Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finland - Helsinki (FI-408692)

I really enjoy receiving Finnish cards and it's a pity that they seem to be coming rarely again :( I like the Finnish landscapes (I already have many cards showing the sunset over Finnish lakes), but it's even more interesting to receive some Finnish city views. I've never been to Finland, but my dad and my best friend have been to Helsinki, so I've known a bit about the Finland's capital :) I think that the Russian influence is quite visible in this city, but it makes it more interesting, as I like to see mix of different cultures.

Helsinki (in Finnish), or Helsingfors (in Swedish) is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the southern part of Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, by the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is 573,789, making it the most populous municipality in Finland by a wide margin. The foreign-born population stands at around 10%.

Helsinki, along with the neighbouring cities of Vantaa, Espoo, and Kauniainen, constitutes what is known as the capital region, with over 1,000,000 inhabitants. The Greater Helsinki area contains 12 municipalities and has a population of over 1,300,000.

And here you can read, how the Helsinki's similarity to Russian cities was used :)

As a historical footnote, Helsinki's neoclassical buildings were often used as a backdrop for scenes set to take place in the Soviet Union in many Cold War era Hollywood movies. Some of the more notable ones are The Kremlin Letter (1970), Reds (1981) and Gorky Park (1983). Because some of the streetscapes were reminiscent of Leningrad's and Moscow's old buildings, they were used in the production - much to some residents' dismay. At the same time the government secretly briefed its white-collar workers to make producing these, often clearly Soviet-negative, films in Helsinki as hard as possible due to diplomatic pressure from Moscow.


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