Compared to the rest of Europe, Helsinki is a fairly "young" city. I knew this before we came here, so I wasn't expecting to see the same kind of really old architecture you might see in Germany, France or Spain.
We do; however, have many beautiful examples of Jugend (Art Nouveau) architecture in our neighborhood.
As I understand, most of these buildings were constructed from 1890 - 1910.
"A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, Jugend style was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines. Architects tried to harmonize with the natural environment." (from Wikipedia)
"In Finland the style evolved and was influenced by a piece of literature called the "Kalevala" and this off-shoot of Jugend became known as "national romanticism". Some say that this style was particularly popular in Finland because it created a diversion from the bleak landscapes." (from igougo.com)
Disclaimer: I am NOT an architectural historian. I took photos of buildings that I thought were beautiful--they may or may not be Jugend style.
I don't think this staircase is necessarily Jugend style architecture, but I thought it was pretty...
Having a little fun on our "art walk..."
We also live very close to many embassies. Our apartment looks out on the Irish and Italian embassies. This is the Italian Embassy...
My favorite house in Helsinki:
As I was taking this photo, Joey was doing a little bit of peeping through the fence--there was an old lady sweeping behind there. I'm surprised she didn't lecture him as I have had a few lectures from little old Finnish women since arriving here!
And lest you think we LIVE in one of these charming Jugend style buildings, here is OUR apartment building. We live in the first floor apartment with the bay window.