Vaasa

A bit about the history of the city

Received the city charter in 1606, during the reign of King Charles IX of Sweden and named after the Royal House of Vasa (Vasa). During the war of 1808–09. the city was taken several times in battle by Russian troops.

Originally located on the shores of the bay of the Gulf of Bothnia, later, thanks to the raising of the shores, in the 19th century it was already at a considerable distance from the coast and therefore, after the fire of 1852, which completely destroyed it, the city was moved west to the seashore.

According to the Encyclopedic Dictionary of F.A. Brockhaus and I.A. Efron, in 1887. the population has reached 8689 people. The city was the residence of the governor and the court of justice (Hofrätt), whose jurisdiction extended to the Vasa and Uleoborg (Uleaborg) provinces of the Grand Duchy of Finland. There was a classical lyceum with teaching in Swedish, a private classical lyceum with teaching in Finnish, a 4-class Finnish elementary school, a Swedish real school and a Swedish girls' gymnasium (Fruntimmerskola). Vaz hosted the main office of the VAZ bank, established in 1879, and a branch of the Finnish state bank. The Vaz-Tammerfors Railway already connected Vaz with the rest of Finland’s railway network. According to the data of 1886, there were 361 factories and workshops in VAZ, with 1,171 workers and with a production cost of 3709320 Finnish marks; the cotton factory, worth about 2 million marks, was especially significant. The vase was of great commercial importance for the Vasa province; it had the trade harbor of Brändö. The exported items were: grain bread (oats – 300,000 hectoliters and rye for crops), livestock (which was exported mainly to Sweden), cow's butter (one million kilograms), resin, etc. The amount of customs duties reached 1½ million marks per year.

Title

Over the years, Vaasa changed her name several times as a result of a change in spelling, political decision-making and a change in the state of the language.

Initially, the city was called Mustasaari (Finnish. "Black Island") or Mussor (in honor of the village on the site of which it was founded in 1606), but a few years later the name was changed to Wasa (Vasa) in honor of the Swedish royal dynasty. From 1606 to 1855 the city was known as Vasa. In 1855, in connection with the death of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I, who was simultaneously holding the title of Grand Duke of Finland, the city received the official name Nikolaystadt or Nikolaystadt (Nikolaistadt in German, Nikolaistad in Swedish and Nikolainkaupunki in Finnish), despite this, the old name , descended from the family of the Swedish kings of Vaz, remained in use all the time (unlike the old Vase – Gamla Wasa, it was called New Vase – Nya Wasa). Beginning in 1918, it was officially named as Vasa (in Swedish) and Vaasa (in Finnish).

The Finnish name has become basic since about 1930, when Finnish speakers became the majority among the inhabitants of the city. From about this time until 1989, the name of the city on Russian-language maps was written as Vasa, later the spelling was closer to the Finnish name.

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Amanda K. Benson

Author: Amanda K. Benson

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