Helsinki is a quiet and quaint Nordic city that is one of the most northern capitals in the world. Helsinki is located at 60.1 degrees north latitude and it has a long winter. Therefore the city is in the snow for nearly half a year. It’s a city on the verge of the Baltic Sea that combines classical beauty with modern civilization. There is both the romantic atmosphere of the ancient European city and the charm of an international metropolis. At the same time, it’s a garden city that combines urban architecture with natural scenery.
So what are the places worth visiting in Helsinki? Here is the list I prepare for you. Just enjoy your trip!
1. Helsinki Cathedral
The Helsinki Cathedral also known as the White Church is located in the Parliament Square and was built in 1852. It is a Lutheran church with a beautiful structure and extraordinary atmosphere. It is the essence of Finnish architectural art. The height of the highland where the church places is more than 80 meters above sea level. At first glance, the main body of the milky white church supported by the Greek columns and the bell tower of the pale green bronze dome are striking. In the winter, the snow covered the square in front of the church, the warm lights light up and the whole church is holy. As an iconic building in Helsinki, there are also many beautiful murals and sculptures in the church. Whenever the church bell rings, the square in front of the church is quiet. We can quietly feel the precious moment that only the religious can bring the peace of mind.
2. Temppeliaukio Church
The Temppeliaukio Church also known as the rock church is located in the Tampere Rock Square in the heart of Helsinki. The church was built from the rock and looks primitive and original. Its top design is so great that it makes the sound in the church better spread. The top wall is made up of shredded rock which seems to be loose and messy and seems to fall at any time. However in fact, every stone of the top is carefully selected, and the original color adds a feeling of returning to the nature. Water droplets ooze out of the rock seam and flow into the groundwater channel along the rock wall, which enhances the acoustics in the church. Its exterior appearance looks like a landing UFO and the church can accommodate up to 940 people. There’s a very large organ that is spectacular inside. There is concerts every day in the church, so maybe you can visit this classic church with your ears. Walking into the church, you can sit down and listen to a piano piece, which makes you never forget.
3. Uspenskin Cathedral
The Uspenskin Church is an Orthodox cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is a testimony of the infiltration of Russian style into the history of Finland. Its name comes from the Slavic word “uspenie” that means “death.” Designed by a Russian architect, the church was built after his death. The Uspenskin Church is situated on a hillside where we can overlook the city. On the back of the cathedral is a plaque commemorating the Russian emperor Alexander II who is the monarch of the great Principality of Finland during the construction of the cathedral. The exterior of the church has not been carefully decorated, but the crimson brick walls and the green and gold onion-shaped domes are still eye-catching. There are 13 onion-shaped domes representing Christ and the Twelve Apostles. The paintings inside the church are made by Russian artists.
As a small country, it must be a pride that there is a building called “the world’s first”. And Suomenlinna is this attraction. Built in 250 years ago, Suomenlinna is the largest maritime fortress in the world. It was listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1991. It’s a rare maritime military relic in the world. Suomenlinna was built by the Swedes in order to defend against Russian attacks. There are churches, military camps, city gates and other places of interest on the island. There are 10 museums including the Coast Fortress Museum, the Wesco Submarine Museum, the Doll Toy Museum and so on.
5. St John’s Church
St. John’s Church also known as the “Twin Tower Church” is a Lutheran church. It’s designed by Swedish architects and of the Gothic Revival style. It was built between 1888 and 1893. It’s the largest stone church in Finland. The iconic pink-green spires are partly hidden and partly visible in the tall woods with dark red stones and brick churches standing quietly. The tower is 74 meters high and has 2,600 seats in the church. The sound is excellent, so a large concert is held here. The Church of St. John on the hillside has been the place to hold a midsummer bonfire for many centuries. In addition, we can climb up to the second floor of the church, and then we can observe the stained glass at close range.
6. Helsinki Parliament Square
This Parliament Square is one of the masterpieces of the famous architect Carl Ludwig Wester. This square is the political, religious, scientific and commercial center in Helsinki. The Parliament Square and its surrounding buildings are the oldest places in the center of Helsinki. On the square is a bronze statue of Alexander II. During his reign, he promulgated an economic and cultural easing policy. The language decree was issued in 1863 that the Finnish and Swedish languages were of the same official language qualifications. Financially, Finland has also begun to issue the Finnish mark, which is separate from the Russian ruble. Because of his contribution for the Finnish policy, the Finnish people have kept him in mind that his statue still stands in the center of the city hundreds of years later.
7. Sibelius Park
The park was built to commemorate the Finnish great musician Sibelius. There are two sculptures in the park, one is a pipe-like sculpture composed of 600 steel pipes, and the other is the head of Sibelius master. Sibelius composed from 9 years old to 92 years old when he died. He wrote seven symphonies in his life, such as “Finland”. After the death of Sibelius, the Helsinki government publicly collected the monument plan in order to commemorate the great composer, and then Hiltunen’s plan was selected.
8. Parliament Building
The Finnish Parliament Building was built between 1926 and 1933. The designers are Borg, Siren and Âberg. The appearance of the Greek temple is striking. As the only classicalist building in Finland of 1920s, it consists of 14 Corinthian columns that support the entire building. The main building material is red granite. There is a lawn in front of the parliament building. It is a very pleasant thing to lie on it in the sun in the summer.
9. National Gallery of Finland
The National Art Museum also known as the Ateneum Art Museum is the most important art museum in Finland. It’s located on the Kaivokatu Street opposite the central square of Helsinki. There is the most complete collection of classical art in Finland with gouache and watercolors of many famous masters. There are different other art collections to watch every year. Since 2009, a special exhibition hall has been opened here to house Japanese woodcuts. On the second floor of the museum’s exterior, there are three famous busts of the classical artist: architect Bramante, painter Raphael and sculptor Phidias. On the third floor, four female statues stand tall symbolizing the four classical forms of art: architecture, painting, sculpture and music. Several embossed Vallgren between the windows on the second floor represent the famous international artists of Finland.
10. National Museum of Finland
The National Museum is a Finnish national romantic-style building, and the museum mainly exhibits a history of Finnish development from prehistoric to the present. This stately grey building is one of the new masterpieces of Finnish architecture, commonly known as the “tall tower”. The building blends the architectural styles of ancient Finnish churches and castles. The entire building was built in 1910 and there is a statue of a bear at the door. Children have their own event exhibition hall and you should not miss it.