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(to͝or`ko͞o), Swed. Åbo, city (1998 pop. 170,931), capital of Western Finland prov., SW Finland, at the mouth of the Aurajoki River on the Baltic Sea. The center of the fertile agricultural region of SW Finland, it is also the country's largest winter port and an important industrial city. Its manufactures include shipbuilding, machinery, food, and textiles; tourism is also important. Known as the "cradle of Finnish culture," Turku is among Finland's oldest cities. Swedish Crusaders landed on the site in 1157. It was the seat (1220) of the first bishop of Finland, and the capital of Finland until 1812. The national university was in Turku from 1640 to 1827, when a fire destroyed almost the entire city and the university was moved (1828) to Helsinki. The Treaty of Åbo, by which Sweden ceded part of SE Finland to Russia, was signed in the city in 1743. The great cathedral was begun in the early 13th cent. The 13th-century castle, burned in 1614 and restored in 1961, is now a historic museum. Turku has a Finnish university (founded 1917) and a Swedish university (founded 1918).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Swedish, Åbo), a city and port in southwestern Finland, situated at the mouth of the Aura River on the Baltic Sea. Capital of the làâni (province) of Turku-Pori. Population: 164,000; with suburbs, about 230,000 (1975). Turku is a major commercial, industrial, and cultural center of Finland. It is an important transportation junction, with ferry service to Sweden. Industry includes shipbuilding, machine building, food processing, oil refining, and the production of textiles and electrical equipment. The city has two universities.

Turku arose on the site of the Finnish trading settlement of Ko-roinen, which was conquered by the Swedes in the mid-12th century. The earliest references to Turku are found in Arab sources for the year 1154 and in the Novgorod Chronicle for the year 1198. In the mid-13th century the city became the stronghold of the Catholic Church and the center of the Swedish administration in Finland.

The country’s first newspapers and schools appeared in Turku. A university (the Academy, 1640) and the Economic Society (1797) were founded in the city. From 1809 to 1812 (in actuality until 1819), it was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland. After World War II, Turku became one of the centers of the revolutionary working-class movement of Finland.

Turku’s gridlike layout dates from the 19th century, when the city was rebuilt after the fire of 1827 (architect C. L. Engel). Architectural monuments include a Romanesque cathedral (13th—15th centuries), a Romanesque castle (begun in 1280, additions made in the 16th and 17th centuries; now the City Historical Museum), and numerous Empire-style buildings, which occupy entire blocks; one such building is the former Trapp House (1831–33, architects C. F. Bassi and P. J. Gillich; now the main building of the Swedish university). Noteworthy modern buildings include the complex of the Finnish university (1951–58, architect A. Ervi) and structures by A. H. H. Aalto, E. Bryggman, and V. Revell. Other points of interest include a museum of Scandinavian art, the Aaltonen Museum, the Sibelius Museum, and the Handicrafts Museum, which survived the fire in the old part of Turku.


Piliavskii, V. I. Turku. Leningrad, 1974.
Othman, H. Turku: Åbo. [Helsinki, 1953.]
Bonin, V. von. Turku-Åbo. [Turku] 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city and port in SW Finland, on the Gulf of Bothnia: capital of Finland until 1812. Pop.: 175 059 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
No trip to Finland would be complete without a visit to the Archipelago which surrounds Turku. 40,000 islands and islets form the national park of the Archipelago Sea.
Event organizers have chosen the motto "culture cures," and the City of Turku Board of Health has said it will distribute 5,500 free tickets to this year's events at municipal health centers.
Suvi Innil, programme director of the Turku 2011 Foundation (the Finnish equivalent of Liverpool Culture Company), adds: "We're thrilled Tom of Finland returns home.
If Wales is serious about developing a knowledge-based economy in the future, then there are many lessons to be learnt from examining regions such as Turku to learn how to succeed where many others have failed Business website of the week: www.turkusciencepark.com - find out more about the hi tech activities in Turku.
Siemens' local partners in the Turku region are also expected to benefit from the decision to locate a development unit in the area.
The notice of purchase published by Turku Region Water Ltd on 10 September 2003 and the invitation to tender dated 19 November 2003 had reportedly differed from each other.
The EUR21m contract, awarded by Turku Science Park, is to be undertaken in seven stages, the last of which is scheduled for completion in June 2006.
Wartsila said that it would start personnel negotiations regarding the reduction of some 480 employees of the total of 680 in the Turku unit.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-23 September 2003-Turku Repair Yard Ltd closes operations in Turku and cuts 60 jobs - report(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-14 January 2003-Greater Turku area, Finland sees continued water shortage(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com

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