Lieksa is a Finnish city located on the shores of Lake Pielinen in the province of North Karelia. The city has a population of 10,845 people and an area of 4,067.71 km2, of which 649.82 km2 are water bodies. The population density is 3.17 inhabitants / km2. The city is an archipelago association according to the Archipelago Act. Lieksa is the city furthest from the sea in the Fennoscandian region.

The name Lieksa is of Sámi origin; the corresponding word in modern northern Sámi is leakša ‘swampy valley’.



The early stages of the region
The Iron Age objects in the Lieksa region are represented by a pin-decorated bronze buckle found in Kelva (from about 800, original in the National Museum). The Peace of Pähkinäsaari in 1323 divided Karelia between Sweden and Novgorod, after which the Pielinen region fell peacefully into the Novgorod administrative district. During the Novgorod rule, a permanent Karelian settlement was established in the area. The settlers moved south to Karelia to their familiar wilderness. The first villages of Lake Pielisjärvi (eg Lieksa and Viensuu) existed at the end of the 15th century. In full peace, Lake Pielisjärvi remained under Moscow's rule, but the peace of Stolbova in 1617 connected Lake Pielisjärvi to Sweden, when it became part of Käkisalmi County. In Lieksa, in the 16th century, the Karelian leader Luka Räsäinen, who took part in the battles between the Russians and the Swedes. Savolais became birch burners in the 17th century in the Pielisjärvi area.

Brahea, St. Petersburg The city of Brahe
The Lieksa region was already an important trading place in the Middle Ages. In the middle of the 17th century, Lake Pielisjärvi became part of the large Free Duchy of Kajaani. Count Peter Brahe, of which the province was a county, founded the town of Brahea at the mouth of the Lieksanjoki River in 1653 to support the trade of Viena.

During the Rupult War, a fortress, or Skanssi, was built from logs to defend the city. It measured 71 × 53 meters. The fort was built of logs, and had a round tower at every corner and two gates. There was a tavern inside the fortress.

The town area housed, among other things, the town hall, the Orthodox tsasouna, the bourgeois dwelling houses and the Lutheran church completed in 1667 on the site of the present church. The town of Brahea has had a school since 1663.

Brahe was abolished as early as 1681, just a year after Count Brahe's death. The Pielisjärvi area was annexed to the Free Duchy of Kajaani, whose order by Governor Hindrich Piper destroyed the city of Brahea. The town was finally destroyed by Salomon Ehnberg, who leased the Pielisjärvi parish from the crown in 1685: the town houses were demolished and the area plowed into a field.

At most, the city of Brahea had about 350 inhabitants. After the abolition, the church village of Pielisjärvi parish remained on the site.

The theme of the present coat of arms of the city of Lieksa dates from the seal of the city of Brahea in 1669.

Pielisjärvi church village after the abolition of Brahea
Lake Pielisjärvi was given in 1685 for a tax lease to Salomon Ehnberg, who quite soon entrusted tax collection to Simon Affleck. Affleck survived in folk tales as Simo Hurtta. The time of tax tenants always lasted until years of great hatred, during which power was changed for some years to the Russians. In the post-Great War period, tax tenants no longer received a firm grip on the people of Pielisjärvi.

At the end of the 17th century, Pielisjärvi also suffered from catastrophic years and the hunger caused by them. They aroused unrest against the authorities, and the people of Pielisjärvi rose up several times against Simon Affleck, who they hated in particular.

From the time after the Great War, the years of the Finnish War in Pielisjärvi were influenced by two pastors, Jakob Stenius Sr. (Korpi-Jaakko) (1704–1766) and Jakob Stenius Jr. (Koski-Jaakko) (1732–1809).

The birth of the current Lieksa
Gradually, the center of the Pielisjärvi area, Lieksa, became the center of the whole parish, and Lieksa was formed into a densely populated community in 1900. The area got its bread from wood and was known as the center of the logs. Lieksan Sähkö Oy was founded in September 1918 and since the company did not yet have its own electricity production, it was decided to build its own power plant, for which a plot of land was leased from Hovila's owner along the Lieksanjoki river in the area between the church park railway. Electrical energy was obtained from a generator of less than 40 kW installed behind a wood-fired steam turbine. The boiler and generator were used but in “good condition”. In the spring and winter of 1919, the Lieksa homes that joined the network began to receive electric light as the oil lamps moved into the corners of the closets. In November 1919, the company was entered in the Trade Register. The Pankakoski power plant was completed and commissioned in April 1912.

A bad fire in 1934 destroyed almost all the old buildings in the city center. Only a few survived. The construction after the Great Fire gave rise to the establishment of the Lieksa market in 1936.

The current Lieksa was born when the township of Lieksa and the municipality of Pielisjärvi merged in 1973. At the same time, Lieksa was transformed into a city. It was for a long time the largest city in Finland.