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About Turku

Turku

 

Turku (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈturku] ( ); Swedish: Åbo [ˈoːbu] ( )) is a city on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River, in the region of Finland Proper. Turku, as a town, was settled during the 13th century and founded most likely at the end of the 13th century, making it the oldest city in Finland. It quickly became the most important city in Finland, a status it retained for hundreds of years. After Finland became part of theRussian Empire (1809) and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland was moved to Helsinki (1812), Turku continued to be the most populous city in Finland until the end of the 1840s, and it remains a regional capital and an important business and cultural centre.

Because of its long history, it has been the site of many important events and has extensively influenced Finnish history. Along with Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, Turku was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2011. In 1996 it was declared the official Christmas City of Finland.

Due to its location, Turku is a notable commercial and passenger seaport with over three million passengers travelling through the Port of Turku each year to Stockholm and Mariehamn.

As of 30 September 2014, the population of Turku was 183,811, making it the sixth largest city in Finland. As of 31 August 2008 there were 303,492 inhabitants living in the Turku sub-region, ranking it as the third largest urban area in Finland after the Greater Helsinki area and Tampere sub-region. The city is officially bilingual as 5.2 percent of its population identify Swedish as a mother-tongue.

 

 

Turku
Turku – Åbo City

Turun kaupunki
Åbo stad
Top:Aerial view of Turku from Turku Cathedral, 2nd left:Statue of Per Brahe, 2nd middle:Turku Castle, 2nd right:Turku Cathedral, 3rd left:Turku Medieval Market, 3rd middle:The Christmas Peace Balcony of Turku, 3rd right:Twilight in Aura River, Bottom left:Summer in Aura River, Bottom right:View of Yliopistonkatu pedestrian area
Top:Aerial view of Turku from Turku Cathedral, 2nd left:Statue of Per Brahe, 2nd middle:Turku Castle, 2nd right:Turku Cathedral, 3rd left:Turku Medieval Market, 3rd middle:The Christmas Peace Balcony of Turku, 3rd right:Twilight in Aura River, Bottom left:Summer in Aura River, Bottom right:View of Yliopistonkatu pedestrian area

 

 

History

 

Turku has a long history as Finland's largest city and occasionally as the administrative center of the country, but for the last two hundred years has been surpassed by Helsinki. The city's identity stems from its status as the oldest city in Finland and the country's first capital. Originally, the word "Finland" referred only to the area around Turku (hence the title, "Finland Proper" for the region).

 

Cathedral of Turku, 1814.

 

Although archaeological findings in the area date back to the Stone Age, the town of Turku was founded in late 13th century. The Cathedral of Turku was consecrated in 1300.

During the Middle Ages, Turku was the seat of the Bishop of Turku (a title later upgraded to Archbishop of Turku), covering the then eastern half of the Kingdom of Sweden (most of the present-day Finland) until the 17th century. Even if Turku had no official capital status, both the short-lived institutions ofDukes and Governors-General of Finland usually had their Finnish residences there. In the aftermath of the War against Sigismund, the town was the site of the Åbo bloodbath. In 1640, the first university in Finland, The Royal Academy of Turku, was founded in Turku. Turku was also the meeting place for the States of Finland in 1676.

 

 

 

 

Panorama of Turku, late of 19th century

 

 

 

Aurakatu area in 1910's

 

 

 

Education

 

The main building of the University of Turku.


 

Turku has a longer educational history than any other Finnish city – the first school in the city, the Cathedral School, was founded along with the Cathedral of Turku in the late 13th century. The first university in Finland, the "The Royal Academy of Turku" (now University of Helsinki), was established in the city in 1640. In 1820, the first school in Finland conforming to the Bell-Lancaster method was founded in Turku with the aim of making primary education more inclusive to the lower classes..Turku is home to about 35,000 higher education students. There are two universities and several "polytechnics" in the town.

The Finnish University of Turku is the second largest university in Finland (18,000 students), as measured by student enrollment, and one of the oldest as well, having been founded in 1920. Åbo Akademi, founded 1918 as the second university of Finland, is Finland's only Swedish-language university. Turku School of Economics merged with The University of Turku in 2010, and Åbo handelshögskola, its Swedish counterpart, with Åbo Akademi 1980. The central hospital of Turku,Turku University Hospital, is affiliated with the University and it is used as a teaching hospital.

Turku University of Applied Sciences is the second largest polytechnic in Finland after Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Also Novia University of Applied Sciences and Diaconia University of Applied Sciences have campuses in the town.

Turku is one of only two cities in Finland to have an established international school (the other city being Helsinki). Turku International School, located in the eastern district of Varissuo, has been operating since 2003. By an agreement signed between the city of Turku and the University of TurkuTurun normaalikoulu takes care of the teaching in the international school.

 

 

 

Culture[edit]

The Cathedral of Turku, one of the most notable historical buildings in Finland.

 

Cultural venues in Turku include several theatrescinemas, and art galleries, and a city philharmonic orchestra. The city's cultural centre organises a number of regular events, most notably the Medieval Market in July each year. Turku is also the official Christmas city of Finland, and 'Christmas Peace' in Finland is declared on every 24 December from the Brinkkala Hall balcony. The Turku Music Festival and the rock festival Ruisrock (held on the island of Ruissalo) are among the oldest of its kind in Scandinavia. The city also hosts another rock festival, Down by the Laituri, and one of the largest electronic music festivals in Northern Europe, UMF (Uuden Musiikin Festivaali, "New Music Festival"), in addition to a vibrant nightlife, centred on the Market Square.

 

 

 

SOURCE : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turku


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