Finland suffered great hardship during the World War II, and the post-war reconstruction effort was not completed until the 1950s.
With the burgeoning growth of the city in the 1950s and 1960s, the focus of new building shifted to the suburbs.
Helsinki’s architecture offers many examples of turn of the century Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) and the classicism that followed.
These styles can be studied in numerous public buildings.
The hectic construction that took place in the closing decades of the nineteenth century is everywhere in evidence in central Helsinki.
Four- and five-storey commercial buildings and residential blocks were erected on Pohjoisesplanadi, Bulevardi, and Erottaja, designed in a style that emulated the architecture of Vienna and Berlin.
Finland was part of the Swedish empire until the early nineteenth century.
Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustavus I Wasa at the mouth of the River Vanda, to compete with the Hanseatic port of Tallinn across the Baltic, and to boost trade with Russia
What does Helsinki have to offer visitors interested in architecture?
Both architecturally and culturally, Helsinki is an idiosyncratic mix of eastern and western influence.
The main theatres, museums, and concert halls are all centrally located, and many public and commercial buildings manifest outstanding architectural quality.
The National Romantic variation on the art nouveau Jugendstil theme is expressed in the turrets, rural motifs and quirky granite detail of the National Museum on Mannerheimintie 34 (Mannerheim street) and the National Theatre, fronted by the statue of the pensive, seated novelist and playwright Aleksis Kivi, in the Railway Station Square.