As the largest city and capital of Finland, Helsinki is located in southern Finland off the Gulf of Finland and near the Baltic Sea.With a population of approximately 578000 it has the largest population of any city in Finland.As the center of Finland’s education, business, research, government and cultural worlds, Helsinki houses six technology parks and eight universities.
Founded by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 the town was plagued by disease, war and poverty.A full 2/3’s of its population were killed by the plague of 1710 and for many years it lived in the shadow of larger cities in the Baltic region.With the annexation by Russia in 1809 the city came into its own and began to grow. The city was partially rebuilt allowing for industrialization and transportation improvements leading to unprecedented growth.
This city itself is comprised of many small peninsulas and bays, making for an interesting and diverse topography.Most of the population resides in the inner city, which is comprised of postwar suburbs that remain separated by small patches of trees. The overall climate is temperate and it is interesting to note that during the winter, day light only lasts approximately six hours. Conversely, daylight during the long summer months can be as long as nineteen hours.
Helsinki itself is a city rich in culture.With many museums, such as the National Museum of Finland and the Ateneum Art Museum, many historical treasures are on display.The Finish National Theater and the Finish National Opera are both excellent places to experience theater and music.The host of the 1952 Summer Olympics, the city houses arenas for football and hockey. Hockey is an obsession for many residents.
Helsinki, full of history and culture is an excellent city to visit.Its unique topography and temperate climate as well as its many attractions make for an interesting trip.