AT JUST 101 YEARS OLD, FINLAND is a relatively new nation, being part of the Kingdom of Sweden for the majority of the last millennium. The Russian Empire took control throughout the 19th century until Finland declared independence in 1917, but not before both influences left their indelible marks on Finnish culture and, especially, its capital.
Helsinki, a small capital with a population of just over 600,000, remains Finland’s most diverse region and a trending destination for travelers to the Nordic north. A Scandinavian city by the broadest definition (Finland is not technically a Scandinavian country), Helsinki is far more famous for dynamic architecture than for any religious ethos, but its churches are as visually varied as the rest of the city’s singular structures and provide the perfect architectural itinerary for a chronological crash course in Helsinki heritage.
Helsinki Cathedral (built 1830–1852) carries the most commanding presence in central Helsinki’s Senate Square, standing stoically atop a series of steps so steep and narrow they appear as a sheer cliff face from even a short distance. While the government palace, the University of Helsinki and the city’s oldest building all lie within this impressive square designed to evoke a miniature St. Petersburg in Neoclassical style, all eyes focus on the cathedral’s five domes, exactly as designer Carl Ludvig Engel intended.
Not far from here, perched on the hill of Katajanokka Peninsula, Uspenski Cathedral overlooks the city with its Byzantine Revival roofs of green bronze beneath a glittering gold onion dome. It’s no surprise to find a plaque here commemorating Russian Emperor Alexander II, who controlled Finland during its construction.
Western Helsinki offers a more recent contribution to the city’s curio collection of churches, boasting the Temppeliaukio Church, better known as the Rock Church and completed by architect-brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1969. Built directly into rock, the rounded church is capped with a copper dome surrounded entirely by a ring of skylights. The nearly unworked rock walls yield spectacular acoustics, making the Rock Church a popular concert venue.
Finally, no “arch walk” is complete without a moment of peace inside Kamppi Chapel in Narinkka Square. More commonly called the Chapel of Silence, this award-winning 2012 creation offers an ecumenical respite for the weary wanderer in need of a moment of solitude amid Helsinki’s hustle and bustle. Simultaneously relaxing and invigorating, it’s an architectural must-see and an ideal spot to reflect upon all Helsinki’s cultural history offers.
First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
Resting on the edge of Reykjavik’s Old Harbour next to the soaring, sparkling glass edifice of Harpa concert hall and conference center, the brand-new Reykjavik EDITION brings a new level of swish lodging to Iceland’s capital city. Steps from Laugavegur — the city’s main shopping street — and an easy walk to a wide selection of museums, restaurants and cafés, the newly opened hotel delivers high on luxury and service in a location ideal for becoming fully engaged in the energy of this spirited capital city.
Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
In time for summer, the recently opened Palacio Provincial hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, launched a new exploration-driven offer. The Sip & Savory Summer offer includes a mixology tour for two adults, a sweet or savory welcome amenity and a hotel-branded gift.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Monticello, New York, population 6,400, is an old Catskill town in Sullivan County that thrived from the 1950s–70s, with hundreds of country resorts. Although the town lies just a two-hour drive from Manhattan's cultural attractions, Monticello always seemed light years away in terms of cultural ambiance.