Main squares of Helsinki and Bogotá (pano #13 & #14)

This is a comparison of two main squares of two very different capitals, Helsinki in Finland and Bogotá in Colombia.

The picture from Helsinki is showing the Senate Square early December night after wet snow fall. The building on the left is the home of the cabinet of Finland, and on the right you can see the main building of the University of Helsinki. – I took the picture standing close to Helsinki Cathedral.

(Click → larger)

Helsinki Senate Square, 2 December 2007
(4 images, Canon G9)

And then we move to Bogotá, Colombia. In the picture below is Bolívar Square. On the left is the National Capital, where the Columbia Congress meets. Back you can see the home of the Mayor of Bogotá, and on the right is the Palace of Justice. – I took the picture standing in front of the Primary Cathedral of Bogotá.

(Click → larger)

Bolívar Square, Bototá, Colombia, 21 May 2008
(5 images, Canon G9)

(Edit 6.5.12: Correction of country name. Thanks Ribgy.)

About Olli Laasanen

Eyes and ears open. New and old. Jobs and hobbies. Pictures and music. Entertaining and serious. Change and stability. Nature and urban.
This entry was posted in Colombia, Country, Finland, Photo, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Main squares of Helsinki and Bogotá (pano #13 & #14)

  1. rigbyte says:

    The last time I was in Bogota it was in Columbia.I didn’t know there was one in Bolivia as well. Apparently they are very good at recycling there. What depressing architecture the Europeans brought. Sort of Roman/Fascist imperial. The ones on the right of the square look as if they’ve been transplanted from UR. I wonder what they’d have been like if the indigenous people had been asked to contribute ideas, like the parliament building in Sarawak. I don’t know how to make a link small: q=Sarawak&layer=c&ll=1.559437,110.346075&cbll=1.559437,110.346075&photoid=po-43420903&z=5&ei=aKWlT4jAJsesiAevkrGXAw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=photo-link&cd=4&resnum=8&ved=0CGMQ8wEoAzAH
    Helsinki is more of a unit, and reflects Russian imperialism somewhat, I think. The absence of any natural things like trees and gardens is a bit depressing. Originally, town squares were places to gather, sit and chat- social centres, neither of these places seem that sort of place. but then I’ve never been to either, so I’m probably misinterpreting the atmosphere.

    • Thanks Rigby for quickly noting my mistake, no corrected. (Must be a Freudian slip: I’ve not visited Bolivia, though I have wished to do so.)

      I’m not an architect, but the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building (I guess you are referring to that, link to Wikipedia:, and pictures: looks great.

      We who live in Finland can not link the Senate Square to the Russian imperialism. The square was designed during early 19th hundred by Carl Ludwig Engel (, a German architect, and the style is empire.

      • rigbyte says:

        Thanks, Olli. I have never heard of Engels, so I am pleased to have learned about him, he is a very fine exponent of the style. Much of Europe was influenced by neo-classicism. Of course, living in an English colony we were only taught about English architects. I think I seemed a little dismissive about these photographs and public spaces, I didn’t mean to be. The buildings are excellent and the squares very grand. Are the University and the home of the cabinet identical? How do you make long Internet links shorter like you did with the link to Engel?

        • One picture is lying more than a thousand words ;). I surely understand, that’ it’s really hard to judge the real life situation based on a single shot, even panorama.

          The facades of the University and cabinet building look very same but as buildings (layout) they are not identical. (It’s fair to mention that Engel was influenced by the architecture of St Petersburg in Russia, and that the Senate Square was designed and built during the time Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russian Empire (

          About shortening the internet links, use e.g. this: If you like to know more about short links (like security issues), read

          • rigbyte says:

            Thanks for the links, very useful. It’s 2.00 pm, I think, in Helsinki. Here it’s 9.00 p.m and I’m off to bed to read a book. Yes, it was the similarity to St Petersburg that led me to the conclusion the Russians had had an influence. I should have realised they were using foreigners themselves.
            Cheers. R

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