Day 30. Senate Square, Helsinki

I’d heard that a military parade was taking place in Senate Square so we decided to go along and see what was happening.  Arriving at the cathedral, people were already starting to gather on its steps.  Over the years we’ve attended various different types of events here, and the stone steps provide an excellent viewing platform.

Finnish Defence Force, Senate Square, Helsinki
Military band in Senate Square, Helsinki

The band of the Finnish Defence Force performed a short concert and a guard parade, marching across the square.  This ceremonial performance dates back to the eighteenth century.  The ceremony included a colourful parade along the cobbled streets of central Helsinki and the changing of the guard outside the Presidential Palace.

Finnish Defence Force, Senate Square, Helsinki
Guards standing to attention in Senate Square, Helsinki

After enjoying the concert and watching the procession we decided to take a look in the nearby large Stockmann department store.  It’s a joy to shop there and you can find almost anything you desire.  There’s even a Hamley’s toy shop concession on the top floor.  In the basement you will find a huge food hall with a vast array of produce, all beautifully displayed.  The staff are all very helpful and wear little metal badges with flags indicating which languages they speak.  It was our last full day in Finland so I wanted to buy some gifts to take back home.

Stockmann Department Store, Helsinki
Stockmann Department Store, Helsinki

Bulevardi (‘the Boulevard’ in English) starts across the road at Erottoja and extends as far as Hietalahti.  This tree lined avenue has some fine buildings and amongst them is the Alexander Theatre which was formerly the home of the Finnish National Opera which was built in 1879.  We also passed Old Church Park and church which is a popular place for young people to relax in its gardens with their friends.

Alexander Theatre, Helsinki
Alexander Theatre, Helsinki

Nearby, we came across Cafe Ekberg a beautiful old, traditional cafe and one I have fond memories of as when I first visited Helsinki as a visiting teacher, the university’s international co-ordinator brought me here one afternoon for tea and cakes.  Glancing inside, their cakes looked as delicious as ever, I must pop in again next time I’m over.

Hietalahti Market Square, Helsinki
Hietalahti Market Square

Our walk neared its end at Hietalahti where a flea market was taking place outside the market hall, these take place regularly in the summer months.  After browsing the stalls awhile we returned to the centre by tram.


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25 thoughts on “Day 30. Senate Square, Helsinki

  1. National or city ceremonies and processions are a good way to get the flavour of a place. I still remember the small events we have tripped over in variuous places around the world. That is wnat makes travel so much different than home. All the best Marion. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like you enjoyed your trip – that’s so nice! 🙂 Even though I am a Finn, I am not familiar with all those things you saw in Helsinki. So, maybe I will take some tips from your posts, travel to Helsinki and discover my country better! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love a parade, especially in another country and this one looks great – splendid uniforms. I remember well, even all these years later, going into that department store and having to coax, cajole and eventually drag our son out of the toy section!

    Liked by 1 person

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