Helsinki, the Daughter of the Baltic, the Gibraltar of the North, a dividing line between east and west and a modern and liberal minded metropolis. Founded in 1550 by Swedish king Gustav Vasa as a trading centre and in 1812 Tsar Alexander The First made it the capital of the Principality Of Finland.
The Senaatinori is located in the centre of the city. The square is dominated by a monument and surrounded by a number of fine Neo-Classical buildings. Tsar Alexander The Second included public, ecclesiastical and academic buildings in the square including government offices, a cathedral and university.
Uspenski Cathedral is situated at the city’s southern harbour and is the largest Russian Orthodox church in both western and northern Europe. Built in 1868 according to traditional Russian design its exterior is of red brick and it is crowned by thirteen gilded domes.
The Finlandia Talo is Helsinki’s concert and congress centre, a work of art that encapsulates the building and design philosophy of Alvar Aalto, one of Finland’s most prominent architects of the 20th century. The white-coloured opera house was completed in 1993. It was a daring project as the city’s treasury was empty! But music reigned supreme and today the building is an important part of the city’s cultural life.
Helsinki is a captivating city and has rightly been declared Europe’s capital of culture.