• Posts
  • Looking for new summer activities? The Sponda Legends walking tour opens up fascinating details about city centre buildings

Looking for new summer activities? The Sponda Legends walking tour opens up fascinating details about city centre buildings

The walking tour is a follow-up to Sponda’s popular Sponda Legends guided tour. This time, you can enjoy the stories of historic, over 100-year-old buildings independently and in your own time. Download the tour map on your phone and immerse yourself in the history of Helsinki – you will see the familiar buildings in a new light! 

Do you know which city centre building has housed the most glorious party ever held in Finland? Or which building was designed by an architect who suffered a tragic fate? Or which building’s ownership was included in the peace terms of the Second World War?

Citizens usually move around Helsinki city centre without taking a look around them – let alone looking at what’s above them.  Sponda’s walking tour offers you the opportunity to see the familiar city centre sites in a new light and take a peek at the history of your hometown. The historic buildings involve astonishing stories, magnificent architecture and heartbreaking fates.

The tour includes ten over 100-year-old historically significant buildings owned by Sponda. The length of the tour is approximately 2.6 kilometres, and the buildings will be explored from the outside. The tour begins from the Fennia building by Helsinki Railway Square and ends at an office building owned by Sponda on Korkeavuorenkatu.  You take the tour independently and in your own time, so you can also visit the buildings in the order of your choice.

How to start the tour?

  1. Pick a pair of shoes good for walking.
  2. Bring a phone that has a camera on it.
  3. Download the free tour map here. You can browse the map on your phone or print it out on paper in advance. 
  4. The first destination of the tour is the Fennia building located by the Helsinki central railway station.
  5. We invite you to take a picture of your favourite building or the most interesting detail you encounter during the tour.
  6. The final destination is an office building owned by Sponda on Korkeavuorenkatu.
  7. Share your favourite picture on social media with the hashtag #spondalegends

Sponda’s important role as a guardian of cultural heritage

According to Petteri Kummala, expert from the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Sponda and other significant city centre property owners play an important role in maintaining cultural history sites.

“For example, the historic, over hundred-year-old buildings owned by Sponda are quite rare nowadays, so they may be very unique. Therefore, it’s also important to appreciate and look after them,” Kummala says.

Pictured Petteri Kummala, expert from the Museum of Finnish Architecture, in front of the Fennia building.

According to Sponda’s Marketing and Brand Manager Anita Riikonen, the original architecture is always honoured when historically valuable properties are maintained and developed – and this work never ends. As an example, Riikonen mentions Sponda’s extensive 2020 project, in which the lobbies of 20 city centre buildings were modernised.

Ilkka-Antti Hyvärinen from Trium Architects, one of the two architecture agencies that designed the modernised lobbies, appreciates the manner in which Sponda led the project.

“Thanks to Sponda, we had the freedom to carry out the renovations purely on the terms of the buildings and their architecture. The project also involved painstaking, but ultimately invisible, conservation work, which is crucial for preserving the history and value of the properties. Such projects are a tribute to Helsinki as a city, its architecture and its people,” Hyvärinen concludes.