Kauniainen (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈkɑuniˌɑinen]; Swedish:
Grankulla) is a small town and a municipality of 9,482 inhabitants (31
August 2017) in the
Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland. It is
surrounded by the City of Espoo, in Greater Helsinki.
founded by a corporation in 1906, AB Grankulla, that parcelled land
and created a suburb for villas;
Kauniainen received the status of a
market town in 1920, the Finnish name in 1949, and the title of
kaupunki ("city, town") in 1972.
The municipal taxation rate in
Kauniainen is the lowest in Finland
(16.5%), which makes the city attractive to the highest earners.
This in turn makes the average income generally high, making it
possible to keep the taxation rate low without compromising the
service to the inhabitants.
Approximately 7,001,580,000,000,000,000♠58% of the population have
Finnish as their mother tongue while 7,001,380,000,000,000,000♠38%
are Swedish speakers. The dominant party in the city council has
traditionally been the Swedish People's Party.
Kauniainen is the only municipality in
Finland to be fully
enclosed by another municipality.
3.2 Public transportation
6.1 Parliamentary elections
8 Notable people
10 External links
The Swedish name Grankulla is composed by the Swedish words "gran"
(spruce) and "kulle" (hill) and has been in use in this form since the
beginning of the 1900s. Earlier the place was known under its
dialectal form Gränkull. The name Gränkull is found on modern
maps as the name of the hill where the water tower in
located. The Finnish name of the town, Kauniainen, is derived from the
name of a homestead that was located in
Kauniainen called Kauniais. It
was named after an estate near Tampere. The Finnish name was taken
into use in the 1930s and was made the official name of the town
alongside the Swedish name in 1949.
Villa Vallmogård was the home of author Mikael Lybeck. It briefly
housed the American Embassy during World War II.
Around 10,000 years ago, after the Ice Age, only a few islets were
visible in the Yoldia Sea, heights that today form the highest peaks
of the area that is today known as Kauniainen. As the land slowly rose
Kauniainen became a part of the inner archipelago around 4,000 years
ago and there is evidence of human activity in the area in form of
pieces of ceramics from this time period. However, the first permanent
settlements in the area were established in the 19th century. Today
Kauniainen is situated several kilometres from the sea.
In the beginning of the 20th century
Kauniainen only consisted of a
few crofters’ holdings at the outskirts of larger farms in Espoo.
The name of the place, Grankulla, was known as the more dialectal
Gränkull. The main road between
Turku had passed through
the northern parts of
Kauniainen for centuries, but the new railway
between the same cities that opened in 1903 was crucial for the
development of the area.
The history of modern
Kauniainen began in 1906 when a company, AB
Grankulla, bought the land and sold it to people who wanted to have a
villa outside the unhealthy city life in Helsinki. Several other
similar communities were established at the same time around Helsinki:
Leppävaara and Puistola. The share holders, among
them the "father" of the municipality Janne Thurman, could be
satisfied with their investment; they got the invested money back in
one year. The era of the villas had though begun a few years earlier,
when Elia Heikel and Emil Lindstedt bought the area around lake
Gallträsk and built the first villas. No properties sold were smaller
than 3,000 square metres.
Because the municipality of Espoo, to which the area of Kauniainen
belonged, did not show much interest in the new community, the company
was responsible for developing it; roads were built, a school founded,
electricity arranged and the company lobbied for a railway station
(opened in 1908) and a police office. In 1915
Kauniainen received a
limited autonomy from
Espoo and the role of the company declined.
The first exact population figure is from 1917 when the community had
1,647 inhabitants. In 1920
Kauniainen became a market town and gained
complete municipal sovereignty.
Kauniainen also differed from its
rural surroundings in
Espoo with a town plan, road network, villas and
electricity. It was decided to keep
Kauniainen a green, idyllic, rural
community and industrial buildings were banned. Most of the villas
were built in neoclassical style or in the late 1920s functionalism.
The work with a new town plan was started in the late 1920s, but the
proposal was disputed; the inhabitants (and property owners) thought
the roads were too wide. The architect also died in the middle of the
process, which led to that a compromise could be reached as late as in
1937. The population grew only by 10% from 1917 to 1939, while the
population right outside the market town’s borders grew
Kauniainen has been officially bilingual since 1936 and the Finnish
Kauniainen was made official beside the Swedish name Grankulla in
1949 by the market town’s council. Already in the 1930s the name
Kauniainen was used by the railways and the post service. The era of
the villas ended with the Second World War and was replaced by
reconstruction and economically challenging times.
Kauniainen's commercial centre, where the old building from the 1960s
to the right will be demolished
The independence of
Kauniainen as a municipality was threatened by the
municipal obligations and the small number of inhabitants. In the
1950s the market town tried to incorporate a few surrounding areas
from Espoo, but the application was rejected in 1953. Instead the area
of Kasavuori, which the market town had bought, was incorporated in
Otto-Iivari Meurman was given the task of making a new town
plan. He suggested that the villa milieu would be kept, but that the
number of inhabitants would be significantly raised, from 2,500 to
10,000, and that the unmodern villas would be replaced by new ones.
Also apartment buildings should be built. A new commercial centre was
planned next to the railway station with
Vällingby in Stockholm as a
model. The plans for Kasavuori were approved in 1959 and for the rest
of the market town in 1961 and 1963. The commercial centre was
inaugurated in 1966. The town plan has later been criticised because
the unique villa environment was disrupted and many of the beautiful
villas were demolished. A skiing centre was planned in Kasavuori of
the same type as Holmenkollen in Oslo, but the plans were never
realised. Today this area is protected.
The number of inhabitants grew rapidly; in 1967 by as much as 25%. In
Kauniainen gained the status of a city (fi. kaupunki) and the
year after Finnish became the majority language of the inhabitants and
Swedish the minority. The town had at the time 6,400 inhabitants. The
commercial centre has been considered ugly and outdated for more than
20 years and a new development plan for the town centre was
approved in May 2006. The project begun in December 2006 when the
first building was demolished.
Kauniainen has good road connections in most directions. The
Turku motorway (national road 1) passes
Kauniainen to the south and the old Helsinki–
Turku main road passes
the northern parts of the town. The construction of the motorway in
the 1960s played a big role when new inhabitants moved to Kauniainen,
when they could drive quickly along the motorway into Helsinki's city
centre. The north-to-south
Kehä II (Ring Road 2) passes the eastern
corner of Kauniainen.
The most important form of public transportation in
Kauniainen is the
Rantarata railway, opened in 1903. The railway has been important for
the development of
Kauniainen as a suburb of Helsinki. Trains leave
every 15 minutes and the ride to
Helsinki Central railway station
takes less than 20 minutes.
There are two regional bus lines which connect to Helsinki. There are
also local bus lines which connect to various districts of Espoo.
Kauniainen offers a very large range of services to its inhabitants,
considering the size of the town. There are six schools in Kauniainen,
spread out on three levels and two languages – Finnish and Swedish.
indoor ice rink
slalom slope (only one slope, the oldest in
Finland opened in 1934)
small athletics stadium
indoor sports arena (handball, tennis, etc.)
music school (for children)
art school (for children)
adult education school
There are three districts in
Kauniainen called I, II and III. No
districts are named because of the small size of the town. The only
area that is viewed as a named district is Kasavuori (Swedish:
Kasaberget) in the western part of the town.
The following parties have seats in the city council of Kauniainen
following the 2017 municipal election:
Swedish People's Party
National Coalition Party
Social Democratic Party
Results of the
Finnish parliamentary election, 2011
Finnish parliamentary election, 2011 in Kauniainen:
National Coalition Party
National Coalition Party 39.5%
Swedish People's Party
Swedish People's Party 35.2%
Green League 6.2%
True Finns 5.9%
Social Democratic Party 5.7%
Centre Party 2.7%
Christian Democrats 2.4%
Left Alliance 1.4%
Kauniainen has a large range of sports facilities and the town council
has been active in sponsoring sports. There are activities in most
Grankulla IFK (GrIFK) as the biggest association. GrIFK
was founded in 1925 and is today active in ice hockey, football, team
handball, floorball and alpine skiing.
Isac Elliot, singer
Marcus Grönholm, World Rally Championship racer
A road in
Kauniainen during winter
^ "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land
Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
^ a b "Ennakkoväkiluku sukupuolen mukaan alueittain, elokuu 2017" (in
Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
^ a b "Population according to language and the number of foreigners
and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics
Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March
^ "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December
2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland.
Retrieved 28 April 2009.
^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration
of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
^ Cite error: The named reference tax rate was invoked but never
defined (see the help page).
^ a b c d e f g h i j Jaana af Hällström (2006): Grankulla
Kauniainen – Den sista i sitt slag. Gummerus,
Jyväskylä ISBN 951-96894-9-4
^ Finlandssvenska bebyggelsenamn – Grankulla
^ "Kauniainen: Tulos puolueittain ja yhteislistoittain". Ministry of
Justice. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kauniainen.
Kauniainen – Official website
Map of Kauniainen
Municipalities of Uusimaa