Towards metropolitanism

Finnish National Museum

Picture: Visit Finland

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.

The so-called period of Eclecticism produced many richly decorated buildings including Theodor Höijer’s Ateneum (which now houses the Museum of Finnish Art) and, by Gustaf Nyström, the National Archives of Finland, the House of Estates, Helsinki Market Hall, and the greenhouse of the Botanical Gardens

On an elevation just east of the Empire-style city centre, A. M. Gornostayev designed the Uspenski Cathedral, whose Byzantine silhouette makes a prominent contribution to the skyline of the South Harbour.

The Bank of Finland (designed by the German architect Ludwig Bohnstedt), the National Archives of Finland, and the House of Estates form an imposing square of their own just north of the Senaatintori. 

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