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Helsinki (Helsingfors) Capital of Finland, in the s of the country, on the Gulf of Finland. Founded in 1550 by Gustavus I (Vasa), it became the capital in 1812. It has two universities (1849, 1908), a cathedral (1852), museums and art galleries. The commercial and administrative centre of the country, it is Finland's largest port. Industries: shipbuilding, engineering, food processing, ceramics, textiles. Pop. (1999) 551,123.