Espoo History, Finland
The history of Espoo is one that stretches back centuries ago. In fact, the first time that the city's name is mentioned in recorded history is in the year 1431 when it was also established that the name of the city came from the name of the River Espoo. Depending on where you live in the world, a history that stretches back nearly 600 years is a very long one or a very short one, but regardless of how you feel on that account, the history of Espoo is definitely a very eventful one.
As far as historians can tell, the first settlers in the actual region were there about 9,000 years ago, with a permanent settlement (as opposed to a hunter-gatherer outpost) taking shape during the late 12th and early 13th century. However, the oldest building in the current incarnation of the city of Espoo is the Cathedral of the same name and since that has an origin in the late 15th century, it is quite reasonable to start the dating of Espoo's history from that point.
One of the most interesting parts of the history of Espoo doesn't take place until you fast forward to the 20th century. Just after World War I, the city of Espoo was really small on the grand international scale. It had about 9,000 people in it and most of the people that lived in the city were farmers.
However, it was in the wake of the Second World War that Espoo started to grow at a very fast pace. It rapidly industrialized and in 1972 was finally recognized as a full city in Finland. During this period of time, the population had ballooned from 9,000 people to 100,000 and the people in that area were able to diversify the city's economy, bringing in artisans and industrial workers to join the farmers.
As time began to pass, people realized that they could very easily work in Helsinki and live in Espoo and when that realization became widespread, there was a large migration of people out into the city, allowing the population of the city to top 200,000 around the turn of the century. It was around this time that Espoo also began to become an international city, with many tourists visiting it every year. Just as Espoo gained residents from Helsinki, it gained prestige and nowadays it can be argued that there are many people that travel to Espoo and then see Helsinki or vice versa.
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