Thursday, July 9, 2015

Helsinki, Finland: Senate Square

This is something of a two-fer: two good-sized attractions in one picture. Both are located in Senate Square in Helsinki, following the European tradition of gathering places.

The statue is of Emperor Alexander II, of the 19th century. He helped make Finland more democratic and tried to inch away from Russia in a number of ways. The Russians returned in 1899, leaving the statue as something of a shrine. Finland became independent in 1917, and Alexander II remains popular.

At the top of the steps - it's a good workout - is the Helsinki Cathedral. This was built between 1830 and 1852, and got a new name in 1917 when the country turned independent. Lots of tourists pass through it, although it's still a working facility.

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