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|image_caption = Port of and the Cathedral in March.
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"" (; , ) is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the southern part of Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, by the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of is }} ( }}), making it the most populous municipality in Finland by a wide margin. The population with a non-Finnish background stands at around 10%.

, along with the neighboring cities of Vantaa "(Vanda)", Espoo "(Esbo)", and Kauniainen "(Grankulla)", constitutes what is known as the capital region, with over 1,000,000 inhabitants. The Greater area contains 12 municipalities and has a population of over 1,300,000.

is Finland"s capital for business, education, research, culture, and government. Greater has eight universities and six technology parks. Approximately 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the region.

The city is officially bilingual. The majority, or 84,3% of the population, speak Finnish as their native language. The minority, at 6,1%, speak Finland Swedish. Those that speak a native language other than Finnish or Swedish stand at around 9,6% of the population.

Since early 2009, has begun to contemplate a possible merger with Vantaa. On 30 March 2009, the city council of Vantaa agreed to review "s proposal of a possible merger. The city council emphasizes that the review is not about the possibility of ceasing the existence of the city of Vantaa., HS.fi. Retrieved 30 March 2009.

In 2009, was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. narrowly beat Eindhoven for the title.

istor


The Swedish name " ( or ) is the original name of the city of , and is still the official Swedish name for the city. The Finnish name, " (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable: ), has been dominant in non-Scandinavian languages for decades. The Swedish name Helsingfors comes from the name of the surrounding parish, "Helsinge" (source for Finnish ") and the rapids (in Swedish: "fors"), which flowed through the original town. The name Helsinge was probably given by medieval Swedish settlers who originated from the area of Hälsingland in Sweden. Another possibility is that the name is derived from the Scandinavian word "hals" (neck), referring to the narrowest part of the river, i.e. the rapids.

In slang the town is also called "Stadi" (from the Swedish word "stad", meaning city) and "Hesa" in colloquial Finnish. " is the North Sami name of .

arly histor
Central in 1820 before rebuilding. Drawing by Carl Ludvig Engel.

was founded by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval (today: "Tallinn"). Little came of the plans as remained a small coastal town for a long time, plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. The plague of 1710 killed two-thirds of the inhabitants of . Plague Park |publisher=Tabblo.com |date= |accessdate=2008-11-03}} The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg (In Finnish "Viapori", today also "Suomenlinna") in the 18th century helped improve "s status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a major city.

Czar Alexander I of Russia moved the capital from Turku to to reduce Swedish influence in Finland. The Royal Academy of Turku, back then the only university in the country, was relocated to in 1827 and eventually became the modern University of . The move consolidated the city"s new role, and helped set it on the path of continuous growth. This transformation is highly apparent in the downtown core, which was rebuilt in neoclassical style to resemble St. Petersburg. As elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city"s growth.

wentieth centur
In 1918 the Finnish Civil War broke out and fell to the Red Guards on January 28, the first day of the war. The Red side gained control of the whole of southern Finland after minor hostilities. Most members of the Senate fled to Vaasa, although some senators and officials remained in hiding in the capital. After the tide of war turned against the Red forces, German troops allied with the White Government liberated in April 1918.

Unlike Tampere, suffered relatively little damage in the war. After the White victory many former Reds were put in prison camps, the largest camp with some 13 300 prisoners was located on the fortress island of Suomenlinna in . Although the civil war left a considerable scar in society, the standard of living in the country and the city began to improve in the following decade. Renowned architects such as Eliel Saarinen created utopistic plans for , but they were never fully realized.

In the aerial bombings of the Winter War (1939–40) and the Continuation War (1941–44) was attacked by Soviet bombers. The most intense air raids took place in the spring of 1944, when over two thousand Soviet planes dropped some 16,000 bombs in and around the city. Fortunately successful air defence efforts spared from the destruction visited upon many other European cities.

Despite the tumultuous first half of the 20th century, continued to develop steadily. A landmark event was the XV Olympiad (1952 Olympic Games) held in . Finland"s rapid urbanization in the 1970s, occurring relatively late in a European context, tripled the population in the metropolitan area and led to the development of the Metro subway system. The metropolitan area was one of the fastest growing urban centres in the European Union in the 1990s. The relatively sparse population density of and its peculiar structure have often been attributed to this late growth spurt. The metropolitan area is the second most sparsely populated EU-capital after Brussels. 1 January 2007, Hufvudstadsbladet – Helsingfors en metropol om hundra år. Citing Professors Ache (metropolitan planning, University of Technology) and Vaatovaara (University of ), and statistics from The European Economic Research Consortium

eograph
seen from Spot Satellite
Suomenlinna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.

is spread across a number of bays and peninsulas and over a number of islands. The inner city area occupies a southern peninsula, which is rarely referred to by its actual name Vironniemi. Population density in certain parts of "s inner city area is very high, reaching in the district of Kallio, but as a whole "s population density of ranks it as quite sparsely populated in comparison to other European capital cities. Much of outside the inner city area consists of postwar suburbs separated from each other by patches of forests. A narrow, ten kilometre (6.2 mi) long Central Park that stretches from the inner city to the northern border of is an important recreational area for residents.

Some notable islands in include Seurasaari, Lauttasaari and Korkeasaari – which is also the country"s biggest zoo – as well as the fortress island of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) and the military island of Santahamina.

limat
The city has a temperate continental climate. Owing to the mitigating influence of the Baltic sea and Gulf stream, temperatures in winter are much higher than the northern location might suggest, with the average in January and February around −5 °C. Temperatures below −20 °C occur normally a week or two in a year. However, because of the latitude, days lasts less than six hours in the winter solstice, and the very cloudy weather at this time of year accentuates the darkness. Conversely, enjoys long days in summer, almost nineteen hours at the summer solstice. The average maximum temperature from June through August is around 19 to . The highest temperature ever recorded at city centre was on July 18, 1945 and the lowest was on January 10, 1987.

and
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ityscap
The view across summertime Kaisaniemenlahti.
The Cathedral is probably the most prominent building and symbol of the city.
Parliament of Finland on the right, and new supplemental offices on the left.
Central railway station
Carl Ludvig Engel (1778–1840) designed several neo-classical buildings in . He was kept in by a unique assignment, as he was elected to plan a new city centre all on his own. The city became low and wide at the time when most buildings had only two or three floors. The central point of Engel"s city plan is the Senate Square, surrounded by the Government Palace, the main building of the University, and the enormous Cathedral, which was finished in 1852, twelve years after C. L. Engel"s death. Engel"s neo-classical plan of the city centre has later given the epithet "The White City Of The North".

is, however, perhaps even more famous for its numerous Art Nouveau (Jugend in Finnish) buildings, designed in the early 1900s and strongly influenced by the Kalevala, which is a very popular theme in the national romantic art of that era. "s Art Nouveau style is also featured in large residential areas such as Katajanokka and Ullanlinna. The master of the Finnish Art Nouveau was Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), whose architectural masterpiece was the central railway station.

also features several buildings by the world-renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), attributed as one of the pioneers in functionalism. Many of Aalto"s works are either loved or hated. Aalto"s buildings, such as the headquarters of the paper company Enso and the concert and congress house Finlandia Hall, have sparked much debate amongst "s inhabitants.

In addition to Aalto"s work, there is a body of other noteworthy functionalist architecture in , such as the Olympic Stadium, the Tennis Palace, the Rowing Stadium, the Swimming Stadium, the Velodrome, the Glass Palace, the Exhibition Hall (now Töölö Sports Hall) and -Malmi Airport. The sports venues were built to serve the 1940 Olympic Games; the games were initially cancelled due to the Second World War, but the venues eventually got to fulfill their purpose in the 1952 Olympic Games. Many of them are listed by DoCoMoMo as significant examples of modern architecture. The Olympic Stadium and -Malmi Airport are in addition catalogued by the National Board of Antiquities as cultural-historical environments of national significance.

During the 1960s and 1970s many aesthetically and historically important houses were swiftly demolished to make room for the rapidly expanding city and instead houses presenting more values of functionalism were built. This has later been widely regarded as a bad move and has led to a strong protectionism of old buildings in . The plans made during the era of rapid growth expected to have well over one million inhabitants at the turn of the millennium. Much due to the strong protectionism of today there are still many areas left with distinctive old wooden houses, such as Käpylä, Kumpula, Toukola and Puu-Vallila.

As a historical footnote, "s neoclassical buildings were often used as a backdrop for scenes set to take place in the Soviet Union in many Cold War era Hollywood movies. Some of the more notable ones are "The Kremlin Letter" (1970), "Reds" (1981) and "Gorky Park" (1983). Because some of the streetscapes were reminiscent of Leningrad"s and Moscow"s old buildings, they were used in the production – much to some residents" dismay. At the same time the government secretly instructed Finnish officials not to extend assistance to such film projects.Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Political Department:



overnmen

has eighty-five members in its city council. The three largest parties are National Coalition (26), Greens (21), and Social Democrats (16).

emographic
The population of is predominantly Finnish-speaking, with a sizable Swedish-speaking minority (||1}}}}). Also, 6.4% of the population are foreign citizens, and ||1}}}} have a first language other than Finnish or Swedish.

"s population growth has been steady for some time even though intra-areal migration has favoured Espoo and surrounding areas until very recently. The population of Greater grew by in 2007 alone. The fastest growing area is the countryside belt between Ingå, Kirkkonummi, Vihti and Nurmijärvi and Pornainen, though absolute numbers were in hundreds between 2000–2004. Between 2000–2004 net migration in was negative at −330 residents. 20–30 year olds compose a rough fifth of the population of as opposed to a mere 14 percent in Finland as a whole.

conom
Kamppi Center, a shopping and transportation complex in the Kamppi district in the centre of .

The metropolitan area generates approximately one third of Finland"s GDP. GDP per capita is roughly 1.5 times the national average, making one of the wealthiest capitals in Europe. "s GDP per capita is one of the highest of any city in the world.

Since the 1950s, the economy has become largely service-based, although industries such as shipbuilding continue to employ a substantial number of people. Large service-based employers include the public sector and the information technology sector. has many staffing agencies.

The metropolitan area is the location of choice for the headquarters of large Finnish companies as well as the regional headquarters of international companies. The metropolitan area has the best availability of highly skilled employees in Finland, and good infrastructure and business support systems. Since June 2007, the city centre has hosted the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which has led to the relocation of several hundred international experts and their families to .

The tap water is of excellent quality and it is supplied by long Päijänne Water Tunnel, one of the world"s longest continuous rock tunnels. Bottled tap water is even sold to countries such as Saudi Arabia., Finnfacts

The employment rate in the metropolitan area stands at around 75% and employment growth has been good. Around 20% work in manufacturing and construction, compared to 10% in London and 30% in Milan. In private-sector services the distribution is that 34.5% work in trade, 17% in transport, 8% in hotels and restaurants, 5.7% in financial services, and 34.5% in other market services.

The metropolitan area"s gross value-added per capita is 200% of the mean of 27 European metropolitan areas. It equals Stockholm or Paris. The gross value-added annual growth has been around 4%.

83 of the 100 largest Finnish companies are headquartered in Greater . Two-thirds of the 200 highest-paid Finnish executives live in Greater and 42% in . The average income of the top 50 earners was 1.65 million euro.

ducatio
Main building of the University of .
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences is the largest business polytechnic in Finland.
has 190 comprehensive schools, 41 upper secondary schools and 15 vocational institutes. Half of the 41 upper secondary schools are private or state-owned, the other half municipal. Higher level education is given in eight universities (see the section "Universities" below) and four polytechnics.

nstitutions of higher educatio
Universities

*University of
* University of Technology (located in neighbouring Espoo)
* School of Economics
*Hanken School of Economics
*Academy of Fine Arts
*Sibelius Academy
*Theatre Academy
*University of Art and Design
*National Defence University

olytechnic
*Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (formerly known as Business Polytechnic, Helia or Haaga)
* Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
* Polytechnic Arcada

Knowledge and Innovation Community (EIT

is one of co-location centres of Knowledge and Innovation Community (Future information and communication society )of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) http://eit.europa.eu/home.html

ultur
Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located at the heart of .

The biggest historical museum in is the National Museum of Finland, which displays a vast historical collection from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The museum building itself, a national romantic style neo-medieval castle, is a tourist attraction. Other major historical museum is the City Museum, which introduces visitors to "s 500 year history. The University of also has many significant museums, including the University Museum and the Natural History Museum.

The Finnish National Gallery consists of three museums: Ateneum Art Museum for classical Finnish art, Sinebrychoff Art Museum for classical European art, and Kiasma Art Museum for modern art. The old Ateneum, a neo-renaissance palace from 19th century, is one of the city"s major historical buildings, whereas the highly modern Kiasma is probably the most debated building in . All three museum buildings are state-owned through Senate Properties.

has three major theatres: The Finnish National Theatre, the City Theatre, and the Finland Swedish Svenska Teatern. The city"s main musical venues are the Finnish National Opera and the Finlandia concert-hall. Bigger concerts and events are usually held at one of the city"s two big ice hockey arenas: the Hartwall Areena or the Ice Hall. has Finland"s largest fair centre.

is considered as one of the main hubs of popular music in Northern Europe, many widely renowned and acclaimed bands have originated in , including HIM, Stratovarius, Norther, Wintersun, Ensiferum, The Rasmus, Shape of Despair, The 69 Eyes, Hanoi Rocks, and Apocalyptica.

r
* is an annual arts and culture festival, which takes place every August (including the Night of the Arts).
* "Forces of Light" is an annual winter arts festival.
*Vappu "Vappu" is an annual carnival for students and workers.

Arena hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, the first ever Eurovision Song Contest arranged in Finland, following Lordi"s win in 2006.

is the 2012 World Design Capital, in recognition of the use of design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development in the city. In choosing , the World Design Capital selection jury highlighted "s use of "Embedded Design", which has tied design in the city to innovation, "creating global brands, such as Nokia, Kone and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Design Week, outstanding education and research institutions, such as the University of Art and Design , and exemplary architects and designers such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto".

port
The Olympic Stadium was the centre of activities during the 1952 Summer Olympics.

has a long tradition of sports: the city gained much of its initial international recognition during the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the city has since then been very open to arranging sporting events, for example the first World Championships in Athletics 1983 and 2005, and European Championships in Athletics 1971, 1994 and 2012 etc. hosts fairly successful local teams in both of the most popular team sports in Finland, football and ice hockey. houses HJK, Finland"s largest and most successful football club. "s track and field club Helsingin Kisa-Veikot is also pretty dominant in Finland. Ice Hockey is a sport of passion for many residents, who usually take a stance for either of the local clubs HIFK or Jokerit. HIFK, with 14 Finnish championships titles, also plays in the highest bandy division,Video from the Finnish final 2009 against OLS fromOulu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn-j0t5yxIE&feature=related so does Botnia -69. The Olympic stadium hosted the 1st ever Bandy World Championships in 1957.Video from the tournament: http://www.yle.fi/player/player.jsp?name=El%E4v%E4+arkisto%2F02869_1

ransportatio
region roads.
Roads
has several ring roads: Kehä I, Kehä II, and Kehä III. From central city to east and west, there are Itäväylä and Länsiväylä. From the central city to north, there are several routes. There is a proposal to build a Stockholm-like tunnel under central to hide cars from streets. Central has popular underground parking facilities.

has some 390 cars per 1000 inhabitants., by City of This is less than in cities of similar density, for instance, Brussels" 483 per 1000 and Stockholm"s 401, and Oslo"s 413.http://www.eaue.de/Promode/Runge.pdf

ail transport and buse

The Metro with its characteristic bright orange trains is the world"s northernmost subway.
Malmi airport, one of the oldest in the world and Finland"s- main general aviation airport.
Public transportation is generally a hotly debated subject in the local politics of . In , public transportation is mostly managed under City Transport, the city"s transportation authority. The diverse public transport system consists of trams, commuter rail, the subway, bus lines and two ferry lines. The Metropolitan Area Council manages traffic to the surrounding municipalities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

Today, is the only city in Finland to have trams or subway trains. There used to be two other cities in Finland with trams: Turku and Viipuri (Vyborg, now in Russia), but both have since abandoned trams. The Metro, opened in the year 1982, is so far the only subway system in Finland. In 2006, the construction of the long debated extension of the subway system west into Espoo was approved, and serious debate about an eastern extension into Sipoo has taken place. – an information portal dedicated to the "länsimetro" subway expansion in the capital region.

viatio
Air traffic is handled primarily from the international -Vantaa Airport, located approximately north of "s downtown area, in the neighbouring city of Vantaa. "s second airport, Malmi Airport, is mainly used for general and private aviation. Copterline has provided fast (18 min.) helicopter flights to Tallinn, but discontinued the regular service in December 2008 on grounds of unprofitability.

ea transpor
Ferry connections to Tallinn and Stockholm are serviced by various companies. Finnlines passenger-freight ferries to Gdynia, Poland and Travemünde, Germany are also available, while Tallink began service to Rostock, Germany in 2007.

aller

File:merelta--GFDL--.jpg|Port of
File:FinlandNationalMuseum.jpg|The National Museum of Finland is located in .
File:Senaatintori joulukuisena aamuna 2004.jpg|The Senaatintori square on a winter morning in december.
File: Pohjoisranta.jpg|The Pohjoisranta at night.
File:Stockmann department store in at dawn in December 2004.jpg|Stockmann department store along the Aleksanterinkatu"s Christmas street.
File:Mittsommernacht-in-helsinki.jpg|Restaurant Vltava on the right and Sanomatalo in the background.
File:_Market.JPG| market square in winter.
File: center evening.jpg|Central in evening.
File:Tower of the Olympic Stadium.jpg| Olympic Stadium Tower, offers a good view over .
File:Hesakirkot--GFDL--.jpg|Rooftops of the southern inner city districts.
File:Uspenski_Cathedral_.jpg|The Uspenski Orthodox cathedral
File:FinlandParliament.jpg|Wall of Parliament House
File:Esplanadin puisto.jpg|The Esplanadi Park in central in early june.
File:Finnish National Theatre.jpg|Finnish National Theatre and Aleksis Kivi statue in Rautatientori.
File:Temppeliaukio Church 3.jpg|Altar of Temppeliaukio Church that is built underground
File:Hietaniemi beach.jpg|Hietaniemi beach in summer.
File:Itäkeskus shopping centre.JPG|Itäkeskus is the biggest shopping mall in the Nordic countries.


ee als
*Automated Vacuum Collection (AVAC)
*Declaration of
* Accords
*Subdivisions of

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* (in English; other languages available)
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Category:Capitals in Europe
Category:Cities and towns in Finland
Category:Coastal settlements in Finland

Category:Host cities of the Summer Olympic Games
Category:Municipalities of Uusimaa Region
Category:Settlements established in 1550
Category:Port cities and towns in Finland
Category:Port cities and towns of the Baltic Sea


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