Monday, 21 April 2008

Helsinki: the Senate Square

No, I have neither fallen off the earth nor been to Paris. I had, however, a very nasty case of flu :(, which means there has not been much cooking or baking been done in my kitchen lately...

Before the flu I spent some time one sunny Saturday evening photographing the buildings around the Senate Square in the city centre. I hope you enjoy this "virtual visit" to my home city. If you want to learn more about the architecture of these buildings or the history of the square, you will find some useful links at the end of my post.

The picture above shows the most impressive of the neoclassical buildings around the Senate Square: The Lutheran Cathedral (built 1830-1852). Below is another view of the cathedral. The statue of Alexander II Tzar of Russia and Grand Duke of Finland from 1855 to 1881 stands in the center of the square.

Opposite the Lutheran Cathedral on the other side of the square there is a fine row of beautiful buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries including the blue Sederholm's house, an old merchant's house, in the left corner of the picture below. It is the oldest stone building in Helsinki and was built in 1757. It was once the finest privately owned house in Helsinki. Today the building holds Helsinki City Museum's special exhibitions.
On the other end of the picture in the yellow building is one of my favorite cafés: Café Engel. The café is named after architect C. L. Engel who designed many of the buildings around the square (including the cathedral).

Left from the cathedral there is the old senate building, now the Government Palace. It, too, was designed by Engel.

Opposite the Government Palace is the University of Helsinki main building and next to it the beautiful National Library, both of which were designed by Engel.

Chronology of Finnish History on Virtual Finland
History and architecture of the National Library
Panorama tour of the Senate Square
Another panorama of the Senate Square
Main building of the University of Helsinki
Helsinki Cathedral from Wikipedia


Priscilla said...

Thanks for sharing these favorite is the first one. Hope you feel better soon!

anya said...

Tiina, i've enjoyed a 'trip' through one of the parts of lovely Helsinki!!! The architecture, I should say, resembles me areas in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Well, no wonder, our countries have got their share of common history!!

Helsinki..It looks so cosy and relaxing...Thanks for showing it to us!

And I hope you feel better now!!

Cookiemouse said...

Thanks for posting these pictures. I have a good friend from Finland so now I can see what her capital city looks like.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great pictures and nice place!

I hope that you are feeling better now!



maybelles mom said...

tiina, i am so sorry you were sick, but i glad you are back. i love these pictures of helsinki--it makes me want to visit.

Cynthia said...

Hope you're feeling a lot better! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Kate / Kajal said...

these ar such lovely monuments. thanks for sharing and do get well soon !

Cinnamonda said...

Hi everyone!

Thank you for your comments! I'm fine now. The flu is only a memory.

Pricilla, the first picture is my favorite too! The cathedral,inside of which is rather simple, looks lovely in the evening sun.

Anya, yes, that is true! Actually, before Mr. Engel designed these buildings in Helsinki he visited St. Petersburg and was greatly influenced by the architecture he saw there, so no wonder there are similarities!:)

Cookiemouse, thanks for stopping by! I'll post more pictures of Helsinki in the future.

Rosa, thank you. I love my city!:)

Maybellesmom, that's nice to hear! :) Let me know if you ever do visit!

Cynthia, I'm glad you liked the pictures.

Kajal, I will post pictures of modern architecture in Helsinki later.


White On Rice Couple said...

Everything at the Senate Square is so beautiful and full of history! All those column son the National Library are just stunning. I love the cathedrals, reminds me of my one trip to Europe a while back.
Hope you are feeling better Tiina and welcome back!

Cinnamonda said...

White on rice couple, I'm glad you liked my little virtual "tour" around the Senate Square. It relly is a place full of history, many official functions etc, but also a place were open air concerts and celebrations are sometimes held.