On one of our first spring days we took a walk around Katajanokka – a small “island” suburb adjacent to the city centre. It turned out that winter was still very much with us… but we enjoyed exploring this interesting area with its great examples of Jugendstil architecture. Katajanokka (which can be translated roughly as “Juniper peninsula”) is here many tourists arrive when visiting Helsinki, as many cruise ferries dock there. And two of the first landmarks that those tourists will see are the Uspenski Cathedral and Alvar Aalto’s Stora Enso building. Surprisingly, we didn’t snap any photo’s specifically of these two buildings (you can find photos of both at Panoramio)… but here are some of the things that we thought to photograph.
One of the other tourist spots in Katajanokka is Best Western’s Katajanokka hotel and its Jailbird restaurant which is a converted prison (and rather an infamous prison at that; see this Helsingin Sanomat article).
Tove Jansson, the author of the Moomin books, grew up in Katajanokka – it has been suggested that some of the architecture of the area may have been one of the influences in her (see Helsinki: A cultural and literal history).
There’s currently talk of a Guggeheim muesum being build in Katajanokka – we’ll see if it happens (you can follow the whole story at the JHJ blog).