I went with good friends to experience the beautiful LUX HELSINKI event on a Sunday evening. This time the event was concentrated around the area of the Senate Square, the Market Square plus the Enso Gutzeit building, and some carefully chosen places in Kruununhaka, one of the oldest parts of our capital. This time the Helsinki Cathedral did not play the main role, but it also was a part of the installations. Here are some of the buildings facing the Market Square.
A few streets were closed from traffic, which of course created an unbelievable (for Helsinki) traffic jam elsewhere. For some reason, a great number of people still insist on coming to the heart of Helsinki by car – instead of using the existing excellent public transportation system. But: when many streets are closed – also and definitely because of security – the problem takes itself elsewhere. The same traffic jam reappeared on Monday as well.
All in all, Helsinki is a highly walkable city – even without large pedestrian areas. Traffic noise here is a far cry from that in New York – or even in the main streets of a small capital like Tallinn. Walkability should in no case be confused with pedestrian streets only.
It was crowded, of course, but highly rewarding. Especially pleasant was to see the classical facade front of the North Esplanade. the beautiful video in front of the House of Nobility (main image) and the Singing (or rapping) house in the courtyard behind the City Hall.
This time also the courtyard of the former Imperial Canton School for orphan boys, now a part of the Helsinki University Human Sciences Campus, was taken into use for fantastic ligt installations. The buildings belong to the oeuvre of Carl Ludwig Engel and were built in 1820-30.
LUX HELSINKI is a beautiful gift from the city to all of us – but next year it ought to have some artwork in other parts of the small but enjoyable metropolis. Why not also go east, to Vuosaari, for example. One place could also be the Siltavuori Campus, because it can even beautifully be observed across the water /or ice) from Hakaniemi.
Images are not my best, but never mind. Next year, welcome to Helsinki at the beginning of January!