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Hamnia — Fredrikshamn
Location of Hamina in Finland
|• Town manager||Hannu Muhonen|
|• Total||1,155.14 km2 (446.00 sq mi)|
|• Land||609.51 km2 (235.33 sq mi)|
|• Water||545.66 km2 (210.68 sq mi)|
|Area rank||138th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||54th largest in Finland|
|• Density||33.72/km2 (87.3/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||96.1% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||15.1%|
|• 15 to 64||63.8%|
|• 65 or older||21.1%|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||20%|
Hamina (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhɑminɑ]; Swedish: Fredrikshamn, [freːdrɪksˈhamːn]) is a town and a municipality of Finland. It is located approximately 145 km (90 mi) east of the country's capital Helsinki, in the Kymenlaakso region, and formerly the province of Southern Finland. The municipality's population is 20,554 (31 August 2017) and covers an area of 1,155.14 square kilometres (446.00 sq mi), of which 545.66 km2 (210.68 sq mi) is water. The population density is 33.72 inhabitants per square kilometre (87.3/sq mi). The population of the central town is approximately 10,000. Hamina is unilingually Finnish speaking.
Valtatie 7 is the town's road connection to Helsinki, after it was upgraded to a continuous motorway in September 2014. Hamina is also one of the most important harbors of Finland. The port specializes in forest products and transit cargo to Russia. One of Google's three European data centers is situated in Hamina.
Vehkalahti county was mentioned in documents for the first time in 1336. At the proposal of Count Peter Brahe, the area surrounding the Vehkalahti church (nowadays St. Mary's Church) was separated from rest of Vehkalahti in 1653 and became a town called Vehkalahden Uusikaupunki (Veckelax Nystad in Swedish, "Newtown of Vehkalahti"). The town was destroyed during the Great Northern War in 1712.
As the important foreign trade town of Vyborg was surrendered to Russia in 1721, this town (newly renamed in honour of the King Frederick I of Sweden in 1723) was intended to replace it. The town, hitherto a small domestic trade port with restricted trade, was granted extensive privileges, including foreign trade. Finnish people soon shortened the name to Hamina. The rebuilding of the town took place in 1722–1724. The star-shaped fortress and the circular town plan, designed by Axel Löwen, are based on Central European and Italian Renaissance fortress concepts from the 16th century. Fortress towns like this are quite rare; other examples are Palmanova in Italy and Neubreisach in France.
In 1743, Hamina was surrendered to Russia, after the Russo–Swedish War, 1741–1743, and the town of Loviisa was the next Swedish candidate for an Eastern-Finnish trade center. Hamina became a Russian frontier town, for which a fortress was desirable.
The Treaty of Fredrikshamn (1809), by which Sweden ceded Finland, including parts of the province of Lappland and the Åland Islands, was signed in Hamina. Thus Sweden was split, and the eastern half, along with previously conquered territories including Hamina (Old Finland), was formed into the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire.
Because the town was founded next to the Vehkalahti Church, the municipal center had always been inside the town borders. Vehkalahti and Hamina were consolidated in 2003, and the old coat of arms was replaced with Vehkalahti's coat of arms. The old coat of arms was readopted in January 2013.
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