Day 7



Helsinki is the capital of Finland, situated on the southern coast, overlooking the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. It is a predominantly modern city with a population of half a million inhabitants. Little remains of the original town, this is largely due to the fact that the first buildings were made of wood, the domestic raw material, and over time fire and ravages of war destroyed the wooden structures. Today Helsinki is a well planned and spacious city, with many open parks, and some fine neo-classical buildings in Senate Square, dating from around 1840.
Surrounded by water on three sides, Helsinki has a natural seaport, which, thanks to powerful icebreakers, is kept open even in Winter. Finland is the country in Europe to have all its seaports prone to freezing. The Port was once protected by the fortifications on Suomenlinna, a group of five islands which are interconnected and today are used as a recreational facility. Cruise ships make an entrance and exit between the Ice Age formations of small islands ... 
Helsinki Harbor, Finland's largest, handles most of the nation's maritime trade with imports of vehicles, petroleum products and consumer goods, and exports of machinery, metal products, paper and wood.
Shipbuilding of various types of vessel is a vital adjunct to the local economy and includes the largest luxury cruise loners as well as 60% of the world's ice breakers.
(Royal Caribbean Port Explorer)

Various aspects of Helsinki
(Internet pictures)

 Lutheran Cathedral
The unofficial symbol of the city, this striking white cathedral dominates the central Senate Square.
Based on designs by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1852, the cathedral has recently been refurbished and looks better than ever, with the 12 apostles on the roof once again looking down at the world below.
Senate Square
Olympic Tower & Stadium
Helsinki is an Olympic city, the host of the 1952 Olympic Games
Sibelius Monument
The world-famous composer Jean Sibelius' monument was designed by sculptress Eila Hiltunen and unveiled in 1967.
This unique work of art resembles organ pipes, welded together from 600 pipes and weighing over 24 metric tons.
Sculpture of Jean Sibelius, by Eila Hiltunen (1967) 
The Church in the Rock 
This church was literally dug out of solid rock. 
From above, it resembles a crashed UFO. The roof is made of 22 kms of copper strips. 
Completed in 1969, this has become one of Helsinki's most popular attractions. 
Concerts are often held here thanks to the excellent acoustics. 
Later that day, a Finnish group danced in the Centrum of the Jewel of the Seas.

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