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Articoli Vecchi: 12th European Congress of Obesity
ECO 2003 Useful notices and links on the 12th European Congress of Obesity.
Helsinki May 29th to June 1st, 2003...

Written by Armando Tagliati

A brief history of Helsinki

The town of Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden (which Finland belonged 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.
Growth was slow, for despite the King’s order, the medieval traditions were slow to change. Due to wars in Russia, the Baltic countries and Germany, Helsinki was nevertheless a strategic military centre.
Russia’s growing power and the founding of its new capital St. Petersburg 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 as russians occupied Helsinki in 1713-21 and again in 1742 when Sweden lost its status as a superpower. The war having been lost, it became vital for Sweden to fortify Helsinki and in 1748 the magnificent fortress of Suomenlinna was realized.
In 1808 Sweden was forced to declare war to 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 surrended. Finland was annexed to Russia as an Autonomous Grand Duchy in 1809.

Helsinki becomes the Capital of Finland

For the town founded by Gustavus Vasa, the war was a major turning point and Helsinki was proclaimed the Finnish capital in 1812. Devastated by fire, the town was completely rebuilt in a style worthy of a capital by architects Johan Albrecht Eherenstrom and Carl Ludwig Engel. The most conspicuous building of this period is the Catedral, completed in 1852.
Helsinki became soon an administrative and university town and the biggest industrial city in the land. By the beginning of the 20th century it had a population of over 100.000.

The independent republic

Finland declared its independence in 1917 and developed briskly during the 1920s; the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939. Unlike all other states on the European continent that were involved in the Second World War, Finland was never occupied by foreign forces. In the post-war years agrarien Finland was rapidly transformed in only a few decades into a modern industrial land. Finland became a member of the European Union in 1995.

City of Helsinki

Founded in 1550
Capital of Finland 1812
Total area 686 (sea 500, land 186
Warmest month July, av. temperature 20,2°C
Coldest month February, av. temperature –6,8°C
Total population 2001/2002: 560.000 (men 46,5%, women 53,5%)

Useful links
ECO 2003 web site    
Hotel Map
Congress hotel maps
pdf file Notices, news, maps and links about Helsinki and Finland  
City of Helsinki Notices, news, maps and links about Helsinki and Finland  
This is Helsinki Brochure 2002 of Helsinki
pdf file
Tourist Map of Helsinki The regional map displays the whole Helsinki area. You can search for street addresses and city service points.  

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