Day 18 - Helsinki (FI)

Helsinki is the most northerly capital of continental Europe and is often called the “white city of the north”- well this was certainly true today in the snow! Apparently though it is because many of its buildings are constructed of a local light-coloured granite.

Helsinki Cathedral is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and is located in the centre of the city in Senate Square.

It was built in the 19th century as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was originally known as St Nicholas’ Church but the name was changed in 1917, after the independence of Finland. The statue is a memorial to Alexander II, Grand Duke of Finland and it depicts him giving a speech in 1863.

Uspenski Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe and was completed in 1868.


The Presidential Palace is one of the three official residences of the President of the Republic of Finland and overlooks Market Square.


The Helsinki City Hall was built in 1833 and was designed by Tsar Alexander I of Russia’s favourite architect, Carl Ludvig Engel.

Here are some general snowy scenes at the harbour and on Esplanadin Puisto. Even the statues look frozen!

In 1818, a House of Nobility was built for the activities of the members of the Swedish nobility who continued to live in Finland after Russia had seized power. It was also used as a meeting place by the Finnish noblemen who had recently been granted a title by the Grand Duke – the Russian Emperor.

We found another great market and food hall and some more interesting food and delicacies!

And how do you get a bear or a reindeer in one of these tins???

Finally we saw this cute little red tram trundling along through the city - it was a pub!