-+ Print


The New City of Kouvola has a long history. The new Kouvola, established on January 1, 2009, was celebrated as the 10th largest city in Finland. The new city of Kouvola, with almost 90 000 residents, was created by merging Anjalankoski, Elimäki, Jaala, Kuusankoski, Valkeala and Kouvola.

The mother municipalities before Kouvola were Elimäki, Iitti and Vehkalahti, from which all of these six municipalities broke away and became independent.

The end of the 18th century was a historically significant time. After the Treaty of Turku in 1743 the Kymi River became the border between Sweden and Russia and remained thus until the beginning of the Age of Autonomy in 1809. Due to the border, the area witnessed several battles and historical events during the 1780s. For example, the Liikkala Note, Anjala Conspiracy and the Battle of Kaipiainen happened during that time (1788-1789).


Anjalankoski was born as a result of a merger between the municipalities of Anjala and Sippola in 1975 and was granted city privileges on January 1st, 1977. The mother municipality of Anjala was Elimäki, from which it broke away in 1863. Sippola broke away from the municipality of Vehkalahti in 1861.

Anjalankoski is a historical region, where it is said the Finnish independence process began, as disgruntled Swedish officers started the Anjala conspiracy in the late 18th century.

Anjalankoski’s history is a history of noble families and their manors. Cavalry Captain Henrik Wrede saved the life of the Swedish king, Charles IX, in battle in 1605, due to which a few years later the king donated the parishes of Anjala and Elimäki to Wrede’s widow. Thus begun the time of the Wrede family on the west side of the Kymi River. On the east side, the manor era began in 1649 when Queen Christina of Sweden donated the village of Sippola, among other possessions, to the noble family of Creutz .

The River Kymi

The River Kymi is the basis of habitation as well as industry. The industrialisation of the riverside began in the 1730s and the foundation of the modern large-scale industry was laid in the 1870s and 80s when the first ground wood mills and paper mills were founded.

Elimäki and Jaala

Elimäki was already recognised as an independent municipality in the late 15th century, as it had its own court and constable. This was mentioned in the book Elimäen historia, i.e. History of Elimäki, and the actual date was 1452.

The parish of Elimäki became independent along with the parishes of Anjala and Ruotsinpyhtää by a decree of the Finnish Senate dated April 13th, 1863. The final separation from the parish of Loviisa took place on May 1st, 1865.

Elimäki also founded the first municipal council on March 8th 1868.

Manors are a part of Elimäki’s history as well. One of the most important incidents was when King Charles IX of Sweden lost his horse during the Battle of Kirkholma, between Polish and Swedish armies, near Riga in 1605. Cavalry Captain Henrik Wrede gave the King his horse and thus saved his life. Wrede himself was killed in the battle. The thankful King donated a vast fief around the modern Elimäki to Wrede’s widow, Gertrud von Ungern. This donation made the Wrede family one of the most important families in the region.

Jaala was formerly a part of Iitti and became independent in 1879.

The meaning of Kouvola

It is said that Kouvola received its name from a settler named Kouvo, and one of the meanings of the word is bear. A Bear has become the symbol and mascot of Kouvola. The construction of the St Petersburg railway had a significant impact on the development of the region. Kouvola received a railway station in 1875 which brought a lot of railway workers with it. Thus, the little village with a station started to become a junction.

Kouvola was part of the municipality of Valkeala. It became a semiautonomous community in 1917, an independent municipality in 1922, a market town in 1923 and a city in 1960. Kouvola had become a centre of commerce and administration.


Kuusankoski was founded in 1921 by combining parts of Iitti and Valkeala. Kuusankoski became a market town in 1957 and a city in 1973.

The industrial community had begun to appear at the border of Iitti and Valkeala in 1872 when two paper mills were built near the Kuusankoski rapids. In 1897, a third entrepreneur founded a mill near the Voikkaankoski rapids, north of the Kuusankoski rapids. These three mills merged and became one large corporation in 1904 and are now an important part of the multinational UPM-Kymmene conglomerate.

The merger of the three mills began the developments which lead to the forming of the municipality of Kuusankoski. The Kymintehtaa and Voikkaa regions separated from their rural mother municipalities, which were unable to comply with all the administrative needs. This led to the Kymiyhtiö Corporation being responsible for various governmental services, these being the development of healthcare and the founding of schools.

The municipal council of Iitti put forth the motion to form the independent municipality of Kuusankoski in its meeting on October 21st, 1918. In Iitti, the industrial area was only seen as a burden, as Iitti received the taxes of the workers and Valkeala received the taxes from the mills. Valkeala’s position in founding the municipality of Kuusankoski was positive, even though it would mean considerably less taxes.

In September 1920, the 14 council members from the industrial villages of Kuusankoski, Kymintehdas and Voikkaa voiced their opinion in the municipal councils of Valkeala and Iitti that the industrial area could become an independent municipality of Kuusankoski, starting January 1st, 1921.


Valkeala was founded in 1631. The municipality was a rather strange rural community as it had industry and a railway connection, which were the main reasons for Kuusankoski and Kouvola becoming independent. The vicinity of the border also brought battles to Valkeala.

Kouvola.fi uses cookies to facilitate the use of the site and to collect statistics on usage. When you use this website, you agree to the use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy