Welcome to Joensuu
At the egress of the Pielisjoki (Joensuu means ‘river mouth’ in Finnish), North Karelia's capital is a spirited university town, with students making up almost a third of the population. Joensuu was founded by Tsar Nikolai I and became an important trading port following the 1850s completion of the Saimaa Canal. During the Winter and Continuation Wars, 23 bombing raids flattened many of its older buildings, and today most of its architecture is modern. It’s a lively place to spend some time before heading into the Karelian wilderness.