Geology and how the archipelago came to a balance between natural forces, without human influence. A couple of thousand million years ago, you would have had 15 kilometres of mountains above you, right where you are now standing. Try to imagine it!
During the Stone Age, around 6000 BC, the first people moved around in the archipelago mainly for fishing and seal hunting. During the Viking Age, the archipelago was probably unsafe as a living environment, because the Vikings’ journeys to the east passed through the archipelago. The first written information about a permanent settlement in Southwest Finland is from the 14th century. The years of famine and taxes were burdensome for the homestead owners after the middle of the 16th century; the population on the outermost islands decreased and the homesteads became deserted. The archipelago’s population was at its greatest at the turn of the century between the 19th and 20th centuries.
After the Second World War, agriculture developed from small-scale and self-sufficient to larger-scale and market-driven. Connections between the islands and the mainland were expanded, but despite this, the population declined sharply between the 1950s and the 1970s. The declining archipelago fishing contributed to the depopulation. The inhabitants of the archipelago began to combine traditional livelihood, entrepreneurship and paid work. “Jacks-of-all-trades” strongly characterises the archipelago population even today.
At the end of the 19th century, summer residences arose when city dwellers sought a counterbalance to city life in the archipelago. At first it was only a question of short steamboat excursions in the archipelago, but eventually the summer guests also rented and built their own summer residences. In the 1960s, the archipelago began to increasingly interest tourists as well. In the 1980s, guest piers and harbours were built at a rapid pace in the archipelago. Although the archipelago is a popular destination in the summer, tourism can be considered small-scale.
We encourage everyone to also visit the biosphere reserve at times other than summer, to experience the archipelago in different seasons.
Can you balance like this?
Did you know? The Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve is home to about 3,400 residents, of which about 360 live on smaller islands without road ferries. There are several times more holiday makers who come to the area, and it is becoming increasingly common to use well-equipped holiday homes as a second home.
Pro Korpo r.f. is a cooperative forum for local development work in Korpo. The association produces and coordinates various activities and events in the interests of the residents as well as the local entrepreneurs and associations. Pro Korpo distributes the membership publication Pro Korpo Bladet.