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Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors) is the capital city of Finland. Helsinki is the largest city in Finland. 604,380(31.12.2012) people live in Helsinki, and 1,360,000 live in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
Helsinki is in the south of Finland, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. City is in the Uusimaa region. When one looks from Helsinki, Tallinn is on the opposite side of the sea, but it is too far away to see. A poetic name for Helsinki is "the daughter of the Baltic Sea".
In 1550, Swedish king Gustav Vasa commanded people to build a new city and move there. His idea was to build a new place to trade, which would be more popular than Tallinn. The idea did not work well, and many people returned from Helsinki to their homes. Later Sweden built the fortress Suomenlinna in Helsinki. After Russia had taken Finland from Sweden in several wars, they started developing Helsinki. Helsinki became the capital of autonomous province of Finland. When Finland became independent in 1917, Helsinki stayed as the capital city.
Helsinki spreads around several bays and over several islands. Some famous islands include Seurasaari, Lauttasaari and Korkeasaari - which is also the country's biggest zoo - as well as the fortress island of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg).
- City of Helsinki web site - English version
- City portal of Helsinki - English version
- Finland Travel Community
- WorldFlicks in Helsinki: Photos and interesting places on Google Maps