Saturday, 17 August 2013


Since we were already in the capital of Finland, we decided with Ola to make a little tour around Helsinki. Helsinki is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, so you will not be surprised that we will start the visit in the harbour.

Then we start ticking off the major tourist attractions. Those of you who have ever received a postcard from Finland are likely to know this one.

This is of course the Helsinki Cathedral, belonging to the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran church. It is well known for its green domes.

Next to the Cathedral we saw the City Hall.

Then we move on to the Supreme Court of Finland.

In the nineteenth century Finland was part of the Russian Empire. Helsinki still has a Russian minority. You will then not be surprised to see a majestic orthodox church, the Uspenski Cathedral.

The domes are green again, though they are more cones than domes in fact. If you remember the architecture of orthodox churches in Ukraine that I have shown you recently, this one is pretty different.

Of course Finns are not only about religion and politics. Helsinki has a fantastic Olympic Stadium that housed the 1952 Olympic Games.
The tower includes an observation deck but we did not have time to queue so we only watched it from the outside.

 Here comes the stadium in its full beauty.

You can also find in Helsinki many shopping spots. These can be both huge shopping like Stockmann that is over 150 years old ...

... and smaller but very popular shops like Marimekko, offering unique Finnish design.

You probably wonder whether there are any famous people associated with Helsinki. Of course yes. Just to name two of them - Aleksis Kivi was the first writer to write a novel in the Finnish language. Do not be surprised it happened only in the middle of the nineteenth century. Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden staring from the twelfth century.

The second man commemorated in the city is the famous composer, Jean Sibelius. His monument is really huge. I mean it - it weighs 24 tons!

I must say I liked it. But don't ask what is exactly meant by this monument. I've heard it is supposed to represent the essence of the music of Sibelius. And here comes the master himself. He does not seem happy to be honest.

Finally, we went to one more church. It is unique because it was carved in stone. It is the Temppeliaukio Church. 

Inside it is full of light, thanks to the glass dome.

That was a long and exciting walk. Time to sit and have a good lunch. What could be better than a nice piece of salmon.

* * *

My human secretary was insisting so that she can say "I've seen it all ...". Well, she did: Uspenski Cathedral, Protestant Cathedral, Sibelius Monument, Church of the Rock and the harbour. All those who do not believe Postcrossing is a means of visiting the world have now a firm proof of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment