Helsinki. Esplanade Park - Lime Trees and Monuments
Behind the Havis Amanda fountain rises the Esplanade (Finnish Esplanadin puisto, Swedish Esplanadparken), a French-style Park built in the thirties of the nineteenth century by the city architect Karl Ludwig Engel. The inhabitants of Helsniki colloquially refer to this place with the short word "Espa". A wide alley stretching for 280 meters is framed by trees, mostly lime trees. Their dense crowns form solid green walls that separate the alley from the busy thoroughfares of Central Helsinki.
Not far from the entrance, on the right side of the alley, a fountain by sculptor Viktor Jansson "Hei vaan" ("Hello") was built in 1940. The sculpture also has a folk name "Ilmaiskyyti" which literally translates as"free travel".
In the center of the Park in 1885, a monument was erected to the teacher, journalist and poet Johan Ludwig Runeberg (1804-1877).
The collection of poems "Stories of Vanrika Stell", written in the 30-40s of the 19th century, created a remarkable image of the Finnish people and brought the author the title of national poet of Finland. Runeberg's literary works gave rise to the revival of Finnish national identity against the background of the Russian-Swedish war for the redistricting of Finland.
The pedestal is decorated with a sculpture of a girl in a national costume, which became the image of Finland (Suomi-neito).
The author of the monument is the poet's son, the sculptor Walther Magnus Runeberg (1838-1920), known for such works as monuments to Alexander II in the Senate square and Pietari Brahe in Turku.
Monument to Finnish writer, journalist and critic Eino Leino (1878-1926), known for poems, novels, plays, essays and translations of foreign literature into Finnish. Leino was a prominent representative of the radical literary group "Young Finland", which promoted the idea of ridding Finnish culture of Swedish and Russian domination. The monument was designed by sculptor Lauri Leppian and was installed in the Western part of Esplanade Park in 1953.
In the Western part of the Esplanade there is a sculpture "fairy Tale and Truth" (Taru ja Totuus), dedicated to Zacharias Topelius (1818-1898) - a Finnish historian, writer and poet, the rector of the University of Helsinki. These genres were closely intertwined in his work.
The monument was opened in 1932. The sculptor Gunnar Finnen depicted two girls, one holding in her hand a fairy bird with a crown on her head, the other raising the fire of Truth. The monument caused a mixed reaction from the public, and received the nickname "Nude genres"among the people.
At the end of the Esplanade there is a beautiful wooden house where you can buy very delicious ice cream and other sweets.