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Iisalmi is a town in Finland located in the region of Northern Savonia, on the shore of Lake Porovesi. The town is known as a vibrant and dynamic regional centre, good to live and reside in, nice to visit and excellent to start a business in. The town centre offers a small town idyll at its best, with plenty of natural beauty. Satamapuisto park has lovely lake scenery, and as a nationally significant cultural environment, the intersecting avenues of Kirkkopuisto park offer pleasant urban walking routes.
Iisalmi combines proximity of nature with diverse services. For the residents, this means a high quality of life in which day-to-day business can be carried out easily. When everyday life runs smoothly, people have more free time. Leisure activities, on the other hand, offer fun and action for all tastes, from culture to physical activity.
There are many possibilities for housing. Based on your wishes and needs, you can make your home in the town centre’s apartment buildings near the services or in the peace of the countryside in the middle of nature. The town’s offering of plots for detached homes is rich and varied.
Iisalmi offers all the prerequisites for entrepreneurship. There are commercial plots and premises available for companies in both the industrial and service sectors. Cooperation between the town and companies is smooth and decision-making is quick. The town helps entrepreneurs network so that it is easy for new entrepreneurs to come to Iisalmi.
The rectory in Iisalmi was established on 15 February 1627 under an “open letter” from King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden. The Iisalmi church and administrative parish covered the entire area of the current Upper Savonia, with a total of 6,089 km². The former parish included Iisalmi, Kiuruvesi, Lapinlahti, Sonkajärvi and Vieremä as well as part of Pielavesi.
The strong population growth that began in the 18th century meant that new congregations became independent as their own vicarages and the population of the main parish, Iisalmi, decreased. Pielavesi was the first to leave the parish in 1811, followed by Lapinlahti in 1858 and the new Kiuruvesi parish in 1862. On 24 October 1860, the Finnish Senate declared the founding of the Iisalmi borough on the Haukiniemi cape in Iisalmi, and the Iisalmi borough received a town plan in 1861.
The development of the Iisalmi borough into a town was a long and winding road – at least five applications had to be submitted. Finally, Emperor Alexander III, in a “gracious declaration” in Petergof on 22 July 1891, ordered that the Iisalmi borough be changed into a town. At the same time, the emperor confirmed the town’s charter and its construction plan, i.e. the town plan, which had been confirmed in 1877. These documents were signed by Minister–Secretary of State von Daehn, who sent them to the Finnish Senate. On 20 October 1891, the Senate decided to publish the previous declaration and charter and issued a memorandum of association, which specified in more detail the donation of the Paloistila lands to the town. Thus, 20 October 1891 is considered the actual date of the founding of Town of Iisalmi.
A decree on rural municipalities was passed in 1865, under which the rural municipality of Iisalmi began its influence at the beginning of 1874 after its first local council meeting on 23 February 1873. Only Iisalmi, Sonkajärvi and Vieremä were part of this rural municipality. The Iisalmi borough had been a separate municipality since its founding. Sonkajärvi became its own vicarage in 1920, and Vieremä’s ecclesiastical separation from the main parish took place in 1921. The administrative applications were submitted to Iisalmi Municipal Council on 18 August 1919 and 27 December 1919, and they were finally realised on 18 August 1920. Thus, with the independence of Sonkajärvi and Vieremä, the final borders of the rural municipality of Iisalmi took shape.
At the end of 1969, the development of municipal life towards larger functional units led to the municipal merger of the rural municipality of Iisalmi and the town of Iisalmi. This also ended the activities of Iisalmi’s old main parish, i.e. the rural municipality, as a separate unit and the activities of the landowners’ association of the Iisalmi rural municipality. This is how the present Town of Iisalmi began its operations on 1 January 1970.
By road, the main route in the area is Highway 5 from Helsinki to Lapland. The neighbouring municipalities in the Iisalmi region are reachable by a rich network of main roads in good condition. The frequently running public bus service is also easily accessible. In addition to the road network, there are also train connections to Iisalmi from all over Finland. The nearest airports are in Kuopio and Kajaani.
Read more: Traffic
There are many religious communities in Iisalmi. You can search for information based on religious community and locality in the Religions in Finland service.
You can find out more about the Evangelical Lutheran community in Iisalmi on the community’s website
You can find out more about the Orthodox community in Iisalmi on the community’s website.
Read more: Cultures and religions in Finland
Decision-making and public engagement
The highest decision-making power of Iisalmi is exercised by the Town Council, whose members are elected through the municipal election held every four years. The Town Council decides on the basics of the town’s economy and finances as well as on the structure of the town’s administration. The Town Council elects trustees for the Town Board and committees. The committees take care of the development of their sector and steer their planning and implementation.
The Town Board takes care of the town’s management and development in accordance with the objectives, plans and decisions set by the Town Council. The Town Board has central administrative tasks and responsibilities. It prepares, implements and monitors the legality of decisions taken by the Town Council. The Town Board also takes care of the general development of the town, supervises the activities of office-holders and the financial management of the town as well as provides guidance on the activities of companies and joint municipal boards controlled by the town.
The residents of Iisalmi have many opportunities to influence the development of their hometown. You can participate by talking to elected officials and town staff, answering surveys that map opinions, making municipal initiatives and voting. Documents related to decision-making are available on the town’s website.