When you first arrive at Helsinki railway station, you will notice a building which has a very unique style. Helsinki Central Railway Station – (or Rautatientori to the Finns) is indeed one of the most iconic examples of an Art Nouveau style of architecture in Helsinki, called National Romantic style. Finished in 1919, it fully reflected the spirit of its time.
Eliel Saarinen was the architect who won the competition for the railway’s design. Already famous for his work in the Romantic style, Saarinen submitted a promising design for the main railway station in Helsinki. His first design was very much romantic, and was similar in its style to the National Museum of Finland (one of his earlier creations). However, due to the changes in the mood and spirit of the Helsinki citizens, Eliel Saarinen was asked to produce a design more functional and modern in itself. That was also the turning point in Saarinen’s career; he decided to switch from Romanticism to the styles that were reflective of the modern times. This is how the design for Helsinki Railway Station was born.
When looking at the exterior of the Helsinki Railway Station, you can notice some of the main features that made it one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world (BBC included it in the Top 10 in 2014). The station is laid out of Finnish granite – a natural resource in abundance in Finland. The roof is made of copper. Its current greenie colour is the result of the material being oxidised. The gorgeous clock tower is an element that was common for the Jugendstill style. Two pairs of statues which are holding spherical lamps in their hands are greeting everyone who enters the station.
The station today has 19 platforms and is used to maintain good connections throughout the Helsinki region, the whole of Finland and also with Russia.
Next to the Central Helsinki Railway station you can find a stunning building called the Ateneum museum. Worth paying a visit if you happen to be nearby.
Enjoy your travelling!
Helsinki Guru ^^