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The capital, and the biggest city of Finland, Helsinki, is a modern, active metropolis, and an important cultural centre. Yet, it beautiful location and cosy atmosphere makes Helsinki good place for some rest and simply enjoying life.

„The daughter of the Baltic”, as Finns called their capitol, is located at the mouth of river Vantaa, on a several big, and many smaller islands. Founded by Swedish king Gustav Vasa in 1550, a bit higher upstream, on its current position was moved in 1600s. Swedes wished to create merchant centre comparable with Estonian capitol Tallin, which was a Hanseatic city. Unfortunately, the new city didn't gain much importance. Later, as a defence from Russians was created Suomennlina, fortress based on French, 17th century military style. This project attract architects and began the flourishing of the city. 
In 1809, the region came under the reign of Russians, and in 1812 Helsinki became the capitol of Grand Duchy of Finland. From that period become most of Helsinki monuments, like Palace of Council State, University and Cathedral, gathered around Senate Square, city main square. All those constructions are work of one person, architect Carl Ludvig Engel. Later, in 1900s, the newer parts of the city rose in Art Nouveau style, influenced by Kalevala, Finnish national epics. The masterpiece of that times is Central Railway Station, designed by Eriel Saaraninen.
Apart of cultural heritage, Helsinki has a lot of parks and beaches, and only 25 kilometres north lies National Park. Before planning visit don't forget also to check the dates of many cultural, art and music festivals.

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