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Trip to Helsinki Finland 07/2007

Category: Europe zone 2007-08-24

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Finland is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. The official language is Finnish. There is also a second official language - Swedish. Because Finland was once part of Sweden until Finland decleared its independence in 1917.

Since 1945, Finland has been adopting neutrality policy and it is the 6th most peaceful country in the world.

The capital and also the largest city of Finland is Helsinki which is located in the southern part of Finland by the Baltic Sea. It is also the center of Finnish cultural life and economic force.

View of Helsinki from the plane -- Helsinki is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland
View of Helsinki from the plane -- A number of bays, peninsulas and over a number of islands are spread around the city
Because of its location, Helsinki is a very maritime city and it's been called 'The Daughter of the Baltic'. Helsinki's coastal position offers many water activites, such as boating.
This is not a docking area for boats but a 'rug washing dock'. During summer time, many people will bring their thick and heavy rugs to the 'washing dock' to wash and dry.
The biggest industry in Helsinki is shipbuilding. Many cruise ships and icebreakers (ships specially built for breaking a passage through icebound water) are built here.
Temppeliaukio Church -- This church was designed by the architect brothers - Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Because the church was excavated and built into solid rock, it is also know as 'The Church of the Rock', and the building is coverd with the copper roof. This is the most famous and most popular attraction in Helsinki.
A copper pipe organ is against the stone wall in the church. Due to its excellent acoustics, the church is a popular venue for concerts.
Sibelius Park -- This park was named after Finland's greatest composer Jean Sibelius on his 80th birthday in 1945.
One of Helsinki's landmarks, the Sibelius Monument was designed by Eila Hiltunen. This abstract public monument stirred serious debate among the Finnish people. The monument consists of about 600 various size acid-proof stainless steel tubes and it was completed in 1967. Eila Hiltunen also did a sculpture of Sibelius' face in cast stainless steel.
This park is not only a tourist attraction but also a place for the local people and their dogs to enjoy.
The Cathedral -- Also known as Helsinki Cathedral, Lutheran Cathedral or Tuomiokirkko. This white cathedral was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel in Neoclassical style and it was built in 1830-1852. On sunny days, people come to sit on the steps and look out across the Senate Square. This beautiful Cathedral is the most famous and photographed building in Helsinki.
Senate Square -- The Senate Square is dominated by four buildings, Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the National Library of Finland, and the main building of the University of Helsinki. All four buildings were designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. A bronze status of Emperor Alexander II is located in the center of the square.
Downtown Helsinki
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