Suomenlinna sea fortress

Founded on islands off the coast of Helsinki in 1748, the Suomenlinna sea fortress has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991, as an unique monument of the European military architecture of its time. Construction of the fortress, then named Sveaborg, began in 1748, when Finland was part of the Kingdom of…

Sokos Hotel Presidentti, Helsinki

This was our last hotel for the entire Scandinavia trip.  Perhaps that’s why it was one of the better hotels we stayed in, given that they want to leave us with pleasant memories of the trip? 😛  In fact it’s the second best hotel throughout our 9 nights in Scandinavia.  The best of course is…

Helsinki Central railway station

As we had some free time after lunch and before dinner, we decided to walk around the city since the local tour guide had already advised us that most attractions are accessible by foot from our hotel.  After taking a power nap in the hotel, we walked to the Helsinki Central railway station (Finnish: Helsingin…

Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

Our last destination to the half-day Helsinki city tour was to Temppeliaukio Church (Finnish: Temppeliaukion kirkko), or simply Church in the Rock, since the Finnish name definitely test your linguistic skills. 😛  It is a wonderful work of modern architecture in Helsinki completed in 1969, designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. As the…

Sibelius Park, Helsinki

Sibelius Park, located in the district of Töölö in Helsinki, houses one of Helsinki’s top attractions – the Sibelius monument.  Jean Sibelius is one of Finland’s famous composers, who died in 1957 at the age of 91 years old.  A competition was held after decision was made to commemorate the composer with a monument. Eventually…

Senate Square (Senaatintori), Helsinki

After a quick tour at Uspenski Cathedral, our next stop was the Senate Square (Finnish: Senaatintori) in the centre of Helsinki.  The square is dominated by 4 buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of…

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki

Our first stop in Helsinki after disembarking from the Viking Line Cruise was Uspenski Cathedral – one of the clearest symbols of the Russian impact on Finnish history.  Designed by the Russian architect Alexey Gornostaev (1808–1862), the Uspenski cathedral was built in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki after his death in 1862–1868.  It is the…