The Sunken Survivor

As a disclaimer: These photos were taken during a visit in September 2017, so this post may not be representative of this site today.


Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden

One of three subdivisions of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (the other two include the Natural History Museum of Helsinki), the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden maintains a collection of live plants for use in research and teaching at the University of Helsinki.

Its greenhouse is home to more than 800 different species of plants and its grounds to more than 2,800 plants of different origins.

The botanic garden began in 1763, when the then governor, Hans Henrik Böje, rented a plot of land and started a garden on it. When Helsinki became capital of Finland in 1812, the garden became municipal property. Carl Ludvig Engel, architect of the Helsinki Cathedral and the Senate Square, became involved and created winding paths to serve as walking areas.

The Imperial Academy of Turku Botanical Garden moved next to it when the Great Fire hit Turku and the Imperial Academy relocated to Helsinki in 1828. Greenhouses followed in 1832 after designs by Head Gardener Franz Faldermann of the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden.

Expansion and more changes followed, and the original greenhouses were replaced by those designed by Gustaf Nyström, made of wrought iron. In the 1950s, the greenhouses were restored and modernized, and then again in the late 1990s.

During the Continuation War (1940s), the garden was damaged by bombs, and the greenhouses were partly destroyed. Many plants died frozen, though the seeds of a water lily survived at the bottom of its pool. The water lily currently in the pool is the descendant of that water lily.

National Library of Finland

The foremost research library in Finland, the National Library of Finland belongs to the University of Helsinki. The oldest part of the building was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, and dates back to 1844. The newest part was designed by Gustaf Nyström and completed in 1906.

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