Pelkosenniemi is a municipality in central Finnish Lapland. Pyhä-Luosto National Park and Pyhä holiday resort are where most visitors are heading to and where most servicies are. Lampivaara amethyst mine is the only open amethyst mine in Europe.
The municipality is unilingually Finnish. As elsewhere in Finland, English is widely understood.
The municipality is named after Paavali Pelkonen, a Finnish settler from Ostrobothnia who arrived here in 1664. As the Crown of Sweden hadn’t taken these lands into its ownership (yet), Pelkonen’s act was actually illegal. The Samis sued him several times for hunting beavers and fishing, and finally in 1671 the court ordered Pelkonen’s settlements to be destroyed. However, Pelkonen appealed to the Governor of Osthrobothnia and eventually got permission to stay on the grounds. He died in 1715 and was buried to Kemijärvi cemetery.
During World War 2, the Battle of Pelkosenniemi was between Finnish and Soviet Armies in December 1939. The Finns won the battle. After the Soviets retrieved, they were unable to ever strike again.
Since the 1950s, the 1 Vuotos area was planned to create a new reservoir to produce hydroelectric power. This Vuotos Reservoir (Finnish: Vuotoksen allas) was one of the main topics in Finnish environment and energy politics for decades until 2018 when a political decision not to create the reservoir ceased the debate… at least for now. The public opinion in Finland was, and still is, mostly against the reservoir.
Being home for just 950 permanent residents Pelkosenniemi is the least populated municipality in Finnish Lapland and the population trend is still declining. The local economy is heavily based on tourism. 1 Pyhä holiday resort is the main employer but most workers at the resort come from elsewhere and stay here just for the season. Most leisure services have centered to Pyhä resort.
The most famous person born in Pelkosenniemi is rock musician Antti Hulkko, better known as Andy McCoy.