Finland is a country that is famous for its natural views, the "Land of a Thousand Lakes". There are 188 thousand reservoirs, hectares of picturesque forests, famous snowy winters - a paradise for lovers of quiet rest. Another tourist attraction is medieval buildings that tell their stories and keep secrets for the most curious tourists. In order not to miss anything and enjoy this small but beautiful country, make a list of must-see places in advance. SMAPSE expers will help!
The rocky shore of Lake Saim - the largest in Finland - is home to the majestic 15th century Olavinlinna Fortress. The building was named after the Swedish king Olaf Haraldsson, who lived in the 11th century. The exact date of the beginning of construction is 1475, the process was led by the knight Tott, a Danish citizen. Built with conscience, it repelled attacks without loss for several centuries, until in the 18th century it was taken by Russian troops. Since 1912, an opera festival has been held here; inside there is a museum dedicated to icon painting.
Senate Square and Cathedral (Helsinki)
In the center of the capital there is the Senate Square, which cannot be passed by. Several important landmarks make up a single architectural ensemble:
- The building of the State Council, on the facade of which the oldest clock in the country is located
- The University of Helsinki with its famous library
- Cathedral: snow-white walls, 5 domes, statues of 12 apostles.
Turku Castle, or Abo, is one of the main attractions in Finland, located at the mouth of the Yoki River. The building was erected in 1280 and became one of the largest castles of that time. Initial role - fort, then - headquarters of Swedish power in Finland. For several centuries, the history of Turku consisted of alternating events: attacks and fortifications, again attacks and again fortifications. In the 17th century, there was a severe fire in the castle, the consequences of which were completely repaired during the Second World War. Today, the castle houses a museum, the chapel has become a favorite place for weddings, and banquets, outdoor ceremonies and exhibitions are held on the territory.
Monument to Sibelius
In Helsinki there is a monument to Jan Sibelius, one of the most revered composers in the country. The sculptor Eila Hiltuten worked on the construction. The peculiarity of the composition is that, in addition to the image of the composer himself, the composition consists of 600 steel pipes, which, when the wind blows, emit sounds similar to the motives of the works of Sibelius.
Santa Claus Village
It's a crime to come to Finland in winter and not visit Lapland! According to legend, Lapland is the birthplace of Santa. The legend owes its popularity to Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the American president: during her visit, she drew attention to a wooden hut, represented by the house of Santa Claus. A village was built around the hut, where reality mixed with a fairy tale: fairytale characters live here and such miracles occur that make even adults believe in a miracle. Today the village has grown to such a size that it includes not only Santa's house, but also a post office, an office, a reindeer farm and many buildings. The tourism sector is well developed in Lapland: ordinary cafes and hotels work for tourists who do not like extreme sports. But if you're a thrill-seeker ... stop at an ice igloo, spend the night in a heated sleeping bag, and dine at a café where all dishes are made of ice.
Temppeliaukio is one of the most unusual churches in the world, located in Helsinki. The interior is carved out of the rock, and the light enters through the transparent domes. Choosing stone for the finish was a great decision - they create a special acoustics, thanks to which the organ from 3001 pipes has an incredible sound. The church is famous for its liberal approach: in 2016, a mass in the style of hard rock was held here.
Arktikum is a modern-style building that combines a museum and a science center dedicated to the Arctic - it is also called a portal to the Arctic. The peculiarity of the building is that only natural, environmentally friendly materials were used during its construction, which is not surprising for Finland. Inside the building, designed in the form of a tunnel, there are permanent and temporary exhibitions that tell about the history of the Arctic, Lapland, their nature, inhabitants and research.
The largest Orthodox cathedral in Europe is located on the Katajanokke peninsula, high above the Finnish capital. Construction began in 1862 by order of Emperor Alexander II. The project was developed by the architect Alexey Gornostaev, based on the Ascension Church in the village of Kolomenskoye. The shape of the temple symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and the 13 domes symbolize Jesus Christ and the 12 apostles. An interesting fact: red brick was used for construction, left over from the Bomarsund fortress, destroyed during the Crimean War.
Atenium is Finland's main art museum. Located in Helsinki, it takes its name from the Greek goddess Athena, patroness of crafts and arts. The museum first opened its doors in 1887: then the exposition included only 18 paintings donated to Finland by Emperor Nicholas II. Today Athenium is:
- The hall introducing visitors to the works of Finnish artists of the 18th-20th centuries and other European masters: Cezanne, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Chagall. A significant place is occupied by the works of Russian artists: Levitan, Repin, Shishkin, Degas, etc.
- The second hall, where works of contemporary artists are exhibited. The oldest canvas is 60 years old.
You can get acquainted with the history of Finland, indigenous peoples, their way of life, customs, cuisine and way of life in the Seurasaari open-air museum. In 1909, Professor Olaiheikel founded a museum, for the exposition of which ancient houses from all over the country began to be brought. Manor houses, shops, outbuildings, farms and even a church - such a variety of exhibits helps to form a complete picture of the life of Finns in the 18th-20th centuries.
Finland is a country that amazes with its flavor. Whoever has been here at least once will dream of feeling these emotions again: in the summer - from the beautiful nature, and in the winter from the fairy tale that Santa Claus ignites in the hearts of both adults and children.