Helsinki experienced rapid growth in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By 1850, the population had risen to 15,000, and at the beginning of the twentieth century, the number of inhabitants reached 100,000. The city continued to develop, with railway connections being extended to the harbor in the 1890s. Industrialization advanced the area and the port benefited from a great rise in both cargo and passenger traffic. Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917 and the city continued to develop apace through the twentieth century. The notable Olympic Stadium, the subject of an architectural competition won by the eminent Finnish architects YrjĂś Lindegren and Toivo JĂ¤ntti, was inaugurated in 1938; and, following World War II, it hosted the Olympic Games in 1952. After the Second World War, Helsinki underwent further industrialization, with ship building, particularly ice-breakers, of great importance to the capital and the rest of Finland. The city grew rapidly and entered a new phase: by the 1960s, industry was replaced by public services, administration, and education as the development drivers. In the 1970s and 1980s, new suburbs emerged in the area surrounding Helsinki and the Metro subway system was built. Today, Helsinki is the most populous city in Finland, with more than 600,000 inhabitants (the Greater Helsinki area having nearly 1.4 million inhabitants). It is the seat of the national parliament and official home to the president of Finland. Helsinki was named one of nine European Capitals of Culture in 2000 and the 2012 World Design Capital. The Port of Helsinki is now Finlandâ€™s main port, specializing in unitized cargo services, containers, trucks, and trailers, as well as passenger traffic. It is the largest port in Finland, and the second largest in the Nordic countries. In 2008, the cargo services were concentrated to the new Vuosaari Harbor. The old South Harbor still hosts lively passenger traffic, including local ferries and cruise ships carrying passengers and goods to and from Tallinn, Stockholm, and Saint Petersburg.
Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition