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Architecture of Finland. Must see and must visit landmarks

Aleksanterin teatteri, Helsinki

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The oldest religious building in the country is the Imperial Alexander Theatre. It is named after the Russian King who gave money for the construction of the new building in Melpomene.
»  Such eminent people, as the singer Shalyapin, the performer Varlamov, the writer Gorky, and the word-painter Yuriev, performed here.
»  Technical equipment is suitable not only for theatrical, but also for dance performances. Drama and opera performances, musicals, and dance plays are stages here. The acoustics of the hall that lets play contemporary and classic music here. Private events are also held here.
»  The initiator of the religious building construction was the Governor General of Finland.
»  The Italian troupe stages the opera “Faust” on the opening day. The theatrical performance was premiered in spring 1880.
»  The theatre has already reached the 135-year mark of its existence.
»  Today, actors are often on tour. Invited play-actors from all over the world also improvise on stage.
»  The theatre doesn’t have a cast.

Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The exterior of the building resembles a granite castle with a luxurious finish. The gray house with a tiled roof is decorated with towers in the corners, columns, and narrow arched windows resembling loopholes.
»  There are several stages inside.
»  The professional theatre of the country is located in the station square.
»  It was founded in 1872 with the support of theatrical activist Kaarlo Bergbom.
»  The team of the cultural institution is proud of staged plays of not only domestic, but also foreign authors. Classic performances, as well as contemporary plays, are staged.
»  The Finnish National Theatre cooperates with famous European theatres. The troupe is often invited to other countries to share its experience. Plays are staged in Finnish.
»  Experimental performances translated to other languages at the same time are also held. In this case, spectators read subtitles on displays on the sides of the stage.
»  Attention is also paid to the disabled. Every year, students of the school of arts help deaf children understand what is happening on stage with gestures.

Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Every year, the sacrament - the queen’s coronation - is held at the city cathedral. One of the 10 beauties had been selected by vote before. After the coronation, the maiden in a white dress with a crown and lighted candles goes to the square with her friends.
»  There was a church at one time. It was dismantled and the territory was extended to construct a new church. The construction lasted 22 years. The updated church was finished in 1852. There is a bell tower and a chapel at the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
»  The exterior is distinguished by multiple statues of 12 apostles placed on the roof. They are made of lead. Such number of zinc statues is the largest in the world.
»  There is a vaulted cave under the cathedral. Art exhibitions and community meetings are held in it.
»  People attend communal prayers three times a week. You can listen to organ music at the weekend.
»  You can see the white magnificent building on souvenirs, postcards, and in guides. This cathedral is a city landmark.
»  Every year, about half a million people come here to admire the temple.

House of the Estates, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The building resembling the temple with a gallery supported by the white column is located in the city center.
»  The part of the facade is a bas-relief with the icon of Russian Emperor Alexander I. On the outer wall, there is a sculptural convex picture of 26 figures. The bas-relief is almost 19 m long. The statues are 3 m high. The cornice is decorated with a tape with a stamped inscription that symbolizes the country’s legality. At the base with night lights, you can see engraved words about the purpose of the building in several languages.
»  The building was constructed in 1981.
»  It was built to hold meetings between officials from different castes. Representatives of noble and middle classes, as well as church figures, met here. The house had been used as intended for 15 years. Then, castes were eliminated.
»  The institution is owned by the state.
»  Today, sessions of public authorities are held here. There are ministers’ cabinets and a library. Conferences are held in the halls.
»  The author of the last reconstruction deserved an award from the Pan-European Federation of Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Kallio Cathedral, Helsinki

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » In Finnish, «temppeliaukio» means «temple square».
»  The unusual building was erected in the late 1960s. Solid rock was the main building material.
»  The way the church was constructed was quite unconventional: the rock at the base was blown up. The pit was covered with a dome.
»  Many people compare the construction with a UFO. The “inverted saucer” looks impressive, especially in the evening, when it’s illuminated.
»  When you get inside, it also feels huge and spacious. It seems that the dome is located high. However, its height is in fact only 12 meters.
»  The church has two hundred window openings providing sufficient natural light.
»  The chime of bells is recorded and is played before the service.
»  The sound vibration is so good that it was praised by the best world-renowned musicians, for example, Mstislav Rostropovich. Thanks to the acoustics, besides classical organ concerts, modern rock bands also perform here.
»  Services are read in two languages: Finnish and English.
»  Up to 500,000 tourists come here every year.
»  It took a few months to build the church.

Museum of Natural History, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In the Museum of Natural History, you can learn about the nature of the country.
»  In the four-storey building, there are stuffed birds and animals, fragments of skeletons of dinosaurs, ancient pangolins, and the remains of bones of animals dwelling on the planet.
»  The museum is located in the city center. It is distinguished by the sculpture of the moose at the entrance. In summer, you can see the giraffe on the balcony of the building.
»  In the “Suomi Nature” sector, you can see broadleaved trees and pines, as well as waters of Finland.
»  In the “Corner of Nature”, you can acquaint with dwellers of the entire planet. On the exhibits, there are plates with their dates. The “palm” sign means that you can touch exhibits, for example, touch the egg of the ancient pangolin.
»  The “Life History” sector will tell you how one-celled organisms develop and turned to evolved ones.
»  Bone remains will tell you about the diversity of ancient vertebrates. There is even the skeleton of the Steller's sea cow exterminated by humans in the middle of the 18th century.
»  The building occupying by the museum was built in 1870. Originally, it served as a school for Russian teenagers.

National Museum of Finland, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» One of the huge warehouses, where you can see cultural and historical items, is located in the National Museum.
»  It resembles the Finnish medieval palace with its appearance. The building has a stone decorated foundation. There is a high cone tower. The hall is decorated with frescoes of 1900.
»  Here, you can also see artifacts telling about the historical development of the country from ancient times up to now. You can visit static and temporary local history, ethnocultural, and art exhibitions. In the shop, you can buy interesting books.
»  Their collection is divided into themed sectors. Each of them has a hall.
»  The history sector is the biggest. Here, you can see archeological artifacts found during excavations in the country, and other items: ceramic fragments, crockery, accessories, and chronicles about the first humans settling here 10 000 years ago.
»  At the “Treasures” Exhibition, you can see awards of different epochs, coins, paper money, and jewelry.
»  Workshop Vintti (translated as “basement”) at the upper level will let you give insights into the history, for example, weave a patchwork carpet or work on the conveyor.

Olympic Stadium, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The biggest sports arena is located not far from the historic center of the city.
»  In summer, music festivals are held on the platform.
»  The Olympic Stadium was opened in 1927.
»  The fund was established to build the sports ground.
»  The construction of the complex lasted four years. The building was reconstructed in 1994.
»  The 73-meter white tower was constructed in honor of the record holder in javelin throwing. Its observation platform you can reach by lift has a panoramic view of the city.
»  The playing field is 243х159 m. The highest capacity - 70 435 spectators - was recorded in 1952 when the International Games were held.
»  On the sports ground, international competitions in 17 kinds of sport, including field hockey and athletics, are held. About 2 000 athletes took part in the world championship.
»  After the refurbishment, the shelter was constructed over the seats. The illumination of the playing field has been also updated.
»  The complex also includes the museum, which exhibits will tell you about the sport development in the city.

Parliament House, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Parliament House is a long building. There are deputies’ business offices on both sides of the building.
»  In its main part, there are conference halls and rooms for delegations.
»  Sector B is a recreation area. There are a swimming pool and a sauna.
»  Sector C is a library and the management unit of the parliament bureau.
»  Sector D belongs to enterprises of Finish municipalities and includes the information office of the Parliament and a secretariat.
»  All parts of the building are linked by underground tunnels.
»  The Parliament is located on the hill. It was officially opened in 1931.
»  The monumental building symbolizes independence and democracy.
»  The outer walls are faced with red granite. The facade is decorated with 14 columns. The house is built of only Finish materials. All pieces of furniture and decorative elements are made of such precious woods, as Karelian birch, oak, and nut wood.
»  There are paintings and bronze sculptures in the rooms.

Railway station, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The city railway station combines the transport hub and the architectural monument. The building is constructed in the modern architectural style. It is located at the site of the old station that stopped serving as an interchange station.
»  The project of the spacious premise was fulfilled in 15 years. Helsingin paarautatieasema was opened in 1919.
»  It was faced with granite. The foundation is a reinforced concrete construction.
»  There is also a clock tower. You can see four bas-reliefs pictures of humans at the sides from above. The statues hold round night lights.
»  This railway station services trains of all types: shuttle, interdistrict, and international.
»  Every day, the trains service over 200 000 passengers. Tickets are bought at the ticket office, in the machine, on the round-the-clock platform, and on the website.
»  In the main round-the-clock hall, there are lockers and other options for travelers: cafes, a newspaper shop, a boutique, a drugstore, ATMs, etc. There is a parking area near the station.
»  Signs with pictograms will help you find your way.

St. John Church, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» There is a Lutheran church (1891) on top of the hill. Over the centuries, rites of summer solstice had been performed.
»  The Swedish architect built a house corresponding to the place: according to the architectural plan, the building is constructed in the Flamboyant style. Due to its exterior, the building resembles a fire with a flame rising to the sky.
»  The building is built on the stone foundation. The church is faced with red bricks. There are 74-meter towers on both sides. Outer walls are decorated with narrow lancet windows of stained glass. There is a big round rose-window above the central doorway. Its surface separates the intertwined ornament. The entrance to the building is guarded by two fabulous beasts. The sculpture of Apostle John reminds of the saint, after whom the cathedral is named.
»  2 600 worshipers can visit the service at one time.
»  The light room has excellent acoustics, which lets hold organ concerts. All pieces of furniture - the altar, benches, and balconies - are wooden. The altar depicts Paul, the preacher and the follower of Christ. Big columns supporting the dome make the church higher.

Suomenlinna Church, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Lutheran Church is located near the fortress.
»  There was a military unit in the territory of the church in 1809. The five-dome Orthodox Church was built for soldiers of the garrison by the Russian architect’s plan.
»  Its bell tower still serves as a beacon. Its light gives the “H” mark, the first letter in the city name (Helsinki).
»  There are three such religious buildings in the world.
»  According to the chronicles, the church was wooden in 1785.
»  The House of God honors the memory of the warlord Nevsky. The church was blessed six years after the warlord Alexander prevented the northwest of Russia from the invasion of the Crusaders.
»  The walls of the church are covered with smooth gray plaster. The fence of chains is molded of the cannon. At the entrance to the temple, you can see the emblem with a lion.
»  The bell on the tower weighs about 7 tons. It was made in Moscow in 1885.
»  At the church, there is the icon that is accepted as miraculous: when the building was fired in 1855, warriors noticed that shells and bullets didn’t hit it. To commemorate this event, the icon of the Mother of God was decorated with a silver frame.

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The cathedral (1862-1868) started to be built in one of the quarter of old Helsinki built up with huts and one-storey houses where ordinary people lived.
»  Substantial citizens started building new houses too. The quarter gained respectable appearance soon. Now, it is a prestigious district in the city. It can be said that the Uspenski Cathedral caused this.
»  The House of God that is 51 m high is the largest Orthodox religious building in Europe.
»  The Uspenski Cathedral is located on the high cliff. Visitors going from the sea gate see the magnificent red-brick building with 13 copper domes.
»  They are crowned by decorative gilded towers. They symbolize the presence of Jesus with 12 apostles.
»  The cathedral is built in the Russian architectural style. It is distinguished by patterns in its stones.
»  Inner rooms are spacious and light despite multiple elegant decorative elements. The dome is painted. There is the collection of precious items behind the church ambo.
»  The rectangular table in the middle of the table is covered with a golden coating and decorated with precious stones. It was delivered from the Valaam Monastery.
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