On our second foray into the city (because we would spend 4 separate nights, in 4 different hotels in Helsinki on this trip), the weather did not improve. If anything, after our days of continuous sunshine in Stockholm, it felt worse. A yellowish-grey sky, wet, slushy snow, dirty streets and equally grey looking citizens greeted us once again.
The greyness didn’t stop us from finding a place of light in the middle of the city though. We found it inside the Kamppi Chapel of Silence.
Located in the unattractive Narinkkatori Square, the Chapel is intended to be a place of peace where Helsinkians can have a moment of silence and recharge in the middle of the busy city. And it was certainly that. We felt completely revitalized after a 20 minute meditation within the cocoon of the structure’s warm walls.
An example of innovative wood architecture, the outside of the Chapel was constructed from horizontal spruce strips, bent at different radiuses, while the inner walls were lined with alder planks, cut to shape. The warm feel of the materials and the curved and rounded shape reminded me of entering a giant, dimly lit, wooden womb. It may sound strange, but the feeling inside was really soothing.
The Chapel was constructed in preparation for Helsinki’s turn as the World Design Capital in 2012. Designed by K2S Architects Ltd., the building won the International Architecture Award in 2010.
I wish we’d had time to visit at least one more time.
Where We Stayed: The Hotel Arthur
Established in 1907, the Hotel Arthur was a clean, convenient stay in the centre of the city. Sure, the hotel wasn’t super fancy, but for me, it checked all the budget stay boxes. Free, reliable wifi, comfy beds, professional, kind staff, buffet breakfast and a reasonable $95 price tag. Just don’t drink the coffee. It was terrible, just like everywhere else we drank it in Finland. 😉
Ideally located a quick 10 minute walk from the central bus terminal, I’d recommend the hotel for a short transit in the city. That’s why we stayed there, and I must say, that it made traveling back and forth to the airport super simple and stress-free.