Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia, Finland, located on the northern shore of Lake Pyhäselkä (northern part of Lake Saimaa) at the mouth of the Pielinen River (Pielisjoki). It was founded in 1848 by Russian Emperor Nicholas I. The population of Joensuu is, and the economic region of Joensuu has a population of 115,000. It is the largest city in Finland. The nearest major city, Kuopio in North Savonia, is located to the west. From Joensuu, the distance to Lappeenranta, the capital of South Karelia, is 233 km along Highway 6.