"Helsinki" Helsinki by Marionbcn

Helsinki Travel Guide: 3,727 reviews and 7,723 photos

I've always been fascinated for Finland, its culture, its people, its cities.......and decided to go there for the first time in april 2001 and liked it all that much, that already been there three times.

Finland.-the history

The town of Helsinki was founded by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden (which Finland belonged to for many centuries) as a new trading post in southern Finland and a competitor to Tallinn in Estonia, the Hanseatic city on the opposite shore of the Gulf of Finland. The King then ordered the burghers of Rauma, Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari to move to Helsinki; the date on which this order was issued, 12.6.1550, is regarded as the date on which the city was founded.

Growth was slow, for despite the King's order, the medieval trading traditions were slow to change. Due to the wars in Russia, the Baltic countries and Germany, Helsinki was nevertheless a strategic military centre, a point of embarkation for troops and a winter haven for the navy.

In time, the site of the town on the mouth of the River Vantaa proved unfavourable, and in 1640 a decision was made to move it further south to the Vironniemi headland, nowadays known as Kruununhaka near the city centre.

Russia's growing power in the 18th century and the founding of its new capital, St. Petersburg, not far from the Finnish border in 1703 were to have a decisive influence on the growth and future of the Finnish capital. The century was, however, one of great hardship for Finland and Helsinki, which suffered gravely from war, plague and hunger. The Russians occupied Helsinki during the Great Hate of 1713-21 and again in 1742. Sweden lost its status as a superpower.

The war having been lost, it became vital for Sweden to fortify Helsinki. In 1748, construction of the magnificent sea-fortress of Suomenlinna, built on an outlying island, was begun, creating what was described by a historian of the time as the "Gibraltar of the North." The building of Suomenlinna marked a turning point in the history of Helsinki, bringing prosperity to the town. Seafaring also grew to new proportions.

In 1808 Sweden was forced to declare war on Russia as a result of the power politics of Napoleon and tsar Alexander I. Helsinki was occupied in the early days of the war and the Suomenlinna fortress surrendered. Finland was annexed to Russia as an Autonomous Grand Duchy in 1809.


City of Helsinki
Founded 1550
Capital of Finland 1812

Total area 686 sq.km
Sea 500 sq.km
Land 186 sq.km
Shoreline (mainland) 98 km
Islands 315

Mean temperature (whole year 2001) 5.9°C
Warmest month July, mean temperature 20.2°C
Coldest month February, mean temperature -6.8°C

Total population (2001/2002) 559,718
Men 46,5 %
Women 53,5 %
Finnish-speaking 87,6 %
Swedish-speaking 6,4 %
Population density (2001) 2,999 inhabitants per sq.km
Total population in the Helsinki Region (2001/2002) 1,213,743

  • Last visit to Helsinki: Oct 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (14)

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2006 at 1:44 AM

    Very well written tips! Enjoy 'your' day! Blu

  • 88Starflite's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2006 at 4:37 PM

    The Lutheran Cathedral really looks like something out of Rome. Thanks for all the great photos and comments.

  • tatyanap's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2003 at 2:03 PM

    Great info! Tell us more about moving around suburbs.

  • zindara's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2003 at 12:31 AM

    Great job! Good pictures, good information, excelent documented!!! Congratulations!!!

  • luca76's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2003 at 5:05 AM

    nice page, i like so much helsinki too, i have already been 2 weeks ago, happy birthday!!!!

  • ania70pl's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2003 at 4:38 AM

    Great page, Marion. I'm going to Helsinki soon, can't wait it.

  • Hosell's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2003 at 3:49 PM

    Una página GENIAL,espero ir algún dia.Me alegro de conocerte y tambien q tienes un interesante trabajo!! :)

  • canaglic's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2003 at 11:12 AM

    wow, very good info and nice pics! Looks great :)

  • Mar 31, 2003 at 1:30 AM

    Excellant page...Nice phtographs and lots of information..Great job

  • jcots's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2003 at 5:42 AM

    M'ho hauré de plantejar això d'Helsinki!!! Veient la teva pàgina sembla que valgui molt la pena!!



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