.
The antler-like layout of Rovaniemi, which is easier to distinguish from the air or from a map, as well as its major buildings, the City Hall, the library and the Lappia House are all the result of the architectural creativity of Aalto.
Rovaniemi has always been the stopping place for those travelling north of coming south. Its widely renowned fair (Rovaniemen Markkinat) has attracted people from far and wide every year since 1880s.
In 1920s the tourism was born here with the building of the legendary Hotel Pohjanhovi, souvenir shops, view points and finally, the start of the development at the Arctic Circle.
The history of the city entered a new era at the turn of 2005-2006 when the City of Rovaniemi and the Rural Municipality of Rovaniemi, that was surrounding the city, merged into one. The new city formed from these two, has a population of more than 60 000 people today.
With a surface area of 8016 km2, it is the 15th largest city in Europe, although much of its surface is covered by forest.Motherland of fairy tales and home of Santa Claus.
Beautiful hotels and private homes, dozens of different types of summer and winter activities, an ideal place to observe the northern lights. Lakes and rivers full of fish.
Home town of the "Marathon 150". Hundreds of kilometers of beautiful trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hiking. Mountain for skiing and snowboarding. much more.