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Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Helsinki - ideas on city exploration routes

Cirrus What are the most important landmarks to see first and foremost in Helsinki? Without a doubt, the original architecture of the city deserves the highest attention. Helsinki Cathedral, Parliament House, St. John Church, Olympic Stadium, House of the Estates and many others – are the architectural landmarks that attract millions of tourists every year. Let’s visit Helsinki right now by making a virtual tour using our fantastic 3D flight simulator! Just start the video on this page and make a flight over the main sites of Helsinki, which are presented in a three-dimensional format. Besides that, our review includes interesting facts and colorful photos of every monument.

Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki

» 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.

Parliament House, Helsinki

» 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.

St. John Church, Helsinki

» 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.

Olympic Stadium, Helsinki

» 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.

House of the Estates, Helsinki

» 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.

Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki

» 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.

Kallio Cathedral, Helsinki

Location on the map:
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.
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