Helsinki: One of the World's Most Livable Cities

Finland is a country of extremely positive circumstances. Despite being the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, it has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with very high marks in levels of education, economic competitiveness, quality of life, and human development.

Finland is also consistently on the list of "happiest people in the world", has been awarded "most stable country" continuously for six years (2011-2016), and is at the top of the Global Gender Gap ranking, meaning men and women are treated almost equally in terms of pay, opportunities, and benefits.

* And this utopia of a country is ruled from its capital Helsinki, which certainly lives up to its country's accolades by being named "world's most livable city" a bunch of times in the past two decades.

* At the center of Helsinki, is its Senate Square, historically the oldest part of the city where all its landmarks and famous buildings are conveniently located and from where everything else is within walking distance.

* Dominating Senate Square is this enormous building of the Helsinki Cathedral. Fans of Electronic Dance Music will immediately recognize this backdrop in the video of "Sandstorm" by the popular DJ Darude.

* Along with the rest of Scandinavia, Finland is staunchly Protestant and follows the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

* And like most Protestant places of worship, the interior of the Cathedral is very minimalist with the cross and ornate organ serving as the focal point of the edifice.

* Of course, statues of famous Protestant figures (like Martin Luther) stand resolute on the Cathedral's walls.

* Other famous buildings on Senate Square include the yellow-hued Government Palace which houses the Office of the Prime Minister, Chancellor of Justice, and Ministry of Finance.

* And the beige-hued buildings of the University of Helsinki.

* But at the center of the square stands this splendid statue of Alexander II, who isn't actually Finnish but Russian!

* You see, Finland also inhabits two worlds, being historically and culturally linked with Scandinavia and Russia.

* At that time, Finland was part of the Russian Empire, with the aforementioned Alexander II serving as Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland.

* And the Finns loved Alexander II, as he promoted Finnish autonomy from Russia; for example, he encouraged the establishment of their own Parliament, the Diet of Finland.

* It is not surprising then that Senate Square is the most visited landmark in the country.

* With numerous travel influencers..

* And their boyfriend-photographers, angling for the best shots!

* Of course, the Mrs. did not waste this photo opportunity!

* Marvelous! Ravishing! Bravo!

* Yeah.. whatever.

* Today, the Senate Square is a popular meeting spot for locals; also serving as venue for concerts, art exhibits, and oddly enough, snowboarding competitions.


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