Keminmaa (until 1979 Kemi rural municipality, Swedish Kemi landskommun) is a Finnish municipality located in the southwestern part of Lapland. The municipality has a population of 8,062 and covers an area of 647.24 km², of which 20.88 km² are water bodies. The population density is 12.87 inhabitants / km².

At the beginning of 2015, the City of Kemi and the municipalities of Keminmaa and Simon planned to merge into a new city of Kemi. The Kemi and Simon municipal councils approved the merger proposal, but the Keminmaa council rejected it.



The settlement on the Kemijoki river is very old. Permanent settlement was established as early as the beginning of the 11th century, when people moved from Satakunta, Häme and Karelia to the wilderness of the north. In the 13th century, Swedish and German merchants arrived in the area, and the salt obtained from them was a crucial condition for the revival of the salmon trade. The first written record of the Kemi parish dates from 1329, when it is mentioned in a letter from King Maunu Eerikinpoja. In the same century, there is a controversy over the delimitation of the border between the dioceses of Uppsala and Turku in Northern Ostrobothnia. The border of the dioceses eventually formed between Tornio and Kemi, so that the Kemi region remained in the diocese of Turku and thus in Finland, while Tornio was under the control of the bishop of Uppsala. The Kemi parish was a large area that stretched from northern Lapland to Haukiputaa.

According to tradition, the first church of the parish, dating from the Catholic period, is located in Valmarinniemi. The church was looted by the Russians in 1473 and burned down in 1517. The new church, the current old church in Keminmaa (St. Michael's Church), was built between 1519 and 1521. There lies the famous mummified body of Pastor Nikolaus Rungius, who died in 1629. The church is the northernmost medieval stone church in Finland.

In the Middle Ages, secular rule was also formed. Keminmaa's predecessor, Kemi Parish, was one of the oldest parishes in Northern Finland and extended to the whole of Peräpohjola, ie the present Simon, Kemi, Tervola and Rovaniemi all the way to Kemijärvi. Livestock farming began to develop from the 17th century.

Rovaniemi seceded from the Grand Master of Kemi in 1785 and Simo and Tervola in 1866. The uplift lowered the mouth of the Kemijoki River so that merchants could no longer reach the rivers with their ships, so in 1869 the city of Kemi was established as a new trading place by the sea. The new church in Keminmaa was built with the funding of Emperor Alexander I in 1823–1827 and was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. From the 1860s onwards, numerous steam sawmills were established in Kemijoki, which revolutionized life in the area. The most significant were the Karihaara sawmill, which started operations in 1874, and the Veitsiluoto sawmill, founded by the state in 1921. The birth of industry increased the population of the area, and thus a large part of the former Kemi countryside was annexed to the city of Kemi from the beginning of 1931. At the same time, the Kemi countryside lost almost 15,000 inhabitants and only 3,500 remained.

During the Second World War, on the site of the present nursing home in Keminmaa, on the edge of Lake Kallinjärvi, there was a German bakery, where all the breads of German troops in northern Finland were baked. There was a German officers' club in Pölho's school.

After the wars came the time of reconstruction. Pohjolan Voima Oy built the Isohaara power plant in Keminmaa in 1945–1948, as a result of which the salmon of the Kemijoki River became history and many meadows and fields were submerged. At the end of the 1950s, extensive zoning work and the development of municipal technology began, which resulted in the construction of more than 1,600 detached houses and about 1,200 apartment and terraced houses between 1970 and 2005. In 1966, Kuivamaito Oy's factory was completed in the then Kemi countryside. The Elijärvi mine was opened in 1968 and the Taivalkoski power plant in 1975. At the beginning of 1979, the name of the municipality was changed from Kemi to Keminmaa.