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is a city on the southern coast of Finland. It is part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. Other bordering municipalities are Nurmijärvi and Vihti in the north and Kirkkonummi in the west. The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwest Espoo.

Espoo encompasses 528 km², of which 312 km² are land. The current population is 234,466 (as of 2006-10-31), in Finland second only to that of Helsinki.

Espoo has several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into the following major areas: Espoon keskus (also administrative center), Espoonlahti, Kalajärvi, Kauklahti, Leppävaara, Matinkylä-Olari, and Tapiola.

The postal codes in Espoo begin with "02", varying from 02100-02380, 02600-02860 and 02920-02980, mainly becoming higher from South to North.

An anecdote of Espoo is "Los Angeles of Finland", meaning it has no city center but a number of local centers.

The Helsinki University of Technology is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT–the Technical Research Center of Finland. Nokia, the telecommunications company, operates from Keilaniemi (and also from Karamalmi), Espoo, along with other high-tech companies such as KONE, Fortum, and the mobile telephone branch of Elisa Oyj.

Espoo is also the hometown to many members of the band, Children of Bodom



The name Espoo probably comes from the Swedish name for the River Espoo, Espå (or Espåå), which in turn comes from the old Swedish word äspe, meaning stand of aspen, and the Swedish word for "river", å. The name was first mentioned in 1431.

The first inhabitants in the area arrived about 9,000 years ago. A permanent settlement was established during the 12th and 13th centuries. The King’s Road that passes through Espoo on its way from Stockholm via Turku to Viipuri dates back to the 13th century. The oldest preserved building in Espoo, the Espoo Cathedral, originates from the 1480s. The administrative center Espoon keskus has grown around the church and the railway station.

In 1920, Espoo was only a rural municipality of about 9,000 inhabitants, of whom 70% were Swedish speaking. Agriculture was the primary source of income, with 75% of the population making their living from farming. Kauniainen (Grankulla in Swedish) was separated from Espoo in 1920, and it gained city rights the same year as Espoo, in 1972.

Espoo started to grow rapidly in the 1940s and '50s. It quickly developed from a rural municipality into a fully-fledged industrial city, gaining city rights in 1972. Due to its proximity to Helsinki, Espoo soon became popular amongst people working in the capital. In the fifty years from 1950 to 2000, the population of Espoo grew from 22,000 to 210,000. Since 1945, the majority of people in Espoo have been Finnish speaking. In 2006, the Swedish speaking inhabitants represented barely 9% of the total population. The population growth is still continuing, but at a slower rate.






NOKIA - ESPOO  Foto: Ilpo Bister


In front of Nokia at Keilaniemi, Espoo 16.07.2005



 Fortum at Keilaniemenranta






Espoon tuomiokirkko



The oldest parts of the Cathedral of Espoo date back to the 1480s





Kaarlampi and Myllyjarvi, Espoo

pictures copyright@ Ilpo Bister and Monika Kahle


On the rocks of Kaarlampi Espoo






Myllyjarvi, Espoo


on rock at Myllyjarvi, Espoo 19.08.2006


pictures copyright@ Ilpo Bister and Monika Kahle




Laajalahti, Naturpark  Espoo





Laajalahti,  Espoo naturconservation  area