Monday, May 23, 2011

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland is a huge attraction to millions of visitors every year for many reasons. It is the capital of Finland and is the world’s northernmost urban area. Established in 1550, Helsinki has developed a rich history that is still embraced by its locals. The city is a leader in architecture and design and is famously known for its numerous Art Nouveau buildings. The most unique part of the city is its climate. Because of its high latitude, Helsinki experiences less than six hours of sunlight around the winter solstice and close to nineteen hours around the summer solstice.

The Helsinki Cathedral is perhaps the most popular attraction in Helsinki and its symbol. Built from 1830 and finished in 1852, the Cathedral was known as the St. Nicholas’ Church until Finland’s independence from Russia. Around 350,000 people visit the church annually, mostly tourists but also by regular attendees. The cathedral hosts weddings, religious events and organ recitals around the calendar and the admission for tours of the cathedral is free if you’re up for a visit!

Helsinki has over 80 museums, including the most popular Finnish museums. A big portion of them are art and design museums, but there are also unique museums such as the Fire Museum, Arabia Museum and Gallery, Kindergarten Museum, and the Submarine Vesikko Museum.

There are other places and events to attend in the city. Helsinki hosts the Helsinki Festival of arts and culture, which takes place every August. The city also hosted the fifteenth Summer Olympics in 1952 and the stadium is still maintained extremely well today.

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