Jyväskylä is a city and municipality in Central Finland in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland. It is the largest city in central Finland and on the Finnish Lakeland. Jyväskylä is located on the northern coast of Lake Päijänne, 147 kilometers (91 mi) north-east of Tampere and 270 kilometers (170 mi) north of Helsinki. The hilly and forested terrain in Jyväskylä is surrounded by hundreds of lakes. The summers in Jyväskylä are warm and winters cold and snowy.
Elias Lönnrot, the compiler of the Finnish national epic Kalevala, gave the city a nickname "Athens of Finland". This nickname is used to describe the major role of Jyväskylä as an education centre and the first place in the world to provide education in Finnish.
The works of the most famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto can be seen throughout the city. The city hosts Neste Oil Rally Finland, which is part of the World Rally Championship. It is also home of the annual Jyväskylä Arts Festival.
As of 30 September 2012, Jyväskylä had a population of 133,344. The city has been one of the most rapidly growing cities in Finland since World War II. In 1940 in Jyväskylä there were only about 8000 inhabitants. The Jyväskylä sub-region includes Jyväskylä, Hankasalmi, Laukaa, Muurame, Petäjävesi, Toivakka and Uurainen.
The second part of the city's name, kylä, means village. The first part of the city's name, jyväs, has been associated with Taxus, a genus of yews, and the Old Prussian word juwis. It has also been speculated that the word jyväs refers to the sun's reflection of the surface of the water