Alavus (Swedish: Alavo) is a town in southern Ostrobothnia on the upper reaches of the Lapuanjoki River. The city has a population of 11,416 and covers an area of 1,151.46 km2, of which 64.28 km2 are water bodies. The population density is 10.50 inhabitants / km2. There are 60 lakes and a total of 324 kilometers of shoreline. The distance to Seinäjoki is less than 60 kilometers from the center of Alavus and to the shopping village of Tuuri about seven kilometers. The neighboring municipalities of Alavus are Alajärvi in the northeast, Kuortane in the north, Seinäjoki in the west, Virrat in the south and Ähtäri in the east. The former neighboring municipalities are Nurmo and Peräseinäjoki, which are connected to the Seinäjoki River.



The birth of the settlement
The man arrived in the Alavus region as soon as he retreated to the mainland. The oldest Stone Age finds in the region date back to the time of Suomusjärvi culture, about 8000–5000 BC. Stone guns, campfire bottoms, mound remnants, and burnt bones tell a lot about the life of the Stone Age population. As the shoreline moved west, population in the Alavus area also decreased significantly, and no signs of it were found at the end of the Stone Age. Iron Age artefacts show a favorable business location and good fish stalls attracting people to the site constantly, even though the direct waterway had already been cut off due to land uplift.

The settlement remained a mobile fishing culture until the 16th century. The people of Häme used the region as a route to their wilderness and the Gulf of Bothnia. At the end of the 16th century, the Savonian birch-burning population began to settle in the region. The upper part of the Lapuanjoki valley was called Lapua Savo in the 17th century. Savonian culture was a kind of intermediate form between permanent agriculture and mobile fishing culture. Most of the population in the region moved elsewhere. The final settlement took place from the west, mainly to the middle reaches of the Kyröjoki and Lapuanjoki rivers, where the population of Satakunta originated.

The establishment of a city in Uusikaarlepyy at the mouth of the Lapuanjoki River was an important event in the history of Alavus. In 1617, Ruovesi, located at the northern end of Lake Näsijärvi, was assigned to the Uusikaarlepyy trade district. The transports took place over Suomenselä along the shore of the ancient Näsijärvi river. At the beginning of this phase, the Alavus region was still so sparsely populated that, according to tax lists, there were only six houses.

Traffic was initially conveyed only by the equestrian trail that led from Häme to Ostrobothnia, so trade remained quite modest. Indeed, the development of Alavus was slow throughout the 17th century. However, the situation changed at the end of the 17th century, when a road was built from Ruovesi to Uusikaarlepyy. The number of houses had risen to only twenty in a hundred years. By the end of the 18th century, there were already more than a hundred houses and the population rose to close to two thousand.

The birth of the church
The Alavus region initially belonged to the Ilmajoki parish. In 1674, the Ilmajoki preaching room was formed from Alavus. Alavus became a chapel congregation in 1701 and received its own priest. Alavus was annexed in 1798 as a chapel parish to the newly established parish of Kuortane. The people of Alavu were dissatisfied with the fact that the pastor lived in Kuortane, so in 1835 Alavus became the parish church, to which Kuortane was merged, and in 1837 the pastor of Kuortane moved to Alavus. The whole parish was still called Kuortane at that time. Kuortane and Alavus were each separated into their own parent church in 1859 and Alavus regained its old name. In practice, however, the separation of the parishes did not take place until 1875. Töysä resigned as his own parish in 1896.

The first church was built in Alavus probably in 1677, the second perhaps in the 1740s. Built between 1823 and 1825, the church, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, was destroyed in a fire in 1912. Only the belfry designed by Carl Bass survived. The city 's current plastered brick church, designed by Kauno Kallio, was completed in 1914.

The battle of lowland
During the Finnish War, an important battle was fought in Alavus, now known as the Battle of Alavus. During the retreat phase on July 14, 1808, the Finnish field army had won in Lapua, but the Russians threatened to nullify it by conquering an important crossroads in Alavus. Carl Johan Adlercreutz then decided to recapture Alavus and on August 17 attacked a Russian force of almost half the size of about 4,000 men. The Finns grouped in an attack on the steps of Alavus Church and advanced to the south shore of Lake Alavudenjärvi. On the lands of the Röyskö farm, Adlercreutz himself led the attack on the left side of the Russians. His sub-commanders included Karl Leonhard Lode and Johan Reinhold von Törne, known from the stories of Lieutenant Stool. After Härkönen, located near the current Harri summer theater, had been attacked, the Russians were driven from behind a mile and a half along the ridge of Kuortaneen-Ruovesi. However, the Finnish army could not use the victory of Alavus.


The time of autonomy was in Alavus through rapid development. New fields were cleared and the population multiplied. At the beginning of the 20th century, the limit of ten thousand inhabitants was already exceeded.

Railway construction
The traffic location of Alavus had further improved when the Haapamäki – Seinäjoki railway opened in 1883. However, the line was lined about 3 kilometers north of the church village. The center was divided into two, the station area and the church area. As the importance of the road connection decreased, the focus of development shifted, at least in part, to the station area. This dichotomy has apparently to some extent weakened the growth of more urban settlements. Another factor holding back growth was the lack of a densely populated commercial sphere of influence. Like Suomenselä, the neighboring municipalities are small and the distances between the municipalities are long. Alavus' traffic location weakened in 1971, when the Ostrobothnian line was straightened past Alavus from Tampere directly to Seinäjoki. Alavus was a trader from 1974 to 1976 and received city rights on January 1, 1977.

At the beginning of 2013, the municipality of Töysä merged with the city of Alavus through a municipal association. The new coat of arms of Alavus was the then coat of arms of Töysä.