The Cathedral is the most iconic building in Helsinki. The cathedral was designed by C.L. Engel and built in the 1830’s and 1840’s. It stands proud on a hill overlooking the Senate Square and the busy streets of downtown Helsinki. The cathedral layout was originally the shape of a Greek cross, making it very slender and tall-looking. Architects in Engel’s time would joke about the thin church and make bets about it falling over in the wind. After Engel’s death the towers in the intermediate directions were built, to make sure the cathedral would be strong enough. Also the 12 apostle statues, made of zinc, were added at this point.
The church benches were upholstered in the 1960’s and the material is still in mint condition: no fading, no wearing out and no signs of the 50+ years of being sat on. What is this magic fabric made of? It is made of the hair of Polish horses! The look and feel resemble vinyl or a safety belt.
Bunkkeri, the concrete giant of Jätkäsaari, was built in 1972 for harbor storage purposes. It’s the size of a football field, a massive construction from the inside and outside. It was out-dated from the start and was never fully used in the following decades. Since the harbor functions moved to Vuosaari in 2008, Bunkkeri is now waiting for new life in the form of possibly a swimming hall, sports facilities and residential development.