explore Helsinki, Senate Square, Cathedral and market square

Helsinki Travel Blog

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The Senate Square, with steps leading to the Helsinki Cathedral

During our morning bus city tour, we visited several different areas of Helsinki, stopped at the Senate Square with the green domed Helsinki Cathedral atop the steps from the square. I remembered a picture of this cathedral and steps on an album cover of the Leningrad Cowboys. The Olympic stadium which was built for the Olympics in early 1900's and its statue of Paavo Nurmi who won 9 golds in 3 Olympics in long distance running events. And the park where a memorial for the composer Jean Sibelius stood. It was a very interesting looking, abstract steel structure made of many textured tubes, and a face likeness of him on a wall nearby.

Statue of Tsar Alexander at Senate Square
There were a lot of tourists there though. Noticeably many from mainland China! Apparently Finair has direct flights from Beijing and it's very convenient for them to come to Finland. Our last stop was the stone church which is a round church dug into the natural stones, with rock walls and a huge copper roof. It has good acoustics and often host concerts in addition to being a church. While we were there, there was a pianist playing the piano.

We returned to the hotel at the conclusion of the city tour, and wandered out to find lunch. We ended not far from the hotel at the cafe called Michelle's, my simple duck salad was pretty good. Then we walked a few blocks more to the train station, which has a very attractive architecture.

Organ in the Helsinki cathedral (at Senate Square)
On both sides of the front entrance, were two statues of nordic kings holding round globes (huge functioning light bulbs), they reminded me of the statues in the river in the Lord of the Rings movie. We walked inside the train station and onto the platforms, where you could catch trains to St Petersburg and elsewhere. Outside the train station was a central bus station with lots of busses coming and going. The national theatre stood at one of the square, it had a nice facade with carvings of owls.

We made our way east and got to the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral near the harbor. Well, the cathedral was not exactly as I remembered, several of its gold tops were missing and presumby being cleaned. And I thought there were no buildings near the cathedral but there was this big building nearby, which looked like it must have been there for more than 10 years.

Helsinki Cathedral interior
It may just be my imagination or the angle of the photo taken the last time. We went inside the cathedral and looked at its Russian icons. The inside dome was painted very beautifully, and there were saints or guardians wearing helmets and white beards. Kevin said one of them looked a lot like Gandalf, and was probably the inspiration to his looks in movies and legends we know about today.

We walked back through the market square, and the esplanade park where people were listening to a free concert of jazz music, sitting on benches  or lying on grass sunning themselves, generally having a good time on a weekday afternoon, so they were probably mostly tourists or locals on vacation, July being the month for vacation for many Finns.

Dinner was at the Fishmarket restaurant, interesting decor, it's below street level, and their seafood was supposed to be the finest in Helsinki. I was not disappointed with my grilled tuna, the presentation of the dishes were very beautiful.

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The Senate Square, with steps lead…
The Senate Square, with steps lea…
Statue of Tsar Alexander at Senate…
Statue of Tsar Alexander at Senat…
Organ in the Helsinki cathedral (a…
Organ in the Helsinki cathedral (…
Helsinki Cathedral interior
Helsinki Cathedral interior
The ceiling of the Helsinki Cathed…
The ceiling of the Helsinki Cathe…
Interior, Helsinki Cathedral
Interior, Helsinki Cathedral
A notice inside the Helsinki Cathe…
A notice inside the Helsinki Cath…
Sibelius sculpture, to the right o…
Sibelius sculpture, to the right …
Full view of the abstract sculptur…
Full view of the abstract sculptu…
Looking up through the pipes, Sibe…
Looking up through the pipes, Sib…
Looking up through the sculpture f…
Looking up through the sculpture …
Another view showing the textures …
Another view showing the textures…
A dog with a hat near the Sibelius…
A dog with a hat near the Sibeliu…
At the Olympic stadium, a sculptur…
At the Olympic stadium, a sculptu…
The copper ceiling of the stone ch…
The copper ceiling of the stone c…
Interior of the stone church, with…
Interior of the stone church, wit…
The interior of the stone church
The interior of the stone church
Map of Helsinki downtown. The espl…
Map of Helsinki downtown. The esp…
Michelles, where we had lunch out…
Michelle's, where we had lunch ou…
Exterior of the railroad station, …
Exterior of the railroad station,…
Railroad station
Railroad station
Statues reminiscant of those on th…
Statues reminiscant of those on t…
Platforms of the railroad station …
Platforms of the railroad station…
Kevin with this magnum ice cream…
Kevin with this "magnum" ice crea…
The National theatre, to the left …
The National theatre, to the left…
Uspenski Cathedral
Uspenski Cathedral
Interior of the Uspenski Cathedral
Interior of the Uspenski Cathedral
interior of the dome, Uspenski Cat…
interior of the dome, Uspenski Ca…
Interior, Uspenski Cathedral
Interior, Uspenski Cathedral
An icon inside the Uspenski Cathed…
An icon inside the Uspenski Cathe…
Another icon inside the Uspenski C…
Another icon inside the Uspenski …
More icon on display inside the Us…
More icon on display inside the U…
On the ourdoor market, a stuffed r…
On the ourdoor market, a stuffed …
A girl catching a drink from the s…
A girl catching a drink from the …
Interior of the Fishmarket restaur…
Interior of the Fishmarket restau…
The bar of the Fishmarket restaura…
The bar of the Fishmarket restaur…
Some unknown spices on the left wh…
Some unknown spices on the left w…
A close-up of the tasty unknown sp…
A close-up of the tasty unknown s…
The yummy brown rye bread
The yummy brown rye bread
An appetizer with lime and apricot…
An appetizer with lime and aprico…
At Sibelius monument, this is a ph…
At Sibelius monument, this is a p…
Helsinki Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
A very nice restaurant in downtown Helsinki. It's in the basement, with windows high on the wall where you can see people walk by. (more ph… read entire review
Helsinki
photo by: portia