"Neo-Classical Senate Square" Top 5 Page for this destination Senaatintori (Senate Square) Tip by annase

Senaatintori (Senate Square), Helsinki: 36 reviews and 69 photos

  Posing at the Senate Square steps
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  • Posing at the Senate Square steps - Helsinki
      Posing at the Senate Square steps
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  • The main University building - Helsinki
      The main University building
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  • The Palace of the Council of State (former Senate) - Helsinki
      The Palace of the Council of State (former Senate)
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  • Neo-Classical Senate Square - Helsinki
  • The Square - Helsinki
      The Square
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The Square has a symbolic importance to the country, as it has been the venue of a number of gatherings and celebrations in the past and it is still frequently used for events such as concerts, provincial markets and parades.

The institutions responsible for guiding and governing the country have been located in the buildings around the Square. The buildings are painted in light colours (mainly yellow and gray) and they are all the same style, with the same kinds of cornices, window surroundings, pilasters and pediments and with the same low roof slope.

The square and its buildings were designed by a German architect Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840). He received his diploma from the Berlin Bauakademie in 1804, but found no work in Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars. He applied for and received an appointment as city architect in Tallinn, Estonia. He visited Finland and was asked to design an observatory for the Academy in Turku. After spending a couple of years in St. Petersburg, Engel considered moving back to Berlin, but he was appointed architect of the reconstruction committee for Helsinki in 1816 and remained in Finland for the rest of his life. Within 25 years, he designed and completed about 30 public buildings in Helsinki, all in Neo-Classical (Empire) style. Some of the buildings have been demolished, but his most important creations around the Senate Square are preserved.

The first building to be completed was the Senate (now the Palace of the Council of State) in 1822. The main University building (opposite to the Senate), was inaugurated in 1832. The general form of the building is similar to the Senate. The University Library, completed in 1844 after Engel's death, has often been praised as his most beautiful building.

No building task occupied Engel so long as the Lutheran church on the northern side of the Senate Square. He worked on it from 1818 until his death in 1840. The Cathedral that dominates the Square, was finally consecrated in 1852.

Address: 00170 Helsinki
Directions: The Square is bordered in the west by Unioninkatu, in the east by Snellmaninkatu and in the south by Aleksanterinkatu.
Phone: +358 9 31013300
Website: http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/sights-and-attractions/senate-square

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 4, 2008
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