We only spent one full day in Finland and most of it was on the fortress
island of Suomenlinna. But, I'll start by blogging about Helsinki itself.
This is what Helsinki, the capital of Finland, looked like as we flew in. The city is on
a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, which is an arm of the Baltic Sea.
Senate Square. Helsinki was founded here in 1640 and, according to a sign, this area has been the 'centre of the city ever since.' Also, according to the sign: Finland was for centuries a part of the Swedish Kingdom. After the war of Finland in 1809, Finland was ceded to Russia as an autonomous Grand Duchy. Helsinki became the capital in 1812. The city centre was rebuilt and gradually assumed its present look. Finland became independent in 1917.
This morning, bands were practicing for a concert this evening. It was for the "2012 Helsinki: European Athletic Championships."
Looking over Senate Square is the Lutheran Cathedral which was finished in 1852. It was built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia. (The previous photo of the stage was taken from the top steps shown here.)
The cathedral was built in neoclassical style which can be recognized by: tall columns, symmetrical shapes, triangular pediments, and domed roofs.
The gorgeous organ!!!
That evening... the concert was ON and the crowds were OUT!