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Finland (Finnish: Suomi [suo̯mi] (About this soundlisten); Swedish: Finland [ˈfɪnland] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta, Swedish: Republiken Finland (listen to all)), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

Finland's population is 5.52 million (as of half of 2019), the majority of whom live in the central and south of the country and speak Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. It is a parliamentary republic of 311 municipalities, and one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP.

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The Turku Cathedral.

Turku (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈturku], Swedish: About this soundÅbo ) is a city in Finland, founded in the 13th century. Turku is the fifth largest city in Finland, with a population of 175 286 (2007), and is located in the south-west of the country at the mouth of the Aura river. It is the capital city of both the region of Finland Proper and the province of Western Finland, as well as being the centre of the country's third largest urban area with over 300,000 inhabitants.

Turku is the former capital and oldest city in Finland, having been founded on an as yet undetermined date during the late 13th century. It has a long history as the country's largest city and administrative centre, but has during the last two centuries lost that status to Helsinki. As a remnant of the its long history, the city hosts a number of important historical landmarks, such as the Turku Castle and the Cathedral of Turku.

Due to the city's location, the sea is also an important part of the its history and present. Today the Port of Turku is possibly the most important seaport in the whole of Finland.

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Päijänne and päijätsalo.jpg
Photo credit: commons:User:Joonasl
Sun setting over Lake Päijänne at Sysmä, Finland. On the right is Päijätsalo island which is part of the Päijätsalo nature park.

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Painting of the murder of St. Henry by Lalli

Saint Henry was a legendary English clergyman. Conquering Finland together with King Eric the Saint of Sweden and dying as a martyr, Henry became central in the local Roman Catholic Church. Even today, together with his alleged murderer Lalli, he remains one of the best recognized persons from the history of Finland. The authenticity of the accounts of Henry's life, ministry, and death is widely disputed. On the basis of the traditional accounts of Henry's death, he was locally recognized as a saint, prior to the founding of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. He continues to be remembered as a local observance in the Catholic Church of Finland. He is also commemorated in several Protestant liturgical calendars. (more...)

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Flag of Finland.svg You are invited to participate in Finland WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Finland.

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View of Lake Pielinen in Koli National Park
Photo credit: commons:User:KFP

Panorama of Lake Pielinen from a hill in Koli National Park, Finland.


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