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Aleksanterin kaunottaret

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In the National Museum of Finland you will see one of the official copies of the throne of the Russian Emperor Alexander I. Alexander I used this throne when he declared Finland as the Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire at the Diet of Porvoo in 1809. Then Finland first became Finland, a nation among other nations. Alexander was the sovereign ruler of the Finnish people but he also granted new liberties to his new subjects. These liberties were very modern and special during those times in Europe; the French revolution had at the end of the 18th century started a new era and people started to be considered also persons and human beings instead of only subjects to the power of the princes and landlords. The new  liberties of the Finnish people consisted of quite limited political, economical, religious and cultural rights. They were limited in the beginning but later the politicians and diplomats achieved greater liberties especially during the reign of Alexander II.   The Finnish language became the official language together with Swedish and Russian in 1863.

Katukyltti

Street sign from Mikkeli

Alexander I decided in 1812 that Helsinki should be the new Capital of  the Grand Duchy Finland.Carl Ludwig Engel, a German architect and  Finnish Johan Albrecht Ehrenström were appointed to create the city centre of Helsinki. Ehrenström was responsible of the city plan and Engel designed the monumental buildings on the Senate Square as well as several other buildings.  More information: http://www.virtualhelsinki.net/helsinkipanoraama/eng/senaatintori.html

The National Museum

The National Museum is full of treasures of the history of the people who have habited or visited the Finland peninsula.

Viikingit

The map above shows the moves of the Vikings on the late Iron Age, around the years 1100 – 1400. The blue colour in the map indicates that the Vikings who lived in now Swedish territory were the ones who extended their trade routes along the coastline of Finland to the Carelian isthmus, to the river Neva, to the Olhava-river and Ilmen lake. There they established Novgorod, the oldest city in Russia. The trade route of the Vikings reached the river Dnjepr and there they established Kiev that became another important political, religious and trade center. The Vikibgs reached the waterway to the Black Sea and on the other side, where now lies the city of Istanbul, then called the Bysantium. Old Bysantian coins and treasures have reached Lapland because of the fur trade.

trade_withoutspeech

This picure above is a detail of a map from 1550 from Carta Marina, drawn by a Swedish Catholic archbishop Olaus Magnus. The picture is titeled ”trade without words”.  source: http://lapinkavijat.rovaniemi.fi/carta_final/index.php?l=f

Poika Kansallismuseon rapuilla_edited-1It was great to guide you in the National Museum, hopefully you learned some new facts and fiction about the past of the Finnish people.

Don´t forget to read the Kalevala.Nyt.Elias Lönnrotin 1849 ilmestyneen Kalevalan pohjalta kirjoittanut Kai Nieminen.SKS.2011.

It costs only 8 euros and you will be greatly rewarded with wisdom after reading this page-turner.

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