Helsinki Places: Central Railway Station
This is Helsinki Central Railway Station. Over 200,000 people walk through it every day. Thick walls and strong floors are clad in Finnish granite. A lone clock tower rises to the cloudy sky of Helsinki.
At the front door of the station building stands four huge men lightning the night. Men are actually made of stone and they are holding spherical lamps. Sometimes you may think that they have left their guard posts, especially when seeing them in an advertisement campaign on TV.
Small wooden selling booths stand side by side in the main hall selling pocket books, souvenirs, traditional sausage burgers, lattes, flowers, and postcards. Anything you could possibly need before or after a train trip.
On the second floor, in the Pullman Bar, people are waiting for their trains to leave. Some of them are meeting friends. Presidents and emperors have had meetings in a private waiting lounge. Stories tell it’s somewhere in the building. Originally intended for the private use of the Emperor of Russia, now for the president of Finland. It’s one of its kind in the entire world.
Stream of people is flowing in the hall. Doors are opening and closing. Trains arriving and leaving. From early morning till late evening.
Busy or peaceful, noisy or silent, it’s always beautiful. No wonder it was chosen one of the world’s most beautiful railway stations by the BBC. Thanks to the renowned architect Eliel Saarinen who designed the building in 1909.