By world standards, Helsinki is the only real city in Finland.
Its population, together with the suburbs and satellite cities, still reaches the million mark. The city itself resembles the European capital very remotely, because it is modest and small. Since its founding by King Gustav Vasa in 1550, the appearance of Helsinki has undergone significant changes. For 450 years, the Swedes, who captured Finland in the 12th-14th centuries, and the Russians, who annexed Finland to Russia in 1809 after the end of the Russian-Swedish war, managed to manage in Helsinki. In 1812 Finland became the Grand Duchy of Finland with Helsinki as its capital. In 1917 Helsinki became the capital of the independent Republic of Finland.
An amazing fact: the current mayor of Helsinki is a woman, the president of Finland is also a woman. The center of Helsinki, and in particular the surroundings of the Senate Square, is a unique neoclassical whole. Three buildings dominate here: the Cathedral, the State Council building and the central building of the University, which are the architectural gems of Helsinki. One of the most beautiful in the world, Senate Square, like the city itself, was built according to the plan of Karl Ludwig Eingel (1778-1840), a German architect from Berlin, who lived in Finland. In the center of the square stands a monument to the Russian Emperor Alexander II, who once did a lot for the preservation and development of Finnish culture. Helsinki ‘s oldest stone building, the Söderholm House (S. Berner, 1757), is located in the southeast corner of Senate Square. The building of the House of Estates has been beautifully restored (G.Nyström, 1890). Of the buildings designed by Theodor Höyer, the Ateneum State Art Museum (1883) can be mentioned.
Historic monumental center of Helsinki – a unique complex in neoclassical style. Massive Neo-Renaissance of both Esplanades of the late 1800s. the largest Orthodox church in all of Western Europe is the Assumption (Cathedral) Cathedral, built according to the project of A.M. Gornostaev in 1868.
According to ITYPEJOB, the Art Nouveau style received its interpretation in the country of Suomi – national romanticism. Its splendid representatives are the Kallio Church (Lare Sonck) and the National Museum, (Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen, 1910). The latest stage of National Romanticism is represented by the building of the Central Railway Station (Eliel Saarinen, 1914). Northern Classicism 1920s represents the Parliament building (IS Siren, 1931), as well as the Käpülä area with wooden buildings.
Turku is the oldest city in Finland, which was a center of trade as early as the 13th century. The official date of its foundation is 1229. Until 1812, Turku was the capital of Finland, until the Russian emperor decided to move the capital to Helsinki, closer to Russia.
Turku is permanently the residence of the archbishop of the state Evangelical Lutheran Church of the country. Here is the oldest court court. Being the capital of the province, Turku also serves as the administrative and territorial center of Southwestern Finland.
The main church of Finland is located in Turku, the national shrine of the country – the Cathedral, in which worship takes place daily. The cathedral is considered one of the most valuable architectural monuments of the country. It is the largest medieval church building in Finland and the oldest building in Turku.
Old Great Square (Vanha Suurtori) is the heart of Turku. This is where Christmas celebrations start all over Finland. after the Christmas peace is announced from Brinkkala’s balcony. The square is formed by four houses – the Old Town Hall, Brinkkala, the houses of Hjeltin and Juslenius, which are under state protection as architectural monuments of the 19th century, representing different styles. The Cultural Center is located here, where concerts, performances and other events are held. Turku’s medieval castle at the mouth of the Aura River is the city’s most popular attraction. Currently, the castle serves as a museum: expositions dedicated to the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The Luostarinmäki Museum of Crafts is located on the southern slope of the Vartiovuori hill – the former outskirts of the city. In the houses of Luostarinmäki there are workshops where artisans are engaged in handicrafts, as was done in the old days.
The Biological Museum is a diorama museum. Its pavilions represent the flora and fauna of Finland in their natural habitat – from the islands off the coast of Turku to the hills of Lapland.
The Museum of Fine Arts exhibits Finnish art from the early 19th century to the present. The second largest national collection of paintings contains works by Finnish artists of the 19th-20th centuries.
The Maritime Museum is located in the observatory on Vartiovuori Hill. In addition to the history of local navigation, an excellent collection of the history of navigation, real ships and many of their models, as well as a detailed history of astronomical research in Turku are presented.
20 km. west of Turku, on the island of Kailonsaari in the city of Naantali, every summer the amusement park Mumimailma (“World of Moomin”), entirely dedicated to these fairy-tale characters, and the “Island of Adventures of Vyaski” with dozens of theatrical performances open.