Kirkkonummi

From Academic Kids

Kirkkonummi, or Kyrkslätt in Swedish, is a municipality of 31,695 inhabitants (2003) in Southern Finland. The literal meaning of the word "Kirkkonummi" in English is "Church Moor" ("Church Hill") obviously derived from the more than 700 year old stone church standing on a hill in the municipal center.

The distance from the municipal center to downtown Helsinki is some 30 kilometers, while it is only about 20 kilometers from the eastern border of Kirkkonummi to downtown Helsinki. Driving time from the municipal center to Helsinki ranges from 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic. Kirkkonummi also has excellent train and bus connections to other parts of the greater Helsinki area. The majority of inhabitants commute daily to nearby Helsinki region for work.

Kirkkonummi has been populated from the Stone Age to the present day as evidenced by the very first Stone Age rock paintings found in Finland that are located by Lake Juusjärvi in the central lake region of Kirkkonummi.

In the west it borders to Espoo and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Other neighbouring municipalities are Vihti and Siuntio. It covers an area of 393.30 km² of which 28.29 km² is water. The population density is 80.6 inhabitants per km².

Major population centers of Kirkkonummi include: Kirkkonummi (the municipal center), Masala (Masaby in Swedish), Veikkola (far north), Kantvik (by the sea) and the Upinniemi naval garrison area. In addition to these, Kirkkonummi has dozens of smaller villages and like dwellings.

Geographically, Kirkkonummi has two famous peninsulas, namely the Porkkala peninsula and Upinniemi peninsula, the latter one of which houses a major Finnish naval base. Porkkala is also on one of the main bird migration routes in the Baltic Sea region. Additionally, Kirkkonummi has a large central plains area, through which a railroad goes from Helsinki to Turku as well as extensive lake areas, much of which are quite untouched wilderness.

The southern half of the municipality was leased to the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1956 for use as a naval base as part of the peace settlement that ended the hostilities between the Soviet Union and Finland during World War II. Signs of this time can still be found, if one knows where and what to look for. These include conrecte bunkers, other fortifications and even the remains of an airbase. Other worthwhile places of interest located in Kirkkonummi include the ancient stone church in the municipal center, the beautiful wooden church in the village of Haapajärvi as well as the Vitträsk mansion built for their residence by three most famous Finnish architects ever: Eliel Saarinen, Herman Gesselius and Armas Lindgren.

Kirkkonummi offers excellent possibilities for recreational activities: many public beaches both by the sea and by various lakes, a long coastline with an extensive archipelago for sailing, kayaking and diving (many wrecks), extensive wilderness areas for hiking and orienteering, municipally maintained jogging and cross-country skiing routes, a network of light roads for jogging, biking and rollerblading, a swimming hall, a small icehockey stadium, a municipal indoor swimming center, 4 full-length golf courses (Sarfvik is among the best in the nation) and even a small downhill skiing center (Peuramaa).

External link

fi:Kirkkonummi sv:Kyrkslätt

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