The rova part in the name Rovaniemi has often been considered to be of Saamic origin, as roavve in Saami denotes a forested ridge or hill or the site of an old forest fire.
Rovaniemi was first mentioned by name in official documents in 1453.
The city and the surrounding Rovaniemen maalaiskunta (Rural municipality of Rovaniemi) were consolidated into a single entity on 1 January 2006.
Rovaniemi is a city and municipality in Finland.
Rovaniemi is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus and the provincial capital of Lapland, situated on the Arctic Circle at the confluence of rivers Kemijoki and Ounasjoki.
After the World War II, the city was rebuilt, it was designed with input by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who planned the city’s footprint in the shape of a reindeer’s head, with the city roads forming the antlers, and the local stadium as the reindeer’s eye.
Rovaniemi’s most prominent landmarks include the Jätkänkynttilä bridge with its eternal flame over the Kemijoki river, the Arktikum Science Museum which rises out of the bank of the Ounasjoki river, the Rovaniemi Town Hall, the Lappia House (which serves as a theatre, concert hall, and congress center), and the library.
Rovaniemi is twinned with: Ajka, Hungary; Alanya, Turkey; Cadillac, Michigan, United States; Drvar, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Grindavík, Iceland; Harbin, China; St. Johann in Tirol, Austria; Kassel, Germany; Kiruna, Sweden; Murmansk, Russia; Narvik, Norway; Neustrelitz, Germany; Olsztyn, Poland & Veszprém, Hungary.
Rovaniemi appears in the video game Tom Clancy’s EndWar as a possible battlefield. In the game, Rovaniemi houses military facilities critical to a missile shield for a European Federation.
Rovaniemi has hosted several international ski competitions, including the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1984, several FIS Nordic Combined World Cup and FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup events, the 2005 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships, the 1970 Winter Universiade and the 2008 Winter Transplant Games.