Finland

Article

July 5, 2022

Finland (Finnish: Suomi, Swedish: Finland, officially the Republic of Finland) is a Northern European country, the capital of which is Helsinki. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the southeast, and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. It borders on land with Sweden, Norway and Russia, and on the sea with Estonia. It is referred to as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes". The Åland archipelago, located near the southwest coast, enjoys a high level of autonomy. In the far south, a narrow strip is decorated with a mixed deciduous forest of Central European character. Taiga grows in most of the country, a continuation of the Russian taiga. On December 6, 1917, shortly after the Russian Revolution of October 1917, Finland declared its independence. After the Second World War, Finland existed as a sort of buffer zone between the Soviet Union and Western countries. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Finland also became freer, and in 1995 it joined the European Union. There are two official languages: Finnish is the mother tongue of 89% of the population, Swedish is the mother tongue of 5% of the population.

Geography

Location, borders

Finland is located in the northern part of Europe, on a shield eroded into a Precambrian plateau. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the southeast, and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. It borders on land with Sweden, Norway and Russia, and on the sea with Estonia. The total length of its land borders is 2,563 kilometers, of which the common border with Sweden is 545 kilometers, with Norway 709 kilometers, and with Russia 1,309 kilometers. The area of ​​the country is 338,145 km², which is approximately three and a half times the area of ​​Hungary. Approximately 10% of the country's territory, 34,330 km², is covered by water.

Terrain

Finland is also known as the country of a thousand lakes. This name is not the most accurate, as 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands are registered. Most of the lakes are located in the Finnish Lake District in the southern part of the country. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat plains interspersed with a few hills. Its highest point is Haltitunturi, 1328 m high, at the northernmost point of Lapland, close to the Norwegian border. Apart from the lakes, the landscape is covered with forests (only 7.4% of the country's territory is farmland). Most of the islands are located in the southwest, as part of the Åland archipelago, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland. The surface was formed by the ice sheet during the Ice Age. Many moraine lakes and the bare granite rocks that can be seen everywhere were transported to their present location by the glaciers of that time.

Water drawing

The definition of a lake in Finland is: standing water larger than 500 m². Calculated in this way, Finnish statistics register 187,888 lakes. Among them, Lake Saimaa is the largest with an area of ​​4,400 km². The network of lakes, natural watercourses and artificial canals plays a major role in the transport of goods. The glaciers of the Ice Age not only created many lakes, but also many islands on the low coast. According to numbers, 179,584. They can be divided into two main groups – more logically than geographically: the Åland Islands in the southwest and the islands off the south coast. There are also islands on larger lakes. Its main rivers: Kemijoki, Oulujoki, Torneälven.

Climate

The climate is located in the northern temperate zone, characterized by cold, sometimes harsh winters and relatively warm summers. Snow covers the landscape for four months in the south and six to seven months in the north. Due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the climate is significantly warmer than it would be from the distance from the equator. A quarter of Finland's territory lies north of the Arctic Circle. The phenomenon of the midnight sun can be observed here. It takes longer the further north we go. At the northernmost point of Finland, the sun shines continuously for 73 days in the summer and in the winter