Finland is situated in Northern Europe and the country is bordered by Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia which lies across Gulf of Finland. The capital of Finland is Helsinki. Finland is ranked eighth among the largest countries of Europe. According to the evidences, human settlement in Finland was started in 8500 BCE. The Kings of Sweden ruled the country from 12th century to 1249. Russian occupied Finland twice due to the wars between Russia and Sweden in 18th century. The country gain autonomy from Sweden in 1809 and in 1809, Alexander I of Russia took over Finland in Finnish War. The country declared independence in 1917 from Russia, but recognized by Russia in 1918.
Finland is a semi-presidential republic with parliamentary system. Head of the state and Commander-in-chief of defense forces is the President. Head of the government is Prime Minister and the executive power is vested on the government. Legislative power is exercised by the Parliament and judicial system is independent from both executive and legislative powers. The economy of Finland is a mixed economy and highly industrialized. The economy of the country largely depends on the services sector which is followed by refining and manufacturing. Forest also plays a major role in the economy as the country is one among the leading producers of wood in the world.
Finland has a total population of 5.5 million and the country has homogeneous population as the dominant ethnic group is the Finnish people. Minor ethnic groups are Sami, Russians, Gypsies and Jews. The two official languages of the country are Swedish and Finnish. Sami language is the official language of Northern Lapland. Other languages recognized by the constitution are Finnish Sign language and Finnish Romani. Immigrant languages of Finland are Estonian, Russian, Somali, Arabic, Chinese, Albanian, Kurdish and English. About 78.2% of the Finnish people are the members of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Other minor religions are Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholics, Jewish and Muslims.
Finland has renowned tourist spots which are attracting several tourists to the country every year. Helsinki which is the capital of the country has several attractions such as forests, lakes and parks. Some of the major attractions of Helsinki are Church of Rock, Helsinki Cathedral, Senate Square, Sea Fortress of 18th century, National Museum, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki Zoo, Hame Castle, Linnanmaki Amusement Park, Finlandia Hall and Olympic Stadium. Lapland is a place blessed with uninhabited forests, hills, lakes, babbling brooks as well as foaming rapids.
Aland Islands are famous for its medieval churches, fishing villages and camping. Retretti Art Centre of Punkaharju is a place where exhibitions take place and the centre has a restaurant as well as concert hall. Arktikum Science Museum is a science museum that displays the Arctic life. Provincial Museum of Lapland and Arctic Centre are the two areas of the museum. Provincial Museum of Lapland displays the wilderness and cultural heritage of Lapps. Turku is a popular medieval town of Finland which consists of Gothic cathedral, Handicrafts Museum and medieval fortress. Lakeland is a place situated at the centre of Finland and it is a place suitable for canoeing, boating and swimming.