Mug Shot — «Helsinki - Havis Amanda»

From Helsinki, Finland

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Starbucks City Mug Helsinki - Havis Amanda
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Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 kilometres east north east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 kilometres west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities. Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Tallinn. Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. The plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city. During the war, Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress and about one quarter of the town was destroyed in an 1808 fire. Tzar Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland and bring the capital closer to St. Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, The Royal Academy of Turku, at the time the country's only university, was also relocated to Helsinki, and eventually became the modern University of Helsinki. The move consolidated the city's new role and helped set it on the path of continuous growth. This transformation is highly apparent in the downtown core, which was rebuilt in neoclassical style to resemble St. Petersburg, mostly to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel. As elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth. Despite the tumultuousness of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century, Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark event was the XV Olympic games held in Helsinki. Finland's rapid urbanization in the 1970s, occurring late relative to the rest of Europe, tripled the population in the metropolitan area, and the Helsinki Metro subway system was built. The relatively sparse population density of Helsinki and its peculiar structure have often been attributed to the lateness of its growth.


Havis Amanda is a nude female statue in Helsinki, Finland. It was sculpted by Ville Vallgren (1855-1940) in 1906 in Paris, but was not erected at its present location at the Market Square in Kaartinkaupunki until 1908. Havis Amanda is one of Vallgren's Parisian Art Nouveau works. It is cast in bronze and the fountain it resides in is made of granite. She is a mermaid who stands on seaweed as she rises from the water, with four fish spouting water at her feet and surrounded by four sea lions. She is depicted leaning backwards as if to say goodbye to her element. Vallgren's intention was to symbolize the rebirth of Helsinki. The height of the statue is 194 centimetres and with the pedestal it stands 5 metres tall. According to Vallgren's letters the model for the statue was a then 19-year-old Parisian lady, Marcelle Delquini. It was unveiled on September 20, 1908. The work drew a lot of criticism at first, especially from women. Every year on Vappu, Manta serves as a centrepiece for the celebrations. Students of the local universities put a cap on the statue in an elaborate ceremony. For many it is a "must see" event. There is also an urban legend that Havis Amanda patronizes men's sexual potency. Some men believe that washing one's face with water from one of Havis Amanda's fountains and shouting thrice "Rakastaa!" (Finnish verb "love") increases men's sexual ability.

photo by mobydick74
edited by mobydick74

  Finland, Helsinki, 08 Icon Edition, MIT

Karma: 9 Added by chopchop 2 Comments

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