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Southwestern Coast and the Ålands Travel Guide


Founded at the beginning of the 13th century, Turku is the nation's oldest and fourth-largest city and was the original capital of newborn Finland. Its early importance in the history of Finland has earned Turku the title of "the cradle of Finnish culture." Turku has a long history as a commercial and intellectual center (the city's name means trading post); once the site of the first Finnish

university, it has two major universities, the Finnish University of Turku and the Swedish-speaking Åbo Akademi. Turku has a population of about 200,000, and a busy, year-round harbor. In summer the banks of the river come alive with boat and ship cafés.

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