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Finland: Hietaniemi Cemetery

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Hietaniemi Cemetery | Finland | Europe

[Visited: August 2006]

Helsinki itself is a quiet, peaceful and easy going capital, without the hassles and pulsating pace of many other capitals. Nature is very visible, as it is located between the seafront with its archipelago, and the hinterland with the famous Finnish woods and lakes. One of the main places to see in Helsinki, is the cemetery, which is an even more peaceful place than the capital itself. Within walking distance from the city centre, you can find yourself at the main gate of this immense cemetery, located right on the waterfront. In fact, Hietaniemi means sand spit.

Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Hietaniemi Cemetery: some of the graves of this immense cemetery

On my first visit to Finland, I ended up staying at an old couple's place in northern Finland. They took me to a funeral, and I can still remember it: we were in the middle of a forest, the wind was blowing softly through the treetops, and the mumbling of the Finns to pay their last respect to a friend and relative that had departed this world, was impossible to understand but still impressive. It was a very natural funeral. While walking in Hietaniemi cemetery, probably the largest of the country, those images came back to me, and again, I heard the wind blowing through the treetops.

Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Statue at Hietaniemi Cemetery

I did not have a clear plan, I did not have a map of the cemetery, and I was anyway not very aware of the importance of the names I had seen announced as famous Finns. Still, I had a very pleasant walk over the cemetery, discovering different styles of graves, the cemetery blending in perfectly with nature, appreciating the flowers decorating the tombs. I saw graves of famous Finns like Kekkonen and Mannerheim, the sections with tombs for fallen soldiers of the wars against the Soviet Union and Germany, but also special sections like the orthodox and Jewish ones. While not as overwhelmingly decorated as for instance cemeteries in Southern Europe, Hietaniemi Cemetery is definitely charming as well.

Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Statue on tomb at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Tombs at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Tombs in natural surroundings at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Hietaniemi Cemetery: tombstones under trees
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Tombs under trees at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Hietaniemi Cemetery: tombs for fallen soldiers
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Hietaniemi Cemetery: tombstones and lanterns
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Street at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Statues and tomb at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Hietaniemi Cemetery: detail of sculpture
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Tomb of Mannerheim at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Artwork at Hietaniemi Cemetery
Picture of Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland): Cross at Hietaniemi Cemetery

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Hietaniemi Cemetery (Finland). 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 Hietaniemi Cemetery.
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