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Loviisa

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Loviisa (Swedish: Lovisa) is a town and municipality in Uusimaa on the Finnish south coast.

Understand

Loviisa is a nice small town, founded in 1745 with rights to international trade. At the time it was at the border to Russia, which explains the fortresses. Originally named Degerby, it was renamed after Queen Lovisa Ulrika at a visit by the King. In 1866 it became a spa town. It got a private narrow-gauge railway to Lahti in 1900. The railway was taken over by VR in 1959 and got Finnish broad gauge the next year. Passenger traffic ceased in 1981.

The area has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Like most of the rest of coastal Finland, it got Swedish-speaking settlers when Finland had become part of Sweden in the 12th century. It had a Swedish speaking majority until late, now there is a Finnish-speaking majority of 55%.

To contemporary Finns Loviisa is best known as the site of Finland's first nuclear power plant, in use since 1977.

Get in

Loviisa is situated next to highway 7 (E18) about halfway between Helsinki and the Russian border at Vaalimaa (90 km to both of them) and is an easy side trip.

There are direct buses from Helsinki, and buses from Helsinki to Kotka or Hamina go via Loviisa.

The railway does not carry passengers.

The steamship J.L. Runeberg cruises between Helsinki and Loviisa in summer.

There are several guest marinas.

  • 1 Laivasilta Guest Harbour (Skeppsbrons gästhamn), Laivasilta 1 (in the centre), ☏ + 358 40-740-7308, niclas.mattsson@sulo.fi. June–August and by agreement. Showers, sauna. Electricity, water, fuel, waste disposal, septic tank emptying. Laundry. Bicycles, SUP-boards and kayaks for rent. 

Get around

The points of interest in the town are accessible by foot; if you want to go further out you will need a bike, car or taxi.

Local bus and route planner are available.

Loviisa also has a service line primarily aimed at the elderly. You pay the driver for the trip according to normal bus fare. The ride is ordered from the driver by 16:00 the day before. Monday rides can also be booked on Monday mornings from 07:30 to 07:45. The line taxi will pick you up at the agreed address.

By taxi

See Uusimaa#By_taxi for information about companies and fares

  • Taksi Itä-Uusimaa, ☏ +358 100 0700. Also bookable by 0100 0700 app. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app. Flag fall M–Sa 05:00–21:00: €3.90, other times and holidays: €6.90; 1–4 persons €0.99/km+0.99/min. (updated Jul 2020)
  • Smartphone apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi

See

  • 1 Loviisa fortress, Ungernintie (less than 1 km east of the market square). Built in 1748 by the Swedes. 
  • 2 Svartholma fortress. Built around the same time as Loviisa fortress on Svartholm Island. In the summer there is a ferry from Laivasilta a few hundred meters south of the town centre, ferry tickets cost €15 for a roundtrip. 
  • 3 Loviisa church. The road to Loviisa from the west seems to lead right into the red tile church that is one of the most visible landmarks of the town. 
  • 4 Lovisa nuclear power plant. Finland's oldest nuclear power plant is located on the island Hästholmen, 15 km south-east of the town centre. Visits need to be pre-arranged but you can always look at the plant from a distance. 
  • 5 Strömfors ironworks, Ruukintie 11A (in Ruotsinpyhtää village, east of Loviisa). The old ironworks of Strömfors (Swedish)/ Ruotsinpyhtää (Finnish) is today a museum. 

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Hotelli Uninen, Brandensteininkatu 17, ☏ +358 19 50561. (updated Dec 2021)

Connect

Go next

  • West towards Helsinki: Porvoo – like Loviisa, but older, larger and more touristy
  • Eastwards along the coast old port city of Kotka and Hamina.
  • North: Kouvola


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