Kotka is the second largest city in Kymenlaakso County. It is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Finland, at the estuary of Kymi river. Kotka is known by its port, industry and maritime festivals. Kotka is also known as a multifaceted city of educational institutions and culture.
Kotka was founded in 1879. Now the population is about 55.000. The area is 750 km2, but most of it is water, 272 km2 is land. Kotka is located 130 km east from Helsinki and 290 km west from St. Petersburg; the highway no 18 runs through Kotka. In the city there are two centres, Kotkansaari (the Isle of Kotka) and Karhula.