REGION OF PÄIJÄT-HÄME – THE HEART OF FINLAND

    The city of Lahti represents the geographical and functional centre of the region of Päijät-Häme. It is situated 100 km north of the Finnish capital Helsinki. Today Lahti can be reached from the Helsinki City Centre by train or international airport Helsinki-Vantaa by bus in just 60 minutes.

    The landscape in the region is dominated by green forests and unspoiled pure lakes enriched by undulating forms of the Salpausselkä ridge. The region of Päijät-Häme can be called the heart of Finland, as the life in the post ice age period started from the surroundings of Lake Päijänne in the rural area of Asikkala.

    Eleven municipalities belong to the region of Päijät-Häme: the cities of Lahti, Heinola and Orimattila, and the municipalities of Hollola, Sysmä, Asikkala, Hämeenkoski, Hartola, Nastola, Kärkölä and Padasjoki. Today the region of Päijät-Häme offers a balanced mixture of original Finnish traditions and a modern way of life.

    Surrounded by a charming scenery about 200,000 people live here, half of them in the regional centre of Lahti. A fifth of the Päijät-Häme regions 6,295 km2 is covered by lakes. Lake Päijänne is the second largest lake in Finland. Apart from its significance for the touristic development of Päijät-Häme, it is also an important drinking water reservoir for the whole Southern Finland.

      Päijät-Häme

      Sports and culture

      The region of Päijät-Häme is characterised by sports and culture. The city of Lahti is internationally known to anyone interested in sports. Since 1926 the World Championships in cross-country skiing have been organised here for numerous times. In year 2001 the Nordic Ski World Championships will be arranged again in Lahti. Also the annual ”Salpausselkä-Games” stimulate this winter resort´s development.

      During the summer months Päijät-Häme turns into a touristic area where tourists and local people spend their holidays living in summer cottages at the lake shores, enjoying lake scenery, nature and peacefulness.

      The region of Päijät-Häme offers a remarkable variety of cultural events, ranging from the Lahti International Organ Festival to different theatre plays and interesting exhibitions. The outstanding world famous Lahti Symphony Orchestra, especially famous for its highly regarded performances of the works of Finland´s national composer Jean Sibelius, also deserves to be mentioned. In the honour of Sibelius Lahti has build a wooden congress and concert hall, called the Sibelius Hall, in the Lahti harbour.

      Natural environment and world wide business

      The region is developing steadily. Quality, design and environment are the key words to know-how, not to forget the traditional fields of industry.

      Wood and water and innovative potential are one of the most important resources for the region of Päijät-Häme. Although in addition to the woodworking and furniture industries, metal, plastic and textile goods are of the highest quality and locally manufactured for domestic and global markets. Progressive innovations originate especially from the environmental and recycling sector of the industry. Both agriculture and forestry still represent essential sources of income in the rural areas.

      The region of Päijät-Häme is known of its University of Applied Sciences, colleges and vocational institutions. For example the Design Institute of the University of Applied Sciences has been the recipient of numerous international awards in design. Also the Units of University of Helsinki and Lappeenranta University of Technology provide tertiary level studies in Lahti. Tradition is enhanced by education and experience. The future of the region is in competitive education, both vocational and academic.

      Gate to the East and West

      The region of Päijät-Häme is always open to the world not only when important sport competitions or festivals reach an international audience. Since Finland joined the European Union in 1995, centuries-old European connections are undergoing a permanent intensification. People in Päijät- Häme understand this as a chance to present one´s potentials to an international audience and to utilise one´s particularities for regional marketing. New influences are welcomed just as much as old traditions are still maintained.

      The favourable geographical position is a decisive potential of the region of Päijät-Häme. Due to its central location between East and West, it was already known as a focal point for busy trade in the Middle Ages. Since the last century, traffic connections have been greatly extended, turning Päijät Häme into a ”Gate to the East”. The railway from Helsinki to St. Petersburg via Lahti, which was completed already in the 1870, also provides important impulses. Today Lahti can be reached from the international airport Helsinki-Vantaa by bus or Helsinki City Centre by train in just 60 minutes. New fast railway connection to St. Petersburg will be opened in the near future.

      The region of Päijät-Häme is known of its University of Applied Sciences, colleges and vocational institutions. For example the Design Institute of the University of Applied Sciences has been the recipient of numerous international awards in design. Also the Units of University of Helsinki and Lappeenranta University of Technology provide tertiary level studies in Lahti. Tradition is enhanced by education and experience. The future of the region is in competitive education, both vocational and academic.

      Eleven Municipalities of the region

      Twelve municipalities belong to the region of Päijät-Häme: the cities of Lahti, Heinola and Orimattila, and the municipalities of Asikkala, Hartola, Hollola, Hämeenkoski, Kärkölä, Nastola, Padasjoki and Sysmä. Today the region of Päijät-Häme offers a balanced mixture of original Finnish traditions and a modern way of life.

      Vellamo in the Coat of Arms

      The Region of Päijät-Häme got its own coat of arms in 1997. It represents a gorgeous fishtailed woman, Vellamo. The heraldic symbols of the coat of arms refers to the two natural elements typical of the region
      of Päijät-Häme. Firstly the lake Päijänne and secondly the folding long ridges both dominating the region. Vellamo holds a cuckoo in her right hand which refers to the Karelian people living in the region and the wistfully cuckooing emblem bird of their former homestead.

      Many kinds of international and local beliefs of various ages are connected to the mysterious water nymph Vellamo, the symbol of the region of Päijät-Häme. In all its secrecy Vellamo is the perfect symbol of the region with pure lakes.

      Visit Päijät-Häme and Lahti Region

      http://www.lahtiregion.fi/en 

      and

      http://www.heinolaresort.fi/en/travel

       

      http://www.paijat-hame.fi