Day 19 - Helsinki (FI)

We walked around a different area of the city today, to the north of the hotel.

We started at the Parliament Building and it is possible to visit this impressive building on weekdays. There are free guided tours, plenary sessions open to the public, a visitor's centre and a library.

  • Finland's 200-seat parliament gathers here - Sanna Mirella Marin has been serving as the Prime Minister of Finland since 2019.
  • Finnish women were among the first in the world to exercise full political rights, including the right to stand for election.
  • Nineteen women were elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1907 and were the first women MPs in the world.
  • In the 2019 elections 94 women were elected to Parliament - more than ever before.
  • The Parliament that was elected in 1939 continued to serve until 1945. Among all the European countries that fought in the Second World War, Britain and Finland were the only European countries where Parliament continued to meet without interruption.
  • On 15-16 March 1907 the turnout in the first parliamentary elections was 70.7 per cent.
  • The First World War and the Russian Revolution helped bring about Finland's separation from the Russian Empire, and in 1917 Finland was able to declare independence.
  • After the Second World War there was a period of political instability and there were 16 different governments between 1948 and 1963. There were, however,  major social reforms and the building of the advanced welfare state which exists today.

The Finnish National Theatre was established in 1872 and is the oldest known theatre of its kind that does performances in Finnish.  The current building was completed in 1902 and was built in the national romantic style popular in Nordic countries in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Just outside the front entrance is a statue of the famous Aleksis Kivi, who is known for his Romantic novels and short stories. Along with the theatre, the arts were used as a way to try to stand up to the oppression of the Russian Empire of the day.

The National Museum of Finland was designed by Finnish architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen in 1902 and the building work was conducted mainly between 1905 and 1910. The museum was opened to the public in 1916.


Some greenhouses in the middle of the city!!! And who can translate this sign!!!

The Sibelius Monument by Eila Hiltunen is dedicated to the Finnish composer and violinist, Jean Sibelius (1865 –1957) and is located in the Sibelius Park in the district of Töölö. It was unveiled on 7 September 1967 and is made up of over 600 welded-steel pipes which look like organ pipes with the bust of the composer on one side.


Sibelius is widely known for his seven symphonies and his tone poems, the most famous of which is Finlandia and which was composed in the autumn of 1899.  Finlandia became a symbol of Finnish nationalism and the music culminated in a stirring, patriotic finale, “Finland awakes”. He wrote it as a protest against Russia's increased control over his country.


Temppeliaukio Church is a Lutheran church which opened in the Töölö neighborhood in 1969. It was designed by architects and brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and it is also known as the Church of the Rock and Rock Church since it is built directly into solid rock.

Kaisaniemi park is a popular park, in the centre of Helsinki, in the region of Kluuvi. It was named after Catharina "Cajsa" Wahllund and part of it was given to the University of Helsinki in 1829 for gardening.

The little road-sweeper tram!

Christmas has come early here or perhaps it just never leaves!

This chap looks cold!