Last modified: 2005-06-25 by phil nelson
Keywords: sweden | finland | haparanda | tornio |
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The cities of Haparanda (Sweden) and Tornio (Finland) are located in the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia. They are separated only by the border between the two countries, which is the river Torne Älv. Until 1809, Tornio, as the whole of Finland, belonged to Sweden. After the war against Russia in 1808-1809, Sweden left Tornio and built the new city of Haparanda on the other bank of the river. However, close links were maintained between the two banks. Tornio was in the Middle Ages one of the most famous markets in northern Fennoscandia. Today, the border is crossed every day by more than 16,000 vehicles, which makes of it the busiest border in the Nordic countries. Swedish and Finnish are spoken on both sides of the border when required for trade; for the same reason, Euros and Swedish crowns are used on both sides. Haparanda and Tornio cooperate today in some twenty domains, such as teaching, first-aid, waste management and sport infrastructure. A joint new municipal center called Eurocity shall be inaugurated in 2012; it is located on the border and will include a shopping mall, a police station, schools, offices, culture and leisure infrastructures... Haparanda and Tornio have adopted a common coat of arms which they use on their respective municipal flag.
Source: Article by Hans Norrbom in "Från Riksdag och Departement", translated in French in "Courrier International", #756, 28 April 2005.
Unfortunately, there are no further details on the flag and arms of the two
Ivan Sache, 6 May 2005