The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #27 May / June 2017
Where Are You?
by Erik Zidowecki
May / June 2017 | 

This national capital city has a population of over 1.4 million. Population and location make it the world's northernmost metro area with a population that high and it is also the northernmost capital of an EU state.

Established as a trading town in 1550, it had a slow growth due to poverty, wars, and diseases. Most of the inhabitants were killed by a plague in 1710 alone. But it did grow, and later the same century, it saw the construction of a naval fortress, which greatly improved its status.

Surprisingly, it wasn't until the Russians took control of it in 1800 that it really began to develop. It became the capital of the region when Russian Emperor Alexander I wanted a capital closer to St. Petersburg. After a great fire in 1827, an academy, at the time the country's only university, was relocated to the city, where it is still used as a modern university.

Despite being under Russian rule, the country maintained its culture, religion, and language. It declared independence in 1917, and as relations with the West became more stable, tensions increased with the new Soviet Union. The country finally broke free after the Second World War.

It had an economic boom in the 1970s and has been increasing its economy since to become among the highest in the world. It joined the European Union in 1995.

Can you name this city and country?

Last month's answer: Lviv, Ukraine

Where Are You?
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
Petey: Mystery image

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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