The Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions are a professional ice hockey team located in Zürich, playing in the National League. The home arena, the 11,200 seat Hallenstadion, is in the Zürich district of Oerlikon; the team was founded in 1930 and played at the Dolder-Kunsteisbahn from its establishment until 1950. Locally nicknamed "Z", the team was formed in 1997 as a result of the merger of the two local teams: the popular Zürcher Schlittschuh Club, who were struggling financially in National League A, the ice hockey section of Grasshopper Club Zürich who had failed to qualify for promotion from National League B for several years in a row and had a small fan base, but were backed by entrepreneur and billionaire Walter Frey. ZSC was the first Swiss team to play in an indoor arena, they won the Swiss championship in the years 1936, 1949 and 1961 and the prestigious Spengler Cup in 1944 and 1945. After the merger, the ZSC Lions won the Swiss Championship in 2000, 2001, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2018, moreover won the IIHF Continental Cup in 2001 and 2002.
During the 2008–09 Season, the ZSC Lions participated in the first Champions Hockey League. For the group stage, they were placed in group D with HC Slavia Praha and Linköpings HC; the Lions qualified for the semi-finals with a 3 -- first place in the group. With their defeats of the Finnish Espoo Blues, 6–3 and 4–1 they qualified for the tournament final; the first leg of the final was held on January 21, 2009 in the Magnitogorsk Arena where the Lions came back from a 0–2 deficit to Metallurg Magnitogorsk to end with a 2–2 tie. The second leg was played a week on January 28, 2009, in the Diners Club Arena in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland. ZSC Lions won the Silver Stone Trophy with a 5 -- 0 victory. With their victory in the Champions Hockey League, the ZSC Lions qualified to play the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League for the 2009 edition of the Victoria Cup challenge. Playing at their home arena, the Lions upset the Blackhawks with a 2 -- 1 victory, it was the first time since 1991.
NL Championship: 1936, 1949, 1961, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018 SL Championship: 1973, 1981, 1983, 1989 Victoria Cup: 2009 Champions Hockey League/Silver Stone Trophy: 2009 IIHF Continental Cup: 2001, 2002 Swiss Cup: 1960, 1961, 2016 Spengler Cup: 1944, 1945, 1952 Updated February 18, 2019. ZSC Lions official website
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks 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; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, 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. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
The SM-liiga, colloquially called the Finnish Elite League in English, is the top professional ice hockey league in Finland. It is one of the six founding leagues of the Champions Hockey League and allocated five spots - the maximum number - based on success in previous editions, it was created in 1975 to replace the SM-sarja, fundamentally an amateur league. The SM-liiga is not directly overseen by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, but the league and association have an agreement of cooperation. SM is a common abbreviation for Suomen mestaruus, "Finnish championship"; the SM-liiga had a system of automatic promotion and relegation in place between itself and the Mestis, the second highest level of competition in Finland, but the automatic system was ended in 2000. The league was allowed KalPa to get a promotion. In 2009, a new system was introduced and it includes the last placed SM-liiga team facing the Mestis champion in a best of seven playout series. In 2013, the relegation system was abandoned again and replaced by a procedure in which successful clubs of Mestis may apply for a promotion if they fulfill definite financial criteria.
Since 2013, Jokerit joined the KHL and Espoo Blues went bankrupt, but Sport, KooKoo and Jukurit were promoted. Therefore Liiga is a competition of 15 teams in the 2016 -- 2017 -- 18 seasons; the SM-liiga was constituted in 1975 to concentrate the development of top-level Finnish ice hockey, pave the way towards professionalism. Its predecessor, the SM-sarja, being an amateur competition, had its disadvantages, which were perceived as impeding Finland's rise to the highest ranks of ice hockey. One of the main problems was that the governing of the SM-sarja was based on the annual meeting of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, where all important issues were decided by vote. Since all clubs registered under the Finnish Ice Hockey Association had the right to vote, the many amateur clubs prevailed over the few business-like clubs. Therefore, the concentrated development of top-level Finnish ice hockey by the motivated and financially capable clubs proved arduous; the new SM-liiga was to be run by a board consisting of its participating clubs only and to have an agreement of cooperation with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.
The SM-sarja was outdated on its own, as it was run according to amateur principles. Clubs were not supposed to pay their players beyond compensation for lost wages. However, by the 1970s many clubs were run like businesses and recruited players through a contract of employment, paying their wages secretly and evading taxes. However, in 1974, accounting reform in Finland extended book-keeping standards to cover sports clubs, shortfalls were exposed in audit raids; the SM-liiga was to allow wages for players, clubs were put under a tighter supervision. They were to establish their own association for SM-liiga ice hockey only, separating their commitments from junior activities and other sports. Copies of all player contracts were to be sent to the SM-liiga to provide players with adequate security, such as insurance and pensions; the SM-sarja had other limits for players. According to amateur ideals, no player could represent more than one club within one season. Personal sponsorship was forbidden.
To discourage trading, a system of quarantine was in force. The SM-liiga stripped the limitations for players, replaced quarantine with a then-modest transfer payment, introduced the transfer list. Players wanting a transfer were to sign up, the SM-liiga would distribute the right of negotiations to clubs. In practice, the list was not successful, as both parties worked their way around the formalities; these changes led to a transition towards professional ice hockey as the league became semi-professional. Only a few players would make a livelihood out of ice hockey in Finland in the 1970s, many players the young, would settle for a contract in the SM-liiga without a wage. A major financial development for professional ice hockey in Finland was the introduction of playoffs. Gate receipts and other income from playoffs were distributed as a placement bonus. Although playoffs were the standard way of determining the champions in North American professional sports, at the time they were not common in Europe.
The SM-liiga was established rather hastily. The required changes were initiated at the 1974 annual meeting, the SM-liiga was launched for the 1975–76 season, it was the first Finnish professional sports league, its solutions were untried. However, there had been a mounting demand for these changes, as the popularity of ice hockey had been rising in the previous decade; the SM-liiga picked up. The four best of the regular season were to proceed to the playoffs; the system of promotion and relegation from the SM-sarja remained in force: last-placed teams of the regular season had to qualify for their position in the SM-liiga against the best teams of the second-highest series. The combined attendance for the first eleven regular seasons hovered around 900,000. In 1986–87, the number of games for each team was increased from 36 to 44, reaching its current level of 56 games in 2000–01, the SM-liiga was expanded to 12 clubs for the 1988–89 season; the general popularity of ice hockey strengthened through international success of the Finland men's national ice hockey team, the combined attendance climbed through the 1990s to about 1.8 million.
This prompted an increase in the profitability of the ice hockey business and the completion of the transition to full professionalism. By the mid-1990s, all players were full-time, by 2000, most clubs had reformed into limited companies. In late 1990s and early 2000s the S
Finns or Finnish people are a Finnic ethnic group native to Finland. Finns are traditionally divided into smaller regional groups that span several countries adjacent to Finland, both those who are native to these countries as well as those who have resettled; some of these may be classified as separate ethnic groups, rather than subgroups of Finns. These include the Kvens and Forest Finns in Norway, the Tornedalians in Sweden, the Ingrian Finns in Russia. Finnish, the language spoken by most Finnic people, is related to other Finnic languages, e.g. Estonian and Karelian; the Finnic languages are a subgroup of the larger Uralic family of languages, which includes Hungarian. These languages are markedly different from most other languages spoken in Europe, which belong to the Indo-European family of languages. Native Finns can be divided according to dialect into subgroups sometimes called heimo, although such divisions have become less important due to internal migration. Today, there are 6–7 million ethnic Finns and their descendants worldwide, with majority of them living in their native Finland and the surrounding countries, namely Sweden and Norway.
An overseas Finnish diaspora has long been established in the countries of the Americas and Oceania, with the population of immigrant background, namely Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The Population Register Centre maintains information on the birthplace and mother tongue of the people living in Finland, but does not categorize any as Finns by ethnicity; the majority of people living in the Republic of Finland consider Finnish to be their first language. According to Statistics Finland, of the country's total population of 5,503,297 at the end of 2016, 88.3% considered Finnish to be their native language. It is not known how many of the ethnic Finns living outside Finland speak Finnish as their first language. In addition to the Finnish-speaking inhabitants of Finland, the Kvens, the Tornedalians, the Karelians in the historic Finnish province of Karelia and Evangelical Lutheran Ingrian Finns, as well as Finnish expatriates in various countries, are Finnic people. Finns have been traditionally divided into sub-groups along regional, dialectical or ethnographical lines.
These subgroups include the people of Finland Proper, Tavastia, Savo and Ostrobothnia. These sub-groups express regional self-identity with significance. There are a number of distinct dialects of the Finnish language spoken in Finland, although the exclusive use of the standard Finnish —both in its formal written and more casual spoken form—in Finnish schools, in the media, in popular culture, along with internal migration and urbanization, have diminished the use of regional varieties since the middle of the 20th century. There were three dialects: the South-Western and Karelian; these and neighboring languages mixed with each other in various ways as the population spread out, evolved into the Southern Ostrobothnian, Central Ostrobothnian, Northern Ostrobothnian, Far-Northern and South-Eastern aka South Karelian dialects. The Sweden Finns have emigrated from Finland to Sweden. An estimated 450,000 first- or second-generation immigrants from Finland live in Sweden, of which half speak Finnish.
The majority moved from Finland to Sweden following the Second World War, taking advantage of the expanding Swedish economy. This emigration has been declining since. There is a native Finnish-speaking minority in Sweden, the Tornedalians in the border area in the extreme north of Sweden; the Finnish language has official status as one of five minority languages in Sweden, but only in the five northernmost municipalities in Sweden. The term Finns is used for other Finnic peoples, including Izhorians in Ingria, Karelians in Karelia and Veps in the former Veps National Volost, all in Russia. Among these groups, the Karelians is the most populous one, followed by the Ingrians. According to a 2002 census, it was found that Ingrians identify with Finnish ethnic identity, referring to themselves as Ingrian Finns; the Finnish term for Finns is suomalaiset. It is a matter of debate how best to designate the Finnish-speakers of Sweden, all of whom have migrated to Sweden from Finland. Terms used include Sweden Finns and Finnish Swedes, with a distinction always made between more recent Finnish immigrants, most of whom have arrived after World War II, Tornedalians, who have lived along what is now the Swedish-Finnish border since the 15th century.
The term "Finn" also has the meaning "a member of a people speaking Finnish or a Finnic language". Historical references to Northern Europe are scarce, the names given to its peoples and geographic regions are obscure; such names as Fenni, Phinnoi and Skrithfinni / Scridefinnum appear in a few written texts starting from about two millennia ago in association with peoples located in a northern part of Europe, but the real meaning of these terms is debatable. The ear
Helsingin Jokerit is a professional ice hockey team based in Helsinki, Finland. They are members of the Bobrov Division of the Western Conference of the Kontinental Hockey League; the team won six league championships as a member of the Finnish SM-liiga. Jokerit plays its home games at the Hartwall Arena, they joined the Kontinental Hockey League as of the 2014–15 KHL season, making Finland the first Nordic country to have a team in the league. Jokerit would not have existed without the debt-incumbent ice hockey branch of Töölön Vesa amateur sports club, who were faced with having to discontinue their resource-demanding ice hockey activities in 1967. Master-builder Aimo Mäkinen seized the opportunity to establish a semi-professional sports club of his own, for the price of half of Vesa's ice hockey debts the new ice hockey club inherited everything, including junior players and the vacant position in second highest Finnish series, Suomi-sarja. Jokerit were established on 27 October 1967, at their constitutional meeting.
The club's sole owner Mäkinen chose to wield sovereign power, becoming in practice the board and managing director. The insignia, a winking jester, was adapted from jokers of various card decks and drawn by graphic designer Jorma Hinkka, their home venue was Helsinki Ice Hall. Mäkinen did not intend his new club to loiter in the lower series. Though dramatic changes in the line-up did not appear directly, only a few players from Töölön Vesa saw prolonged employment: Timo Turunen would be the most distinguished, remaining today as the club's all-time goal scoring leader. With him, Pentti Hiiros and Timo Kyntölä would form nallipyssyketju until 1975, when the latter retired. Promotion to the highest level, SM-sarja, took place two years later. After the promotion was secured, Mäkinen began an aggressive acquisition of star players. Among them were the national team regulars defenceman Ilpo Koskela with forwards Henry Leppä and Timo Sutinen, whose relationship with the club lasted long. Other reinforcements worthy of a mention were forward Jouko Öystilä and defenceman Timo Saari, head coach Matti Lampainen.
In 1969, the IIHF had loosened amateur rules by permitting bodychecking anywhere in the rink. SM-sarja underwent a tactical revolution as mean play became a means to success. Lampainen, reckoned physical play unsuitable for the line-up at hand, he guided the team, towards a play that demanded technique and clever tactics. This became the trademark of Jokerit that stuck all the way to the late 1990s and resulted in the way Jokerit played as being branded as "neitikiekko", which translates as "playing like women". To his credit, Mäkinen enhanced the club's junior organization by launching a competition of their own, called Kanada-sarja, with 500 participating junior players, a figure that cumulatively tripled in a few years. Kanada-sarja didn't survive the 1970s, but Jokerit benefited from it through a steady flow of emerging talent including Jari Kurri, by gaining a strong popular base in the outer urban zones of Helsinki. Despite winning Finnish championship silver in 1971 and gold in 1973, Jokerit didn't manage to be financially profitable during Mäkinen's period in charge.
He started downsizing the team's budget by methodically replacing departing stars with junior players. Success declined and Jokerit only just managed to avoid relegation from the Finnish elite-level league several times. This, combined with Mäkinen's controversial manner of management – the emphasis being place on non-physical play – led to the club facing an uncertain and turbulent future; when a replacement candidate turned up in 1980, Mäkinen retired from the ownership, though he went on in the club's junior organization up to the 1990s. New owners, Jokeriklubin Tuki Ry, were a conventional association supervised by its board. Under new management, the club didn't shake off its wobbliness, but they peaked for one season. Having signed outcasts of other clubs, they hit jackpot: for the 1982–1983 season, the club signed Soviet Union's national team defenceman Nikolai Makarov; as a result, Jokerit had a near-perfect season and advanced all the way to the SM-Liiga finals, where they were comprehensively beaten by local rival HIFK.
However, the management ran into unexpected financial problems, the brief success soon withered. Only a few years they had to avert bankruptcy twice, which struck a blow to their credibility, as a mass desertion of the players ensued; the first line was a shambles as wing Risto Kerminen departed and center Jari Lindroos did, but though he had signed elsewhere, the contract was illegitimately nullified. Few others, apart from the longtime goaltender Rauli Sohlman, remained. Jokerit faced the imminent relegation in 1987. In the middle of the bleakest hour of their history, with Jokeriklubin Tuki Ry seeking to discontinue their association, new blood was rushed into Jokerit. In 1988, their 20-year-olds won the Finnish junior championship with several prospective stars: defenceman Waltteri Immonen would be captain of the team 1991–1999. Now that the club was spiced with such promising, new willing owners turned up to save them, they became the first limited company based sports club in Finland. Kalervo Kummola, who played t
Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, has a population of 650,058; the city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, finance and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km east of Stockholm, 390 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, it has close historical ties with these three cities. Together with the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen, surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million. Considered to be Finland's only metropolis, it is the world's northernmost metro area with over one million people as well as the northernmost capital of an EU member state. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third largest municipality in the Nordic countries.
The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia. Helsinki was the World Design Capital for 2012, the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics, the host of the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest. Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. In 2011, the British magazine Monocle ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its liveable cities index. In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 liveability survey, Helsinki was ranked ninth among 140 cities. According to a theory presented in the 1630s, settlers from Hälsingland in central Sweden had arrived to what is now known as the Vantaa River and called it Helsingå, which gave rise to the names of Helsinge village and church in the 1300s; this theory is questionable, because dialect research suggests that the settlers arrived from Uppland and nearby areas. Others have proposed the name as having been derived from the Swedish word helsing, an archaic form of the word hals, referring to the narrowest part of a river, the rapids.
Other Scandinavian cities at similar geographic locations were given similar names at the time, e.g. Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden; when a town was founded in Forsby village in 1548, it was named Helsinge fors, "Helsinge rapids". The name refers to the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids at the mouth of the river; the town was known as Helsinge or Helsing, from which the contemporary Finnish name arose. Official Finnish Government documents and Finnish language newspapers have used the name Helsinki since 1819, when the Senate of Finland moved itself into the city from Turku; the decrees issued in Helsinki were dated with Helsinki as the place of issue. This is; as part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known as Gelsingfors in Russian. In Helsinki slang, the city is called Stadi. Hesa, is not used by natives of the city. Helsset is the Northern Sami name of Helsinki. In the Iron Age the area occupied by present day Helsinki was inhabited by Tavastians, they used the area for fishing and hunting, but due to a lack of archeological finds it is difficult to say how extensive their settlements were.
Pollen analysis has shown that there were cultivating settlements in the area in the 10th century and surviving historical records from the 14th century describe Tavastian settlements in the area. Swedes colonized the coastline of the Helsinki region in the late 13th century after the successful Second Crusade to Finland, which led to the defeat of the Tavastians. Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval. In order to populate his newly founded town, the King issued an order to resettle the bourgeoisie of Porvoo, Ekenäs, Rauma and Ulvila into the town. Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty and diseases; the plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city.
Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress during the war, about one quarter of the town was destroyed in an 1808 fire. Russian Emperor Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland, to bring the capital closer to Saint Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, the Royal Academy of Turku, which at the time was the country's only university, was relocated to Helsinki and became the modern University of Helsinki; the move helped set it on a path of continuous growth. This transformation is apparent in the downtown core, rebuilt in the neoclassical style to resemble Saint Petersburg to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel; as elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth. Despite the tumultuous nature of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century, Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark e