Monday, September 5, 2011

Helsinki - City center - part I

Helsinki - Mannerheimintie Boulevard
Mannerheimintie Boulevard

Helsinki is the capital of Finland, a vibrant cultural and economic city counting a bit over half million inhabitants. It is the northernmost capital of an EU member state.

Helsinki - details on the façade of Central railway station
Details on the façade of Central railway station

Due to its excellent location, Helsinki was created as a trading city by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550, in order to compete with the current Tallinn, in that period Reval, a member of the Hanseatic league. Its name was Hellssingeforss, transformed later in Helsingfors. The name comes from the Helsinge parish located there and the rapids (Swedish: fors) flowing through the original village. The city grown slowly, being heavily affected by poverty and the plague in the 1710. The city started to develop only when Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War, and annexed it to the Duchy of Finland, moving the capital from Turku. The city became the cultural center of the country, the only university being relocated here. Sankt Petersburg served as a model to the neoclassical architectonic style of the city.

Helsinki - Annex Building of the Parliament of Finland
Annex Building of the Parliament of Finland

Helsinki - shirts hanging in the centre
Shirts hanging in the centre

Helsinki - Finnish National Theatre
Finnish National Theatre

Helsinki - The National Museum of Finland
The National Museum of Finland

Helsinki - Statue on Esplanadi
Statue on Esplanadi

Helsinki - sea lion at Havis Amanda fountain
Havis Amanda fountain

Helsinki - traditional doll
Traditional doll

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