Nykarleby / Uusikaarlepyy


Nykarleby (Swedish: Nykarleby, formerly Finnish: Lapuanjoensuu) is a Finnish city. Nykarleby is located in the province of Ostrobothnia, at the mouth of the Lapuanjoki River. The neighboring municipalities to Nykarleby are Kauhava, Pedersöre municipality, Pietarsaari and Vöyri. The city is bilingual: about 90 percent of the population speaks Swedish and about 8 percent Finnish. In September 1808, the Battle of Judah, which had joined the Finnish War, was fought in the locality. The stories of Johan Ludvig Runeberg's Lieutenant Stool tell of this battle.



The Lapuanjoki mouth area seems to have been inhabited later than the Kyrönjoki and Ähtäväjoki areas on the basis of ancient discoveries. However, already in prehistoric times, locks have certainly been built here to catch fish and seal hunting has been practiced in the Bay of Bothnia. A solid settlement along the Lapuanjoki River was created in the Middle Ages, and in 1550 there were 33 houses in the village of Lepo on the site of the present city.

When King Charles IX of Sweden returned home from the Polish War via Ostrobothnia, he planned, among other things, the division of the old mothers, and one result was the formation of Nykarleby from parts of Pietarsaari and Vöyri in 1607. The new King Gustav II Adolf called to which in 1617 he ordered the establishment of the city. Uusikaarlepyy received city rights in 1620.

According to the first census of 1636, there were 44 households in Nykarleby. In 1651, Nykarleby became the center of Kaarlepor County, but the following year the town of Pietarsaari was established right next door. After the death of Count Åke Tott, the county of Charlesleport returned to the crown in 1674. Difficult times for the city were marked by the famine of 1696–1697 and the great hatred of the beginning of the next century, during which almost the entire city fled to Sweden and the Russians plundered the city. Outdated trade legislation hindered trade in the region until Nykarleby in 1795 gained the rights of a tapioca, ie complete freedom to transport its goods anywhere in Finland or abroad.

The most important export product of the Nykarleby region was tar, which was exported from the city at the end of the 17th century in about 5,000 barrels, or a third of the quantity exported from Kokkola. By the end of the next century, Uusikaarlepyy had developed into one of the largest export ports in the kingdom, and by 1782 the volume of tar exports had risen to nearly 20,000 barrels. In 1856, more than 13,000 barrels of tar were still exported from Nykarleby, but soon after that exports ceased. At the same time, Lapuanjoki had become unfit for sailing. In 1903, a narrow-gauge railway was built from Kovjoki station on the Oulu line to Nykarleby, but this did not improve the situation either. The track was demolished in 1916 and the rails were sold to Russia.

Most of the city in Nykarleby was destroyed in a fire in 1858. After that, it was planned to move the town to Oravainen Karvat next to a good port, but the project was not implemented. Architect Carl Albert Edelfelt drew up a new town plan, which was completed in 1910.

The first school in Ostrobothnia, the trivial school in Nykarleby, was founded in 1641, but it was moved to Vaasa in 1684. Finland's second Swedish-language elementary school teacher seminary was founded in Uusikaarlepyy in 1873 and closed in 1973. In 1919, the city's Nykarleby got its own library in 1814 and it became a public library in 1865. The city's own newspaper, Österbottniska Posten, began publishing in 1884, edited by Anders Svedberg.

Nykarleby remained a small town for centuries, and even in its 350th anniversary year in 1970, it was the smallest town in Finland. In 1974, the city had 1,569 inhabitants and a land area of ​​21.3 square kilometers. In 1975, the countryside and the municipalities of Munsala and Jepua were annexed to Uusikaarlepyy, increasing its area by more than 30 times and its population by almost five times.

In Nykarleby, the city and the countryside formed a common congregation throughout their history. The first church in Nykarleby was built in 1607. It was demolished in 1708, when the current church designed by the assessor Elias Brenner was completed. Next to the church is a belfry completed in 1702.