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City Museum >  History of Helsinki > 
 History of Helsinki

This timeline presents selected turning points in the history of Helsinki. 

  The Sixteenth Century
A footprint of a bare-footed child on a tile found in Vanhakaupunki. Photo: Heidi Richert / Helsinki City Museum 2000. 1550 Helsinki is established by the Vanhankaupunginkoski Rapids
1555 King Gustav Vasa visits the city
1569 Helsinki is allotted the first city privileges
1570 Helsinki burns down for the first time
  The Seventeeth Century
The wooden statue of King David possibly used to decorate the organ in the Ulrika Eleonora church. Photo: Esko Toivari / Helsinki City Museum 2003. 1616 Diet of Finland held in Helsinki, Gustav II Adolf visits the city
1640 The city is moved to Vironniemi
1654 The city burns down
1695-97 Years of severe famine
  The Eighteenth Century
A miniature pinnace made by C.J.Cedercreutz according to drawings by Captain Sam Svensson. Photo: Helsinki City Museum. 1710 A plague kills 2/3 of Helsinki's population
1713-21 Peter the Great attacks Helsinki, the city is burnt down, Russian occupation
1742 Russians once again occupy Helsinki
1748 The construction of Viapori (Sveaborg) fortress is launched
1757 The Sederholm House is completed
  The Nineteenth Century
A Kruununhaka pharmacy's plate from the 19th century. Photo: Helsinki City Museum. 1808 Finnish War: Viapori surrenders to the Russians, the city is burnt
1809 Finland becomes a Grand Duchy of Russia
1812 Helsinki becomes the capital of the Grand Duchy
1816 Carl Ludvig Engel starts planning the city's Empire-style centre
1827 The city's first theatre premises are completed
1828 The university is moved from Turku to Helsinki
1829 First newspapers are published in Helsinki
1838 The Kaivopuisto spa is opened
1852 St. Nicholas's Church (present-day Helsinki Cathedral) is inaugurated
1862 First train connection from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna
1875 Helsinki city council is introduced
1877 First telephone network. Experiment with electric lighting at a railway machine shop
1881 Helsinki's first public library is opened on Rikhardinkatu street
1884 Electricity is produced to be sold in Helsinki, first power plant is opened
1891 Horse tramway starts operating
1896 Finland's first picture show at Seurahuone
  The Twentieth Century
A Ford T passenger car in 1924. Photo: Eric Sundström / Helsinki City Museum 1924. 1900 Electrification of tramway
1906 First taxi operating permit granted in the city
1908 The National Museum, Helsinki's community hall and the Kallio church are completed
1911 Helsinki City Museum is founded
1917 Finland gains its independence
1918 Finnish Civil War, German troops occupy the city, the name of Viapori is changed to Suomenlinna
1946 Extensive area incorporation where the township of Haaga, the municipalities of Huopalahti, Kulosaari and Oulunkylä as well as most of the historical Parish of Helsinki are annexed to Helsinki.
1950 Linnanmäki amusement park is opened.
1952 Helsinki hosts the Olympic games
1967 Sibelius monument is revealed in Töölö
1971 Finlandia house, designed  by Alvar Aalto, is inaugurated
1982 Mobile telephone network launched in Helsinki. Metros start running
1984 First phase of Itäkeskus shopping centre is completed
1995 Finland becomes a EU Member State
  The Twenty-first Century
A portable Toshiba computer. Photo: Helsinki City Museum. 2000 Helsinki, one of Europe's cultural cities, celebrates its 450 years of existence
2006 The Kamppi centre is completed

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