Villages in Ostrobothnia home


The town of Gamlakarleby in Finland was founded by the Swedish King Gustaf II Adolf in 1620. During 1750-1860 it had its great seafaring period. Principal sources of livelihood were commerce and tar production and export, merchant shipping and shipbuilding. The Finnish name for Gamlakarleby is Kokkola.

There are about 33,000 inhabitants in the center of the economic region in central Ostrobothnia with a population of 150,000. The Swedish-speaking population is about 23%. The town expanded rapidly in the beginning of the 1960's as a result of the establishment of heavy industry there. There is a vigorous leather industry and textiles, too.

In 1977 Gamlakarleby and Karleby were united into one community called Karleby. The port of Yxpila is one of the most important on the Gulf of Bothnia. The main Ostrobothnian railway carries a great deal of traffic and runs along the coast. The town is also the center for roads leading to Vasa, Oulu, Jyvaskyla and Kajaami. It is also a well-known sports town. More than 30 branches of sport hold their activities there.

Old Karleby church is one of 7 medieval stone churches of Ostrobothnia and was built in the middle of the 15th century - no one knows the date of the foundation. At the end of the 18th century it was changed to a cruciform church, and was restored in 1932-34 and 1954-55. There is a hole in the outer wall by the north entrance made by a Russian shell during the War of Independence in 1918. In the sacristy is a red velvet chasuble from 1643 and a booth from Bavaria or Bohemia in the Thirty Years' War. Southwest of the church is Tarharanta Meadow where peasants of Karleby fought cavalrymen of Clas Fleming in 1595. There's a bronze memorial plate on a stone near the roadside.

Karleby medieval church

Ostrobothnia refers to the land bordering the eastern Gulf of Bothnia.

June Pelo 1982

Note: There is a movement in 1995 to restore the name of Gamlakarleby and leave Karleby as a separate city.

Site map


External links:

History of the the Port of Kokkola - Karleby hamns historia

DATABASE of IMMIGRANTS from Ostrobothnia, Finland