Helsinki is the «youngest» capital city of Baltic, founded on 1550 by Gustaf I of Sweden. It was a small wooden and sparsely populated town, until in 1748 Swedes started the construction of Suomenlinna fortress here. The city began to grow and prosper. In year 1809, Finland was annexed to the Russian empire, and three years later, in 1812, Helsinki became a capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland. The country obtained its independence in 1917. Nowadays Finland constantly takes top places in the world rankings of the most sustainable and successful countries. In its turn, Helsinki is a modern vibrant city; it was a European Capital of Culture in 2000 and a World Design Capital in 2012. Northern minimalism and finesse are the typical features of city’s architecture. Most of the architectural landmarks are located in the city center, therefore they can be easily reached on foot.
Panoramic visit of Helsinki. During the tour, we will see the Senate Square and the Senate building; the statue of Tsar Alexander II, who considers himself defending Finnish culture; the Lutheran cathedral, in imposing neoclassic style; the park and the Sibelius monument, famous Finnish composer. Visit of the market of the port, the most animated zone in town, is programmed too.
Visit to the Helsinki Cathedral. Helsinki Cathedral, located in the heart of the city on the Senate Square, became the symbol of Helsinki and its visiting card. It was built between 1830 and 1852, when Finland was a part of Russia. At the same time St. Isaac Cathedral was constructed in St.Petersburg; both cathedrals have many similarities in external appearance. Originally the Helsinki Cathedral bore the name of St. Nicholas, as it was created as a tribute to the Russian Tsar Nicholas I. Nicholas has been personally involved in the construction of the cathedral; following his instructions, twelve statues of the apostles were placed on the roof. The Cathedral is a part of the unique architectural Neo-Classical ensemble of the Senate Square. The other two buildings of this ensemble are the Government Palace and the main building of the University.
Visit to the Uspenski Cathedral. Uspenski Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe, was built in 1868. It stands in the center of Helsinki on a rocky hill, made from red brick, topped with thirteen golden domes. From the area in front of the cathedral you may observe a wide panoramic view of the city.