One of the most important historical events which shaped the architecture and general urban development of Helsinki were the 1952 (!) Summer (!) Olympics.
Why the exclamation marks? Well, most venues – the Stadium, Velodrome, Rowing Stadium and a part of the Olympic Village were built between the years 1938-1940 since Helsinki was chosen as Olympic venue for the 1940 Olympics. Those never happened, as we all know. And as for the summer exclamation mark – I just wanted to point out that summer DOES exist in Finland. It only didn’t happen THIS year.
But back to the topic: most Olympics buildings/venues are elegant, painted white and combined with wooden details (benches, panelling, etc.). The simplicity and functionalist touch in contrast to summer blue sky create one of those stereotypical (but nevertheless beautiful) Finnish sights in the name of the blue-white colour combination. Simplicity purity, freshness, breeze, water and snow… you know.
If you had one place to visit it would have to be the stadium tower. A truly unique landmark – it makes an awesome orientation point and also a great viewing point (and a suicide point for pregnant lovers of German soldiers who would throw themselves from the tower in order to avoid the shame – that’s why they had to close the tower and suicide-proof it back in the days).
Don’t worry, there is a lift so you don’t have have to climb those 72 meters. And it is safe, you can’t even access the open staircase and the viewing platform is behind high iron bars.
And the views are stunning… Töölö, Meilahti
However, you can still visit the Stadium Tower! It only costs a few Euro (3€/5€) and it is definitely worth it.
Please beware! The stadium and the tower will close in 2016 for renovation work. Hurry hurry!
More information: http://www.stadion.fi/visit-tower