Governorate of Vyborg

Governorate of Vyborg

Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name = "Выборгская губерния
Viborgs län
Viipurin lääni"
conventional_long_name = Governorate of Vyborg
common_name = Vyborg
subdivision = Governorate
nation = the Russian Empire
Part of the Grand Duchy of Finland, from 1812.
event_start = Established
year_start = 1743
date_start = August 7
event_end = Disestablished
year_end = 1917
date_end = December 6
event1 = Transferred to Finland
date_event1 = January 4, 1812
p1 = Saint Petersburg Governorate
flag_p1 = Flag of Russia.svg
p2 = County of Savolax and Kymmenegård
flag_p2 = Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg
s1 = Province of Viipuri
flag_s1 = Flag of Finland.svg

image_map_caption = The Governorate of Vyborg in 1897
capital = Vyborg
leader1 = Carl Johan Stjernvall
year_leader1 = 1812-1815
leader2 = Carl Fredrik von Pfaler
year_leader2 = 1910-1917
title_leader = Governor
stat_area1 = 32134
stat_year1 = 1887
stat_pop1 = 330823
stat_area2 = 32134
stat_year2 = 1903
stat_pop2 = 438006
footnotes =

The Governorate of Vyborg ( _ru. Выборгская губерния, Vyborgskaya guberniya, _sv. Viborgs län, _fi. Viipurin lääni) was a governorate of the Russian Empire from 1743 to 1917. In 1812 it was made part of the Grand Duchy of Finland, in the Russian Empire.


The governorate was established in 1743 by separating the city of Vyborg and territories ceded from the Swedish Empire to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, from the Governorate of Saint Petersburg, and including the new territorial gains by the Treaty of Åbo. The territory consisted of parts from the County of Viborg and Nyslott and County of Kexholm in 1721, and the County of Savolax and Kymmenegård in 1743. It was also known as Old Finland ( _sv. Gamla Finland, _fi. Vanha Suomi), and between 1802 and 1812 it was named the "Governorate of Finland".

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Kingdom of Sweden had allied itself with the Russian Empire, United Kingdom and other parties against Napoleonic France. However, following the treaty of Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, Russia made peace with France. In 1808, and supported by France, Russia successfully challenged the Swedish control over Finland in the Finnish War. In the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on September 17, 1809 Sweden was obliged to cede all its territory in Finland, east of the Torne River, to Russia. The ceded territories became a part of the Russian Empire and was reconstituted into the Grand Duchy of Finland, with the Russian Tsar as Grand Duke.

In 1812 the governorate ( _sv. län, _fi. lääni) was transferred from Russia proper to the Grand Duchy of Finland, however in Finland the language of the administrators was still Swedish and the old terminology during the Swedish time continued in local use. The transfer announced Tsar Alexander I just before Christmas, on December 23 1811 O.S. (January 4, 1812 N.S.), can be seen as a symbolic gesture and an attempt to appease the sentiment of the Finnish population, which had just experienced Russian conquest of their country by force.

Following the declaration of independence of Finland on December 6, 1917 it became the Province of Viipuri ( _fi. Viipurin lääni, _sv. Viborgs län).

The capital of the governorate was the city of Vyborg ( _sv. Viborg, _fi. Viipuri), which at the time was second largest city in Finland.


The area had a well-developed economy due to its proximity to Saint Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire. In 1856 Saimaa Canal ( _ru. Сайменский канал, Saymensky kanal) was opened, linking Lake Saimaa and Finnish Lakeland to the Bay of Viborg.

The development of the province was bolstered further by the construction of the Saint Petersburg–Riihimäki railroad (1870), Viborg–Joensuu railroad (1894) and Petrograd–Hiitola railroad (1917).

Granite, marble (in Ruskeala) and bog iron mining as well as logging were important branches of industry. Starting from the beginning of the 20th century, a number of hydroelectric power plants were built by Enso in the higher reaches of the River Vuoksi to supply its pulp and paper mills.

Administrative divisions

The governorate was subdivided into nine counties:
*Ranta ( _sv. Stranda)
*Käkisalmi ( _sv. Kexholm)
*Kurkijoki ( _sv. Kronoborg)
*Kymi ( _sv. Kymmene)
*Lappee ( _sv. Lappvesi)
*Salmi ( _sv. Salmis)
*Sortavala ( _sv. Sordavala)
*Jääski ( _sv. Jäskis).

Following the electoral reform to the new Parliament of Finland in 1906, the governorate was divided into an Eastern and a Western electoral district.


*1812-1815 Carl Johan Stjernvall (1764-1815)
*1816-1820 Carl Johan Walleen (1781-1851)
**1820-1821 Otto Vilhelm Klinckowström (1778-1850, acting)
*1821-1825 Otto Vilhelm Klinckowström
**1825-1827 Carl August Ramsay (1791-1855, acting)
*1827-1834 Carl August Ramsay
*1834-1839 Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (1797-1854)
*1839-1844 Fredric Stewen (1798-1851)
**1844-1946 Casimir von Kothen (1807-1880, acting)
*1846-1853 Casimir von Kothen
*1853-1856 Alexander Thesleff (1810-1856)
*1856-1866 Bernhard Indrenius (1812-1884)
*1866-1882 Christian Theodor Oker-Blom (1822-1900)
*1882-1885 Woldemar Carl von Daehn (1838-1900)
**1885-1888 Sten Carl Tudeer (acting) (1840-1905)
*1888-1889 Sten Carl Tudeer
*1889-1899 Johan Axel Gripenberg (1833-1918)
*1900-1902 Nikolai von Rechenberg (1846-1908)
*1902-1905 Nikolay Myasoyedov (b.1850)
**1905 Konstantin Kazansky (b. 1867, acting)
*1905 Konstantin Kazansky
**1905-1906 Mikael von Medem (acting)
*1906-1907 Nikolai von Rechenberg
*1907-1910 Birger Gustaf Samuel von Troil (1868-1926)
*1910-1917 Frans Carl Fredrik Josef von Pfaler (1865-1937)

Notable people

*Julius Krohn (1835, Viborg - 1888), Fennoman

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