Architecture In Helsinki

Now I’m gonna be a downer here, but Helsinki should probably be renamed to Helsucky. Yeh it was a pretty little town (“city” really seems to be a stretch for a place so small and quiet), but hell this is Europe and ‘pretty’ places are a dime a baker’s dozen.

Helsinki isn’t exactly your tourist haven, with its two main attractions being a fort and a church. To be fair the fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and it does look pretty sweet. It’s had an interesting history, initially built to keep the Russians out, failing, returning back to Finnish hands and also defending the city from air attacks in the second world war. These day’s it’s just a cool looking place with loads of relics.

Also, here’s that other tourist attraction, the church:

Helsinki is relatively lacking on the art front, they aren’t very big on statues, sculptures or the general “let’s plonk some piece of art in the middle of every park just ’cause” philosophy. The coolest ones were probably the following two.

T-shirts strung across lines between buildings

Some tubular piece of art

Dave was suitably impressed by a pile of special rocks. The plaque explained what it was… though it was in Finnish so we like to think it’s just the most retarded memorial in the history of retardedness.

Another piece of awesomeness Helsinki has on offer is their Olympic stadium from the 1952 Olympics. I’m sure it must have been decent back in its day, but by today’s standards it is tiny. The Sydney Football Stadium would easily dwarf the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. It seems the locals aren’t too proud of it either, it’s hidden behind a bunch of trees and other buildings.

Seriously.

In fairness I’m probably being a little harsh on Helsinki. It’s not a bad place by any means, but there are certainly places that are much better value.

Fin.

Written on May 31, 2011