In 1812 Senate Square was designated as the main square for the new capital of Helsinki in the city plan designed by Johan Albrecht Ehrenström. The Palace of the Council of State (or Government Palace) was completed on the eastern side of the Senate Square in 1822.
We visited Helsinki during Covid-19 restrictions and, looking at the photos posted on TripAdvisor, we experienced a very pared down and quiet Senate Square - no pop up eateries, no cafe society, no stalls or crowds of people; just Finns taking time to sit on the steps and eat their lunch or soak up the last of the autumn sun. An impressive square, dominated by the white Lutheran cathedral with a large central plaza.
- Aleksanterinkatu, Hallituskatu, Helsinki, Uusimaa
Senate Square, 00170 Helsinki The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.
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Senate Square is surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic structures in the heart of downtown Helsinki. Ride the bus to one of the stops on the roads surrounding the plaza or walk southeast for 10 minutes from Helsinki Railway Station to get here. The square is right beside the Kaisaniemi metro station and near the Helsinki University.
The Helsinki Cathedral, Government Palace, National Library of Finland, and main University of Helsinki building surround Senate Square and make up a collective vision of neoclassical design.
- Aleksanterinkatu, Hallituskatu, Helsinki Finland
- 09 31013300
The Lutheran Cathedral, then called the Church of Nicholas, dominated the square and was finally consecrated twelve years later, in 1852. By the middle of the century, the new Empire-style Helsinki was finally ready. In his book Senate Square, professor Nils Erik Wickberg describes the result in the following way:
Senate Square has been the main square of Helsinki since the 17th century. It was transformed into its current form in the early 19th century, when Russian Tsar Alexander II, moved the capital of Finland from Turku to Helsinki.
The Senate Square is the site of some of the most striking architectural masterpieces in Helsinki, several of them designed by German architect C.L. Engel in the 18th century. The Sederholm House from 1757 forms the imposing cornerstone of the historic Senate Square.
- Hallituskatu, Helsinki, Finland, 00170
Get off at the Senate Square. P.S. You can even walk to the Senate Square! From South Harbour 6 EPL, 7 EMA and 8 EQ1. Starting address: Eteläranta 7 or Olympiaranta 1 (8 EO1) Take tram 2 (direction Länsi-Pasila) or 3 Get off at the Senate Square. P.S. You can even walk to the Senate Square! How to buy tickets for public transportation in Helsinki
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