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kirkon (of church) +‎ kylä (village), calque of Swedish kyrkby, from kyrka (church) + by (village), cognate with German Kirchdorf, from Kirche (church) + Dorf (village)




  1. (historical) The village in a rural municipality in which the main church and the vicariate were located.


Inflection of kirkonkylä (Kotus type 10/koira, no gradation)
nominative kirkonkylä kirkonkylät
genitive kirkonkylän kirkonkylien
partitive kirkonkylää kirkonkyliä
illative kirkonkylään kirkonkyliin
singular plural
nominative kirkonkylä kirkonkylät
accusative nom. kirkonkylä kirkonkylät
gen. kirkonkylän
genitive kirkonkylän kirkonkylien
partitive kirkonkylää kirkonkyliä
inessive kirkonkylässä kirkonkylissä
elative kirkonkylästä kirkonkylistä
illative kirkonkylään kirkonkyliin
adessive kirkonkylällä kirkonkylillä
ablative kirkonkylältä kirkonkyliltä
allative kirkonkylälle kirkonkylille
essive kirkonkylänä kirkonkylinä
translative kirkonkyläksi kirkonkyliksi
instructive kirkonkylin
abessive kirkonkylättä kirkonkylittä
comitative kirkonkylineen

Usage notes[edit]

Formerly the boundaries of municipalities and parishes were the same and usually kirkonkylä was also in other respects the most important village in a municipality by e.g. being the location of municipal offices. Industrialization and railways changed this picture to a certain extent, and the reduction in number of municipalities that has progressively taken place since the 1960's has further eroded this connection. The central township of a municipality is currently officially called kuntakeskus but the term kirkonkylä is frequently used in common language and in place names.