Finland was under Russian rule as a Grand Dutchy from 1807 until 1917.
We have some reminders from those times in Helsinki. Here are two ‘things’ named after two of the czars who ruled also Finland.
The statue of Alexander (Aleksanteri) II (lived 1818-1881, ruled 1855-1881) is located on the Senate Square, in front of the Helsinki Cathedral. Alexander II was known as one of the ‘better’ czars, who initiated several reforms increasing Finland’s autonomy from Russia. – He earns a fine statue in the prime location in Helsinki.
During the rule of Nicholas (Nikolai) II (lived 1868-1918, ruled 1894-1917) Finland faced a difficult time of oppression – russification – over almost 20 years from 1899 until we got our independence 1917 (largely due to our resistance to russification). – Maybe it is quite right to have a bar & cafe boat called Nikolai II floating in an icy harbor of Helsinki. This is the oldest boat built in Helsinki (1903) which is still in operation.
I took both of the pictures handheld during the second weekend of December 2012 with Canon G15.