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Monday, June 2 – Helsinki, Finland

Our first stop in Helsinki was at the Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square.  Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas' Church until the independence of Finland in 1917.
00 Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square-w Hanhams

We visited the Sibelius Monument which is dedicated to the music composer Jean Sibelius, who wrote the hymn “Be Still My Soul”.    The stainless steel monument is intended to represent his music.
01 Helsinki Sibelius Monument-Be still my soul Composer Memorial-Jean Sibelius Music

01b Helsinki-Be still my soul Composer Memorial-Jean Sibelius Statue

We drove by the Olympic Stadium where the 1952 Olympics were held.  Originally it was scheduled for 1944, but had to be delayed due to WWII.
02 Helsinki-Olympic Stadium-1952 Olympics

Along our driving tour we passed by the Parliament building.
03 Helsinki-Parliament Bldg

The main train and tram station…
04 Helsinki-Station

Stopped by a street market…
05 Helsinki-Street Markets02

And the most famous fountain in Helsinki.
06 Helsinki-City Statue

The most unusual church we have ever visited was in the heart of Helsinki.  Temppeliaukio Evangelical Church was hewn out of granite rock.  The entrance almost looks like entering a cave.
07 Helsinki-Temppeliaukio Rock-hewn Church (Kirkko)-Front Entrance

From the inside the ceiling was designed to let the natural light shine in.
07a Helsinki-Temppeliaukio Rock-hewn Church (Kirkko)-inside Sanctuary