Infobox City
official_name = City of Jakobstad
native_name = Jakobstads stad - Pietarsaaren kaupunki
slang names =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =

image_shield = Jakobstad coat of arms.png

mapsize = 100px
map_caption = Location of Jakobstad in Northern Europe
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Finland
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Western Finland
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_name2 = Ostrobothnia
subdivision_type3 = Sub-region
subdivision_name3 = Jakobstad sub-region
leader_title = City manager
leader_name = Mikael Jakobsson
established_title = Charter
established_date = 1652
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 122.9
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_km2 = 87.8
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_km2 =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of =
population_note =
population_total = 19,431
population_density_km2 =
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban =
population_density_urban_km2 =
population_density_urban_mi2 =
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +2
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +3
latd=63 |latm=40 |lats=00 |latNS=N
longd=22 |longm=42 |longs=00 |longEW=E
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
website = [http://www.jakobstad.fi www.jakobstad.fi]
footnotes =
blank_name =Official languages |blank_info =Swedish, Finnish

Jakobstad in Swedish, or Pietarsaari in Finnish, is a town and municipality in Ostrobothnia, Finland.


The town was founded in 1652 by Ebba Brahe, the widow of the military commander Jacob De la Gardie, and was granted city privileges by Queen Christina of Sweden. The Swedish name literally means "Jacob's City" or "Jacob's Town". The town was founded at the old harbour of the parish "Pedersöre" and this name lives on in the Finnish name of the municipality, "Pietarsaari", literally "Peters Island".

The city grew slowly at first, with the authorities scarcely promoting any growth. In 1680 the inhabitants were ordered to relocate to the cities of Karleby (Kokkola), Uleåborg (Oulu) and Nykarleby (Uusikaarlepyy), but fortunately the order was rescinded. Wars also contributed to the slow growth, and the city was invaded by Russian troops twice during the Greater Wrath, and large parts of the town were burnt to the ground. A majority of the inhabitants fled the city. While those with means moved across the sea to the Swedish side, others took shelter in the forest or in the archipelago. Many were captured or killed. During the 1720s, some of the previous inhabitants returned, while newcomers also added to the population. The subsequent decades were finally marked by a period of growth, and the current church was built in 1731.

The economic foundation was laid in the mid 18th century, with tar manufacturing and tobacco packaging at its centre. Trade started to develop rapidly in Jakobstad as of 1765, when the cities along the Finnish shore of the Gulf of Botnia were granted privileges by the Swedish crown to trade directly with foreign countries. This also led to shipbuilding becoming a major activity in Jakobstad. The first ships to sail with goods to foreign countries were the galeas "Jacobstads Wapen" and the brig "Enigheten". Trade and shipbuilding made Jakobstad a wealthy city, and a notable businessman of that time was the merchant and shipbuilder Adolf Lindskog, who also became one of the richest men in Finland.

The early 19th century was a time of upheaval, which saw the 1808-1809 war between Sweden and Russia, as well as a devastating fire in 1835 that destroyed approximately half of the city. Despite this, the economic progress continued, and a brewery, a matchstick factory and several banks were founded after 1850. In 1859, the merchant and shipowner Peter Malm started a steam powered sawmill, which was only the second such installation in Finland. The Crimean War was a major setback to shipping industry, as the British navy puts up an effective blockade and the shipping fleet in Jakobstad is reduced from 26 ships to 9.

Notable businessmen in the 19th century were Otto Malm and Wilhelm Schauman, the latter founding a chicory (coffee substitute) factory in Jakobstad in 1883. This moment in time is usually considered as the start of industrialization in Jakobstad. In 1900, the Strengberg tobacco factory was the largest employer in Jakobstad.

An artillery school was located in Jakobstad during the Finnish civil war. During WWII, the city was bombed once by Soviet bomber planes, causing a few casualties. Up until the 1960s, the town was overwhelmingly Swedish speaking, but as a consequence of industrial expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the need for additional work force caused a large influx of Finnish speakers. The town remains bilingual, and today there are approximately 55% Swedish speaking inhabitants and 42% Finnish speaking inhabitants.

Notable people from Jakobstad

* Ossian Schauman, the founder of the Swedish-speaking non-governmental organization Folkhälsan, was born and spent his youth in Jakobstad. [http://www.folkhalsan.fi/default.asp?path=228;273;279;289 Folkhälsan] provides social welfare and health care services in Finland.
* Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the national poet of Finland, was born in Jakobstad.
* Philip Ulric Strengberg was a prominent businessman and majority owner of the local tobacco factory in the 19th century.
* Karl and his son Walter Nars, pioneers in Finnish plastics manufacturing with their company Oy Nars Ab (originally from Purmo but establishing their business activities in Jakobstad).
*Fredrik Österholm founder of F. Österholm disponent byrå
*Fredrik Norrena, goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets

Culture & sights

*Jakobstad is the home of the galeas "Jacobstads Wapen", a full scale replica built between 1987 and 1992, based on the original 1755 drawings by Swedish naval architect Fredrik Henrik af Chapman [http://www.jacobstadswapen.net/engelska/eng.htm]
*The Arctic museum Nanoq is located outside Jakobstad.
*The botanical garden Skolparken, with approximately 1,000 plant species, is renowned both as one of the most northerly botanical gardens in the world and for its classical park architecture. The foundation was laid in 1915 and the park was completed in 1932. The funding was provided by the Schauman family, who wanted to honour the memory of Elise and Viktor Schauman. The park was designed by the prominent Finnish garden architect Bengt Schalin.
*Skata is a protected residential area close to the city centre which dates from 1783. Up until the late 19th century, Skata was home primarily to sailors and their families. As of the 1890s, it transformed into a mainly working class area, providing housing to a large part of the work force employed by the Strengberg tobacco factory.


The town's football team FF Jaro plays in Veikkausliiga, the first league in Finland. The woman's league football club FC United has been very successful over the years.

External links

* [http://www.jakobstad.fi/index_en.html Jakobstad Pietarsaari] - Official site
* [http://www.jakobstad.fi/tekniska/karta/index.html Interactive map of Jakobstad]
* [http://www.jakobstadstidning.fi/ Jakobstads Tidning] - Local newspaper
* [http://www.jakobsdagar.multi.fi/ Jakobs Dagar]

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