-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

On the morning of 15 July 2015
I saw the Sun rising in a suburb of the Capital City of Finland.

Then I started by bus to Helsinki (the northernmost Capital of Continental Europe)
to see the monuments of two exceptional heroes (and men of culture)
of this country.

The Finnish nation had to preserve its identity
during two long periods of foreign domination:
the Swedish one (when, in the 16th century, Mikael Agricola
founded the literary Finnish language, translating the New Testament)
and the Russian one (when, in the 1830s, Elias Lonnrot
published the national epic, Kalevala).

Then, in 1917 Finland became independent
and during World War II found the power
to reject a Soviet attempt of invasion.

In these circumstances, Aleksis Kiwi (1834-1872)
became the father of Finnish novel,
the founder of Finnish theatre,
and an admired poet, too,
remarkably contributing to the nationalist spirit.

His main statue was erected in 1939 in front of the National Finnish Theatre,
a building made in 1902 (architect Onni Tarjanne)
in the National Romantic Style.

Very close, another extraordinary building in the same style,
the Helsinki Central Railway Station,
was made in 1910-1914 (architect Eliel Saarinen).

Then I went (by foot and by bus) to a park
dedicated to the Finnish national musician.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) left a magnificent patriotic opera,
one of his compositions being named just Finlandia.

In 1967 an amazing monument dedicated to him (architect Eila Hiltunen)
was erected in this park.

I continued with a walk (this time only by foot) through Helsinki
(a city communicating some of the northern mysteries),
returning right to the statue of Aleksis Kiwi.

I will never forget
the Helsinki Central Railway Station.

Its stone giants holding planets in hands
(or maybe just a multiplication of the Finnish god of sky, Ukko)
make it seem like a cosmic station!

I will never forget
the Sibelius monument.

It seems like a supernatural organ
calling the fingers of the Sun!


© 2017 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)