What: Helsinki’s main town square serves as a concert venue, a meeting place, a place to people watch and a reminder of the state’s history.
Why it Works:
Senate Square has been the main square of Helsinki since the 17th century. It was transformed into its current form in the early 19th century, when Russian Tsar Alexander II, moved the capital of Finland from Turku to Helsinki. The buildings on the four sides of the square represent the four powers of the state as conceived at the time: senate, church, university and commerce. The old merchant houses are now mainly occupied by city offices, but there is also a nice café, and a bazaar. While the square is a popular tourist destination, the steps on the north side are commonly used as a meeting place, a venue for student meetings, sun bathing or even studying.
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