Ulvila (Swedish: Ulvsby) is a city located in the province of
Satakunta. Ulvila is located along the Kokemäenjoki River, next to
Pori. In addition to Pori, its neighboring municipalities are
Harjavalta, Kokemäki, Nakkila and Sastamala. In addition to Kulla,
which was connected to Ulvila, the former neighboring municipalities
are the Pori countryside, Noormarkku and Lavia, which were connected
to Pori, and Kiikoinen, which was connected to Sastamala. The city
center consists of two agglomerations located across the
Kokemäenjoki River, Friitala and Vanhastakylä. Ulvila is home to
12,855 people and covers an area of 422.51 km², of which 21.86 km²
are water bodies. The population density is 32.09 inhabitants / km².
The city of Ulvila has a long history: it was founded in 1365, making it one of Finland's six medieval cities and Finland's second oldest city after Turku. Ulvila lost its city rights to Pori in 1558, when the then port of Ulvila had become unfit for ships due to land uplift. 442 years later, since 2000, the municipality of Ulvila has once again used the name city. The city of Ulvila got its current form when the municipality of Kullaa was merged with it in 2005. On 15 and 29 December 2008, the city council of Ulvila decided on a municipal association with Nakkila, Harjavalta and Kokemäki. The alliance (project name Nauhakaupunki) was to take effect at the beginning of 2011. However, the new council, which started in early 2009, decided on 2 March 2009 to terminate the merger agreement.
The local newspaper Ulvilan Seutu is published in Ulvila, with a circulation of 3,243.
The mainland is retreating
Continental ice withdrew from the Ulvila area around 7600–7500 BC. Ulvila was not yet habitable, as the area was covered by a sea about 200 meters deep. The upper edges of Ulvila began to rise above sea level around 2000 BC.
The inhabited parts of Ulvila are mostly quite shallow, flat in the Kokemäenjoki Valley, so land uplift has strongly affected the area. There are signs from the Stone Age of a hunter-gatherer and seal-hunting settlement belonging to the Kiukainen culture. Agriculture in the area began during the Bronze Age, when fertile plains were put into cultivation. After them, these inhabitants left mound graves. The settlement at this time was apparently fixed, consisting of detached houses.
Iron Age and desertification
The beginning of the Iron Age possibly brought with it a population decline. After the first centuries of our era, no more cemetery finds are known from the Ulvila and Nakkila area, so it is possible that the population disappeared and the area turned into a wilderness for about a millennium.
At the same time, the bay in the Ulvila area continued to descend and the Kokemäenjoki River brought clay soil to the areas of the current Friitala and Vanhankylä, which was apparently too tough to be modified with the technology of the era. The nearest known settlement was located in Kokemäki, higher in the Kokemäki River Valley.
As the Iron Age changed for a historic period, agricultural skills developed and settlement spread from Kokemäki to Ulvila. The village of Haistila was first born in the 13th century. There is also a village called Haistila in Kokemäki, so the people could have come from there. Although new settlement in tougher clay areas became possible with the help of the iron plow, the settlement of the Kokemäenjoki estuary was partly foreign. The Hanseatic merchants of Visby and other cities needed a port and a base that the sparsely populated Ulvila region offered.
There were probably no farmhouses in the estuary in the 12th century, but by the 13th century the situation could have already changed. There are no documents from the 13th century left, but already 14th century documents tell of a lively activity. New residents and experienced settlers resolved their numerous disputes in the councils as redistribution rights, fishing management, and village boundaries were redistributed. The King of Sweden also took a stand on the controversy and decided on new practices to the detriment of the people of Experiences. Gradually, the influence and control of the Experienced settlers in the estuary and its uplands moved to the settlers to strengthen their living conditions.
The early stages of the construction of Ulvila Church are not known very precisely. In his letter of 1311, Bishop Ragvald called for the construction of a church in Liikistö. The financing of the construction has been settled in part by the sale of the anete, as is clear from Ragvald's letter. A temporary wooden chapel has apparently been built on the site, the surroundings of which also served as a cemetery. In 1332, Bishop Pentti gives permission to build a church, which tells us about the success of fundraising. Both bishops wrote about Liikinen Island as the place of the church, but the present church is located next to Saarenluuoto. When Bishop Hemming writes in 1347 about the inauguration of the new Ulvila cemetery, the content of the letters becomes contradictory. Was the church originally built next to Saarenluuoto or was it moved there only later? In Hemming's letter, the name of the church had changed from Liikinen Church to Ulvila Church, which also became the name of the founded town. The final date of completion of the church is not known, but as late as 1350 the project required the attention of the bishops. In 1352, the Ulvila parish is mentioned as a regal parishioner. In 1412, Klaus Fleming wrote of Ulvila Church as “a church island at the mouth of the river”.
According to tradition, in addition to Liikistö Church, there was another church in Ulvila in the 13th and 13th centuries. This church was higher on the river, in Anola Church Island, which now belongs to Nakkila. There are no visible remnants left.
The marketplace gathered a large crowd around it, but the development of farming settlements required the approval of the land arc. Most villages were inhabited in the 15th century, but more distant villages had been established by the 16th century at the latest. The villages of Ulvila, Viikkala, Lautila, Leistilä, Masia, Ruskeala and Haistila, were originally villages of Finnish law, but the new villages born after the 14th century came under Swedish law. The fragmentation of the villages of Finnish law also transferred the new villages to the scope of Swedish law. The new residents were settlers from abroad, from other parts of Finland or experienced residents. The names of the farms and residents may have belonged to merchants or those from Sweden and Gotland. Some of the owners' names were Finnish, which were Swedishized in the documents.
The Bishop of Turku had ownership of the fishing waters and
beaches of Liikistö and Anola. The lamp shops that took care of the
areas must have been Swedish. However, as early as the 15th century,
the villages had begun to become Finnish, which can be seen from the
names of the villagers.
From the beginning, the market of Liikiste Island competed with the Kokemäki store. The management of the port in the estuary of the river meant a competitive advantage, but Kokemäki had the main right to manage the store. The growing influence of the Hanseatic League gnawed at the benefits of the Kokemäki store. As can be seen from the surviving documents, in a speech given at the Gertud Guild in 1344, the people were addressed as “pastors, townspeople and parishioners”, Ulvila would have been turned into a township. The designation as a town possibly took place in the 1330s. It was not yet a city with its mayors, as Ulvila was still under Vaud. The actual city rights to Ulvila were not granted by King Albrekt Mecklenburg of Sweden until February 7, 1365. The rural village in the area may have been renamed the Old Village soon after, although the name Gammelby did not change until after the disappearance of the city.
The pressure of the people of Ulvila towards the people of Experiences paid off in 1347. In addition to obtaining sheep fishing rights, the people of Ulvila were also granted the exclusive right to trade in Kokemäki in the spring market. In the spring, from January 13 until Easter, a market was held in Kokemäki's town hall, where people from Ulvila were now allowed to sell their products. The restrictive condition was that the king's tax revenue should not be deducted from coexistence.
However, Ulvila was unable to develop, as the city did not have rights of way. Trade was only allowed with Stockholm and Turku, and inland peasants and hunters did not deal exclusively with the bourgeoisie of Ulvila. The city’s bourgeoisie Swedishized as the Germans moved away. It was not until the end of the 15th century that Ulvila was granted the right to sail, but the benefits of this remained limited, as the time was warlike and restless.
St. Olaf's Church was built on the present site of the church in the 14th century. It is unclear whether the current church, which is the only surviving medieval building in Ulvila, was built at that time. Dendrochronological research dates the present church to the 1480s. On the other hand, next to the foundations of the church, a coin was found in 2005 with coins from the 1360s and 1380s.
The Union Wars had weighed heavily on the people of Ulvila. In 1550, King Gustav of Vaasa ordered the bourgeoisie of Ulvila to move to the city of Helsinki, which he founded. Although the bourgeoisie was allowed to return after a few years, in 1558 the Duke of Finland ordered a new city of Pori to be established seven kilometers closer to the coast at the then mouth of the Kokemäenjoki River.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Ulvila represented the Finnish countryside and was marked by a manor house. Houses, famines, and censuses deserted houses, but despite this, the population grew from about 350 in 1535 to 600 in the late 17th century. After the Great Wrath, growth accelerated. The farms that fell on the crown due to unpaid taxes were bought as an inheritance and the manors developed agriculture. At the same time, they and the large peasant houses began to set up crofts in their hinterlands, whose inhabitants cleared much of the present arable land. The Vatu sea meadow was also dried into arable land, which increased the arable area by hundreds of hectares. The population grew from seven and a half hundred in 1750 to 3,800 in 1855.
Leineper Ironworks was founded in the 18th century. Finnish wrought iron was processed there and it also produced the lime needed as an ingredient in the masonry mortar. A unique community was born around Ruukki.
The transition to modern society slowly improved the living conditions of the people. Systematic cultivation began in the 1880s, and cooperative mills and dairies were also established. In 1892, Arthur Hellman founded the Friitala leather factory, which transformed the village of Friitala into an industrial community. In 1895, the Tampere-Pori railway was completed, with Friitala and Haistila as stops. The transport methods of the time are indicated by the fact that in the beginning, Haistila acted as a terminus for freight traffic, where goods on their way to the port were loaded into corpses for river transport. The river was also used for timber swimming from the late 19th century to the 1960s.
Municipal life and the civil war
In the municipal reform of 1865, the parish and municipal administrations were separated. The first municipal meeting was held in 1868. The working population and crofters did not have a vote at the municipal meeting, as the right to vote was based on tax and land ownership. Ulvila was the most industrialized area in Finland: almost 30% of the population worked in industry. The labor movement gained a strong position in Ulvila as soon as it was born.
The first revolving school was established in Ulvila in 1855, but the primary school - the Old Village School - could be expected until 1880, when it was established after hesitation. The loan library had been founded by Count Stenbäck as early as 1865. Other usual reforms also arrived in Ulvila: a voluntary fire brigade was established in Kaasmarkku in 1898 and a youth club in Ulvila in 1906, which continues to operate.
In the 1880s, the training area of the 7th Reserve Company of the 2nd Turku Sniper Battalion with its barracks was established in the village of Ravan. The army of the Grand Duchy of Finland was disbanded at the beginning of the 20th century, and later, in the 1920s and 1930s, the camp area of the Protectorate was located on the site. The barracks building of the reserve company was later transferred to the ownership of the Satakunta Agricultural Society.
In the Finnish Civil War, the majority of the people of Ulvila participated in the Red side. About 40 men fought in the White Army and 1,500 to 2,000 men on the Red Side. In the 1916 election, the Social Democratic Party had received a record 77% support. Based on the data of the Finnish War Assassinations project, 312 people from Ulvila and 99 people from Kula were violently killed in connection with the Civil War.
After the Civil War, crofters were released, creating about 160 new farms. The change in the economic structure continued as industrialization progressed. During the Second World War, the villages of Toejoki, Koivisto, Ruosniemi and Kartano were handed over to the city of Pori, which reduced the number of industrial workers in Ulvila, but brought these densely populated communities into the city's municipal technology. However, the left remained strong. The Social Democrats and Communist covert organizations did well in the municipal elections, and on the bourgeois side moderate forces received the most support, with the IKL remaining a minor factor. Ulvila has remained a left-majority municipality to this day.
To modern times
After the Second World War, about 1,000 evacuees were settled in Ulvila, mainly from the parish of Hiitola. Karelian cultural influences brought to Ulvila e.g. tradition and Karelian pies. Ulvila's population continued to rise with the large age groups, and in the 1960s the municipality, under the leadership of Mayor Teuvo Aalto, began to pursue an active land policy. On average, the municipality has sold fifty detached house plots a year, which has created the detached house areas of Krapisto, Mynster, Rantala, Suurpää, Nummela, Loukkura, Nahkuri and Mukulamäki. Apartment buildings have been built in Vanhaankylä and Friitala.
Ulvila's social structure has become service-intensive. The operation of the Friitala leather factory has already ceased. It has been replaced by the high-tech companies Cimcorp Oy, Neorem Magnets and the copper refineries of Luvata Pori Oy and Cupori Oy (formerly Outokumpu Oy) located right on the border of Pori and Ulvila, although on the Pori side.
The change in the municipal structure has also affected Ulvila. Kullaa, who had previously divorced from Ulvila, returned to his mother-in-law in 2005. At the same time, the Kullaa parish again became the Ulvila chapel congregation. Ulvila took over the name of the city again from the beginning of 2000. In recent years, the population of Ulvila has been declining slightly.