Helsinki 3h Highlights drive tour via Alla Tours. Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval (today known as Tallinn). Czar Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland, and to bring the capital closer to St. Petersburg. Finland became a "co-belligerent" with Nazi Germany in World War II, fighting a Continuation War against the Soviet Union only. This also resulted in multiple bombings of Helsinki from 1941-1944, with the most significant series being three massive raids in February 1944. After the war a landmark event was hosting the Games of the XV Olympiad (1952 Summer Olympics)
The Sibelius Monument is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). The monument is located at the Sibelius Park (Finnish: Sibeliuspuisto) in Helsinki The monument is a sculpture by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen titled Passio Musicae and unveiled on September 7, 1967.
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It consists of series of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern. The purpose of the artist was to capture the essence of the music of Sibelius.The relatively dense cluster of pipes are transformed into an airy, free shape suggestive of a birch forest or the Northern Lights. The nature feeling was enhanced by openings and rich texture on many of the tubes.
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The monument weighs 24 tonnes (24 long tons; 26 short tons) and measures 8.5 × 10.5 × 6.5 metres
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Originally it sparked a lively debate about the merits and flaws of abstract art, for which reason an effigy of Sibelius was included in the work. In shaping Sibelius's face the sculptor chose to depict him in his creative age, not as the familiar elderly man, the national icon.
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The monument to honour national composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was the result of a public fundraising campaign and a two-stage competition in 1961-62
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Driving through downtown Helsinki
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Uspenski Cathedral is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary). Its name comes from the Old Church Slavonic word uspenie, which denotes the Dormition.
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Designed by the Russian architect Aleksey Gornostayev (1808–1862). The cathedral was built after his death in 1862–1868
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The Cathedral is set upon a hillside on the Katajanokka peninsula overlooking the city. On the back of the cathedral, there is a plaque commemorating Russian Emperor Alexander II, who was the sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the cathedral's construction. Main cathedral of the Finnish Orthodox Church in the diocese of Helsinki, Uspenski Cathedral is claimed to be the largest orthodox church in Western Europe
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The National Library of Finland - Historic national library housing book collections making up Finland's literary heritage.
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Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the neighbourhood of Kruununhaka in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas' Church until the independence of Finland in 1917.
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The church's plan is a Greek cross (a square centre and four equilateral arms), symmetrical in each of the four cardinal directions, with each arm's façade featuring a colonnade and pediment. Lohrmann erected two free-standing bell towers, as well as larger-than-life sized zinc statues of the Twelve Apostles at the apexes and corners of the roofline
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A distinctive landmark in the Helsinki cityscape, with its tall, green dome surrounded by four smaller domes, the building is in the neoclassical style. It was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel as the climax of his Senate Square layout: it is surrounded by other, smaller buildings designed by him.
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Engel also designed the pulpit. Its decorative sculptures are of Swedish origin. The wooden surface of the pulpit was covered with plaster and painted to imitate marble. The work was finished with gilding by master painter, J. Källström
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The current Danish Marcussen & Søn organ, made in 1967, has 57 stops. The attractive façade of the organ was designed by architect, Lohrmann, in accordance with the instructions of the builder of the first organ of the cathedral, Edvard Friedrich Walckeer.
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The central dome of the Cathedral, supported by corner pillars, rises to a height of over eighty metres above sea level. Natural light falls into the interior from many directions. The austere style reflects Engel's view on Lutheran Christianity.
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The altarpiece was painted by Carl Timoleon von Neff and donated to the church by emperor Nicholas I. The laurel wreaths of the altar structure symbolise the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
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The statues of the great men of Lutheran Reformation, Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchton, are enlarged plaster copies of the Worms Luther monument, created in 1868 by Ernst Rietschel
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Gilded angels commissioned from August Wredow but made by sculptor Gustav Bläser kneel on both sides.
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Senate Square and its surroundings make up the oldest part of central Helsinki. Landmarks and famous buildings surrounding the square are the Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, main building of the University of Helsinki, and Sederholm House.
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A statue of Emperor Alexander II is located in the center of the square. The statue, erected in 1894, was built to commemorate his re-establishment the Diet of Finland in 1863, as well as his initiation of several reforms that increased Finland's autonomy from Russia. The statue comprises Alexander on a pedestal surrounded by figures representing the law, culture and the peasants. The sculptor was Walter Runeberg.
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The Government Palace in Helsinki, is the executive office building of the Government of Finland. Work on building the Senate began in 1818. The Senate moved to the palace overlooking Senate Square in 1822. The Government Palace acquired its present appearance between 1916 and 1917 with the heightening of the Ritarikatu wing. Today, the Government Palace houses the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and most departments of the Ministry of Finance.
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In the City Hall of Helsinki
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The Market Square is located near the centre of Helsinki, at the eastern end of Esplanadi and bordering the Baltic Sea to the south and Katajanokka to the east.
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'The Stone of the Empress' is the oldest public memorial in Helsinki. It was erected in the Market Square to commemorate the Empress Alexandra's (the German-born wife of Nicholas I), first visit to Helsinki. She visited the City in 1833 with her husband, who came to inspect the construction of Helsinki's new centre. The memorial is an obelisk cut in red granite. A bronze globe is set on top of the obelisk, and the two-headed eagle of Russia.
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From spring to autumn, the Market Square is bustling with activity with vendors selling fresh Finnish food and souvenirs. There are also many outdoor cafés at the square. Some cafés also provide meat pastries ("lihapiirakka" in Finnish), and one advertises their pastries as being "the best in the Market Square… in Helsinki… in Finland!"
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The Helsinki City Transport maintains an all-year-round ferry link from the Market Square to Suomenlinna, and in the summer there are also private companies providing ferry cruises, both to Suomenlinna and other nearby islands.
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The 460-foot observation wheel opened in2014 in the central Katajanokka harbour, not far from where Finnair first based its flight operations, as Aero Oy, in the 1920s. It has 30 climate-controlled gondolas, including a VIP cabin with a glass floor and leather seats. The regular cabins cost 12 euros ($16) for a 15-minute ride. The VIP cabin, which seats four, costs $266 for a 25-minute ride, including Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
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The regular cabins cost 12 euros ($16) for a 15-minute ride. The VIP cabin, which seats four, costs $266 for a 25-minute ride, including Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
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Gerda is a two masted square rigged sailing vessel that was built in Gävle Sweden 1995-2005. She carries 15 sails with a total sail area of 625 square meters. Both masts are 30 meters tall. Gerda is a replica of the same named cargo sailing vessel that brought wood to Britain and coal to Sweden between 1869 and 1930.
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The Old Market Hall in Helsinki has served its customers since 1889. Merchants sell everything from cheese, fish, shellfish, vegetable, fruit and cakes to spices, coffee and tea. They are also more than happy to help with any special orders.
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Old Customs House-This 100 year old building in the Katajanokka area of Helsinki was designed by Gustaf Nystrom. It lay dormant for the past 40 years, only used occasionally as storage. It came to life in 2010 when it began to be used for exhibitions and events. It is a stunning example of the National Romantic style and was built at the turn of last century to support the rapidly growing city.
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Temppeliaukio Church - is a Lutheran church in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Built directly into solid rock, it is also known as the Church of the Rock and Rock Church.
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The stone-hewn church is located in the heart of Helsinki. Maintaining the original character of the square is the fundamental concept behind the building. The idiosyncratic choice of form has made it a favorite with professionals and aficionados of architecture.
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The interior was excavated and built directly out of solid rock and is bathed in natural light which enters through the skylight surrounding the center copper dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics. The acoustic quality is created by the rough, virtually unworked rock surfaces.
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Organ builder Veikko Virtanen manufactured the church organ, which has 43 stops and 3001 pipes.
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There are no bells at the church; a recording of bells composed by Taneli Kuusisto is played via loudspeakers on the exterior wall.
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The acoustic quality is created by the rough, virtually unworked rock surfaces. The iconic rock walls were not included in the original competition entry, even though the Suomalainen brothers had considered the idea, because they believed that it was too radical for the competition jury. But when conductor Paavo Berglund shared his knowledge of acoustics from some of the best music halls and the acoustical engineer Mauri Parjo gave requirements for the wall surfaces, the Suomalainen brothers discovered that they could fulfill all the requirements for the acoustics by leaving the rock walls exposed in the Church Hall.
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Plans for the Temppeliaukio/Tempelplatsen (Temple square) was started as early as the 1930s when a plot of land was selected for the building and a competition for the design was started. The plan by J. S. Siren, the winner of the second competition to design the architecture of the church, was interrupted in its early stages when World War II began in 1939. After the war, there was another architectural competition, which was won by Timo Suomalainen and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1961