The architects Johan Albrecht Ehrenström, a native Finn, and Carl Ludwig Engel, from Germany, were given the task of rebuilding the city in the Empire style.This can be seen today around the Lutheran Cathedral, which was completed in 1852.

Helsinki (Finnish) or Helsingfors (Swedish) is the capital of Finland.

Founded in 1550, the "Daughter of the Baltic" has been the Finnish capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia along the lines of a miniature St.

Petersburg, a role it has played in many Cold War movies.

Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel.

The county of Helsinki forms the core of Finland's largest urban area, known in Finnish as the "capital area" (pääkaupunkiseutu).

Helsinki is bordered by the Gulf of Finland to the south, while the suburban municipality Espoo, with the embedded tiny enclave town of Kauniainen, is to the west.

The more industrialized municipality of Vantaa is to the north and east.

The best time to visit is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine. 1550 by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden as a trading post to compete with Tallinn to the south in Estonia, which was Danish at that time.

Helsinki's current population is about 604,380, but the Greater Helsinki region including the suburbs of the neighboring administrative areas of Espoo and Vantaa has a population of over 1.3 million. The growth of the city was slow until the establishment of Sveaborg (nowadays Suomenlinna) Maritime Fortress in the front of Helsinki in the middle of 18th century.