Located in the south of Finland along the coast, Helsinki is the capital of Finland and with a population of 583484 inhabitants its largest city. Greater Helsinki has over a million inhabitants, which corresponds to 20% of the population of Finland. Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustaf I of Sweden but did not begin to develop into a major city until after Finland was incorporated into the Russian empire in 1809. With eight universities and six technology parks in the Greater Helsinki region Helsinki is Finland's primary political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre. 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland are settled in the Helsinki region. Helsinki is spread along the coast over a number peninsulas and islands and islets. Its centre is pleasant and has a number of historic buildings and tourist attractions.
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