Helsinki's railway station is all what you could wish a railway station to be: it is centrally located, is still large enough to handle traffic, and it has a unique design which makes it a memorable sight. When it was decided that Helsinki needed a new railway station in the late 19th, early 20th century, a competition was organised which was eventually won by Eliel Saarinen. He travelled through Europe to study railway stations. It was not until 1919 that the station was finally inaugurated.
The station is remarkable for its size, its style, the huge granite blocks from which it has been constructed, and also for the enormous statues in front of the station, which have actually been sculpted by Emil Wikström. Inside, there is the stream of passengers you would expect in any railway station of this size, and there is a huge wall painting in one of its restaurants depicting one of the many lakes in Finland.
Inevitably, the visitor who is in no hurry to catch a train, is drawn to the more than life-size statues of men holding lanterns (or, as some say, globes) in their hands. They somehow give a human touch to the otherwise functional building, and from close up, look very serious in carrying out their task of lighting up the entrance of the railway station. From a distance, they could also be taken as guards of the building.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Helsinki station (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Helsinki station.
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