Vol. 25, Issue 09, 18 November 2022
Getting somewhere new is a very interesting experience.
I remember visiting Helsinki as a bright event. My first stop was the world-famous library Oodi.
The main principle of the “Oodi”: the library is your new living room. That is a minimum of stupid rules and a maximum of various activities. There is a cafe and restaurant on the ground floor, a cinema, but I didn’t manage to get into it. On the second floor, there are many computer rooms. Technical rooms are located in the basement, and the number of administrative rooms is kept to a minimum to increase the useful public space. In the center, there is a staircase in the form of a spiral of the DNA of Finnish society (words of various groups of people are written in a circle – pagans, homosexuals, children, agnostics, Hindus, Finns …) There are also many rooms that anyone can book and arrange a conference. There are also rooms with consoles and joysticks, a recording studio with a piano, a DJ console, various musical instruments, a photo studio, and a sewing workshop. The very first thing that struck me was 3d printers, laser cutters, automatic embroidery machines, and a digital woodcarver.
On the top floor, the whole floor is covered in books. I called it “Book Paradise”. It is a huge hall with a ceiling resembling a cloud through which the sun’s rays break. It feels like this library contains all the languages of the world, from magazines to big novels, newspapers, and detective stories. I was struck by this library, so modern, bright, and memorable building is in my life.
The next attraction of the capital of Finland is Senate Square.
This square is a direct legacy of the Russian Empire. There is a cathedral church and a monument to Emperor Alexander II on it. The German architect Karl Ludwig Engel was invited to design the central square of the city, in the 20-30 years of the XIX century designed several official buildings that make up the main ensemble of the Senate Square. Climbing the steps, we can enter a beautiful white building. Originally the cathedral was called Nikolsky and was dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. Later the cathedral was renamed the Helsinki Cathedral.
Going out on the embankment, I got a view of the Assumption Cathedral. The shape of the building carries Christian symbols, the cathedral is made of thirteen heads, and it symbolizes an episode from the Bible when Jesus and his 12 apostles were sitting at the table. A characteristic difference of the Orthodox Cathedral in Helsinki is the emerald domes shining gold in the sun. the central dome, which is supported by four columns, symbolizes the firmament, and the dove soaring in this sky is the Holy Spirit. All interior decoration is made in a non-Byzantine style.
Moreover, then I managed to get to the exhibition of contemporary art HAM. It presented various paintings of countries, authors, methods, and techniques of drawing. Embroidery, carpets, there was also a huge screen with a movie. The most difficult picture that impressed me is a picture of buttons of different sizes.
Summing up, this trip to Helsinki remained deep in my soul. The streets decorated for Christmas, good-natured people and huge shopping malls helped distract me from my daily routine.