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Get to know the present and the past of the Finnish capital by exploring the modern city of Helsinki and visiting the Seurasaari Open-air museum. Home to numerous authentic wooden houses of real Finns of the past, this place will reveal survival secrets, life-hacks and will show you what life was like over 100 years ago.
Helsinki Cathedral is a Lutheran church, also called the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. It's the main church of the town. The church was opened in 1852 and dedicated to the name saint of Nicholas 1st, the Russian emperor, as Finland was the province of Russia at that time. The impressive white structure stands on the natural hill, connected to the Senat square by the granite steps, that make you feel the church is even higher.
Mannerheimintie is the main street in Helsinki, as well as the longest street in the city. It follows the path of the old road to Tampere, Finland's former capital. Mannerheimintie begins at the Esplanada street and goes all the way north to the city limits. The House of Parliament, the main post office, the Kiasma modern art museum, the Finlandia Hall, the National Museum, the Helsinki Opera House, Kampi bus station, and many other famous buildings can be found on Mannerhermintie.
The Central Train Station of Helsinki is a large impressive building, decorated with the massive statues on both sides of the entrance. It was chosen as one of the world's most beautiful railway stations by BBC in 2013.
Esplanadi is a beautiful wide boulevard with the big park on in, located in the center of Helsinki. It begins at the Market square and goes all the way to Mannerheimintie street. Esplanadi is an excellent place for a leisurely walk under the old linden trees. There are numerous coffee shops at Esplanadi, located in the buildings on both sides and in the park itself. The West end of Esplanadi is called the Erottaja square, which was selected as the official geographic "zero point" of Helsinki. Distances to all other cities in Finland are measured starting from here.
Market square in the center of Helsinki is the most exciting place in the city. It’s located on the seashore next to the city ferry station. You can find everything there. All sorts of season fruit and berries, mushrooms, smoked fish, flowers, souvenirs, traditional clothing, furs, leather, name it. One can spend hours digging through the carved bone statuettes or enjoying the beer with fresh grilled salmon.
Temppeliaukio Church is often called the church in the rock. Finland uses the natural landscape of the region to create a beautiful urban environment, and this is the best example of it. The church is built into the huge granite rock. It’s simple but exquisite with granite walls and a glass ceiling.
Services are daily.
The stadium was the main arena for the 1952 Olympic Games. The construction of the stadium was completed in 1938. Since then, it has been frequently used for local, European, and world athletic competitions as well as music concerts. The height of the tower 72.71 meters (238.5 ft) celebrates the world record of Finnish athlete Matti Järvinen in javelin throw of 1932 Summer Olympics.
The impressive building of the National Museum stands on Helsinki's main street, Mannerheimintie. It features Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day. The appearance of the building reflects Finland's medieval churches and castles. The entrance hall ceiling has ceiling frescoes in the national epic Kalevala theme, which can be seen without an entrance fee.
Opera and ballet are quite young in Finland, as both companies were formed at the beginning of the 20th century only. The Opera house opened in 1993 and since then became home to both. The theater promotes national art. National Opera stages four to six premieres a year, including a world premiere of at least one Finnish opera.
The Senat square is a large central square of the city. The impressive white Helsinki cathedral crowns it. The center of the square if a memorial to the Russian emperor Alexander 2nd. The Helsinki's oldest building, Sederholm's house, is still located in the south part of Senat square.
Jean Sibelius is a prominent Finnish composer and musician, respected all around Europe. The memorial in a unique park commemorates the life of this great person. The organ pipes dance in the air to the music, and the face of the composer looks at his music from the stone.
Located on a hill above the Helsinki harbor, red brick Uspensky cathedral can be seen from far away. It's the largest Orthodox Church of Northern Europe, built in 1868 by one of the most prominent Russian specialists. The style of the cathedral is a tribute to the Russian Revival period when the best of the old times architectural ideas were used to create the magnificent constructions. The church is worth going inside to see the impressive iconostases.
Seurasaari island is the largest open-air wooden architecture museum in Finland. It features the wooden houses gathered from the area, carefully preserved and displayed to show the rural architecture of the region.
Meet your professional tour guide and driver at your hotel lobby and depart for a scenic drive through the downtown of Helsinki.
Just a couple minutes away from the pier, the first on the route is the Market Square, one of the most exciting places in the city. One can find here all sorts of season fruit and berries, mushrooms, smoked fish, flowers, souvenirs, traditional clothing, fur, leather, and so much more!
As you travel along Esplanadi Street, then down famous Mannerheim street – the main boulevard, make sure to capture all their beauty! Among numerous beautiful sights, you will see the Central Train Station, Uspensky Cathedral, Presidential Palace, National Museum and Finlandia Hall, Opera House, Finlandia Concert Hall, Parliament Building, and of course, the Olympic Stadium, where the Olympic Games of 1952 took place.
One of Europe’s most impressive sights – the Rock Church – is definitely on your itinerary as well. It was carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain and is topped by a copper dome. The interior was excavated and built into the rock, yet is bathed in natural light entering through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustic.
After a short drive, we will arrive at the peaceful setting of the Seurasaari Open-air Museum. This unique island is a tranquil oasis of the traditional Finnish way of life, displayed in cottages, farmsteads, and manors of the past four centuries that have been relocated from all around Finland.
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