Tavastia, Tavastland or Häme, is a historical province in the south of Finland. It borders to Finland Proper, Satakunda, Ostrobothnia, Savonia and Nylandia.
Map highlighting the location of Tavastia
For current affairs see: : Southern Finland and Western Finland
Tavastia is divided upon the administrative provinces of Southern Finland and Western Finland.
Main article: History of Tavastia
The prehistoric era of Tavastia can be said to begin with the Second Swedish crusade in 1239. Building of the castle Tavastehus (Hämeenlinna) began in the 1260s, by orders of the Earl Birger. It was to be the centre of the three "castle counties", the other two being the castle of Åbo (Turku) in Finland Proper and Viborg (Viipuri) castle in Karelia. After the peace Treaty of Pähkinäsaari in 1323 the castle lost some of its meaning as defense line against the east but remained a administrative centre.
The province, which had been a part of Sweden from the 12th century, separated when Finland was ceded to Russia in 1809. The provinces has no administrative function today but lives on as a historical legacy in both countries.
Main article: Geography of Tavastia
Tavastland borders to
Main article: Culture of Tavastia
Main article: Heraldry of Tavastia
Arms granted at the burial of Gustav I of Sweden in 1560. The arms is crowned by a dukal coronet, though by Finnish tradition this more resembles a Swedish countal coronet. Blazon: "Gules, a lynx passant or, ear tufts sable; in chief three six-pointed stars, and in base four roses, all argent."