History of Helsinki

Dancing Bear Tours

History of Helsinki

History of Helsinki and Finland in a Nutshell

5000 BC agriculture is established as the dominant way of life for most of the inhabitants of the area

1155: Sweden, led by King Erik and Bishop Henry of England takes the first crusade to Finland

1229: The Bishop’s seat moves to Turku, which becomes capital of the eastern part of the country

Circa1240: Birger Jarl leads the Second Crusade to reclaim the eastern part of the country, Karelia, but is defeated by Alexander Nevsky

1293: The Third Crusade establishes the border, At Vyborg, between Sweden and Russia

1350: Swedish National Law established in Finland

1527: The Reformation reaches Sweden, which becomes Lutheran

XVI century: Michael Agricola, the Bishop of Turku, creates written Finnish and translates the New Testament into that language.

12 June 1550 King Gustav Vasa of Sweden founds Helsinki 

1713-1721 and 1742 Russia occupies Helsinki, beginning the decline of Sweden’s position as a superpower.

1748: Construction of the Suomenlinna fortress begins.

1808: Sweden declares war on Russia and is defeated.

1809: Finland, previously a group of provinces, is annexed to Russia as an Autonomous Grand Duchy.

1812:  By Imperial Edict, the capital moves from Turku to Helsinki.

1863: The Language Decree, activated in 1866,makes Finnish people the joint official language with Swedish.

1890s Jean Sibelius, a fervent nationalist, composes the Karelia Suite and Finlandia

 1906Finland introduces universal suffrage. It is the first country in Europe to grant women to vote

December6, 1917 During the Russian October Revolution Finland declares independence, but this is followed immediately by a short civil war.

1919: Finland adopts a republican constitution, allowing for a strong president.

1930s:  Anew style of Functionalist architecture develops, prime examples Glass palace and the Olympic Stadium.

30 November 1939 The Soviet Union attacks Finland which, despite its vastly inferior number of troops, manages to repulse.

1941-1944 Helsinki is again attacked by the Soviet Union, but suffers little damage .Finland is not occupied by foreign troops.

1952: Helsinki hosts XV Olympic Games

1955: Finland joins United Nations

1970s: anwards  Alvar AAlto initiates a modern style of architecture , with buildings such as the Finlandia Hall

2000: On the 450th anniversary of the city, Helsinki becomes one of nine European Cities of culture

2002: Euro replaces the Finnish mark

2003: Following elections, the Centre Party, social Democratic Party and Swedish People’s Party govern as a coalition