Esplanade and Boulevard, Helsinki
The Esplanade in Helsinki is continued southwestward by the Boulevard (Bulevardi). On the right, beyond Yrjönkatu, are a cemetery which was in use until 1829, the wooden Old Church, built by Engel for use pending the completion of the Cathedral, and two tombs for the Finns and Germans who fell in the battle for Helsinki in 1918. At the corner of Yrjönkatu and Lönnrotinkatu is a mausoleum containing the remains of the planner of Helsinki, J. Sederholm. Many plague victims are buried in the cemetery. Opposite the church can be seen a monument (by Emil Wikström, 1902) to the doctor and philologist Elias Lönnrot (1802-84), who collected, edited and published the various parts of the Finnish national epic "Kalevala". Beside him on the monument is Väinämöinen, the smith in "Kalevala", and at his feet is Suomen Neito ("Maid Finland"). At Yrjönkatu 27 is the Amos Anderson Museum of Art.
Esplanade and Boulevard Map
In the gardens between the two boulevards of the Esplanade in Helsinki is the semicircular Swedish Theater (Svenska Teatern, Ruotsalainen Teatteri). The present building (by Jarl Eklund and Eero Saarinen, 1936) replaced the original Theater designed by C. L. Engel (1863-66). To the east of the Theater are a sculptural group (by G. Finne, 1932) commemorating the Swedish-Finnish poet Zachris Topelius and a bronze statue (by Lauri Leppänen, 1953) of the Finnish poet Eino Leino (1878-1926). Half way along the Esplanade can be seen a bronze statue of the poet J. L. Runeberg by his son W. Runeberg (1885); on the base is the first verse of the Finnish national anthem, "Our Country", which was written by the elder Runeberg.
Former Kämp Hotel (Historic Building)
On the north side of Helsinki's Esplanade (Pohjoisesplanadi), at the corner of Kluuvikatu, is a building which was pulled down stone by stone in the early 1960s so that the unstable foundations could be renewed and was then re-erected, leaving the facade unchanged. This building, formerly the Kämp hotel and restaurant (a favorite haunt of Sibelius and Gallén- Kallela), was a center for the foreign press during the Winter War of 1939-40, and it was here, in March 1940, that a government spokesman announced the signing of an armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union.
Diagonally opposite the Historic House in Helsinki, at the corner of Fabianinkatu on the south side of the Esplanade (Eteläesplanadi), is a small palace designed by C. L. Engel (1824) which from 1832 to 1917 was the residence of the Russian Governor-General. It is now a state guest-house, but it is still popularly known as Smolna, having been the headquarters of the provisional revolutionary government in 1918, as was the Smolny Institute in Petrograd.At the far end of the Esplanade (corner of Keskuskatu) is Scandinavia's largest bookshop, Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, the Academic Bookshop.
Map of Helsinki Attractions