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Country  Finland
Language spoken  Finnish
Area  3,931.44 km2
Region  Lapland

Kemijarvi (Inari Sami: , Northern Sami: ) is a municipality of Finland and the northernmost town in Finland. It is located in the province of Lapland. The municipality has a population of 7,889 (30 November 2014) and covers an area of 3,931.44 square kilometres (1,517.94 sq mi) of which 425.84 km2 (164.42 sq mi) is water. The population density is 2.25 inhabitants per square kilometre (5.8/sq mi).


Map of Kemijarvi

Surrounding municipalities are Pelkosenniemi in the north, Salla in the east, Posio in the south and Rovaniemi in the west.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Narvik kemijarvi example

Villages located in the area of the municipality of Kemijarvi are Halosenranta, Hyypio, Isokyla, Joutsijarvi, Juujarvi, Kallaanvaara, Kostamo, Levaranta, Luusua, Oinas, Peravaara, Ruopsa, Raisala, Sipovaara, Soppela, Tapionniemi, Tohmo, Ulkuniemi, Varrio and Vuostimo.

The first permanent settler inhabitant of Kemijarvi was Paavali Ollinpoika Halonen, who moved, from the region of Oulu, from Niskakyla, Utajarvi to Kemijarvi about 1580. His wife was Anna Laurintytar Halonen and their children were Paavo, Olli and Pekka Halonen. Paavalis place of residence is known today as Halosenranta. As the first settlers moved to Kemijarvi, the area was no longer inhabited exclusively by the Sami people, but Ammanvaara in the area of the municipality is an ancient sacrificial place of Samis.

The railway reached Kemijarvi in 1934. It was extended north to Salla and what is now Russia during World War II, though the line is currently moribund beyond Kemijarvi. The Kemijarvi railway station has passenger train service to Rovaniemi, Oulu and Helsinki. The direct overnight train service between Kemijarvi and Helsinki was controversially withdrawn in September 2006, with VR (Finnish Railways) stating that its new sleeping car trains could not operate with the diesel locomotives needed for the (then) non-electrified railway north of Rovaniemi. However, a year later, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and VR reached an agreement concerning partial public funding of the service, which was restored in 2008 with a diesel generator car supplying hotel power to the passenger cars. The generator car disappeared from the train in March 2014 when the electrification extension from Rovaniemi to Kemijarvi was inaugurated, an event which also assured Kemijarvi a permanent place in the VR network.

The Eastern Lapland area where Kemijarvi is situated is well known for the nearby skiing resorts Suomu, Luosto, Pyha and Salla, as well as Ruka in Kuusamo region. The beautiful Lake Kemijarvi, next to the city of Kemijarvi, is much appreciated as a place to visit during summertime. Lake Kemijarvi is surrounded by hills and large forests. Common fish species found include pike, perch and brown trout. Also, currently Kemijarvi is the northernmost known lake in Finland with an indigenous population of zander (also known as walleye or pikeperch). River Kemijoki flows from Lake Kemijarvi to Rovaniemi and further, to the sea at Kemi. Other popular summer pastimes besides fishing are hiking, trekking, boating and hunting.


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