Helsinki (Helsingfors) in the mirror of imperial St. Petersburg

Helsinki (Helsingfors) in the mirror of imperial St. Petersburg

Marjatta Rahikainen
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This essay discusses three aspects related to the likeness between Helsinki and St Petersburg. Firstly, the centre of early 19th-century Helsinki became to look like miniature St Petersburg because its architect C.L. Engel admired the neoclassical architecture in St Petersburg. Secondly, Helsinki (Helsingfors in Swedish) suited the role Bely gave it in ‘Petersburg’ novel (1916) as it had the name familiar to his readers, and in 1905 the name was more modern that St. Petersburg. Thirdly, Cold War films with Helsinki as Petrograd/Leningrad and Moscow show that the line between the factual and fictional may get lost.
Marjatta Rahikainen
Dr., Docent of Social History
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
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Carl Engel, Yakov Grot, Faddei Bulgarin, Elizabeth Rigby, Xavier Marmier, Louis Léouzon Le Duc, Andrei Bely, the Empire style, well-planned cities, travelogues
For citation:
Rahikainen M. Helsinki (Helsingfors) in the mirror of imperial St. Petersburg. Historia provinciae – the journal of regional history, 2017, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 54–71. DOI: 10.23859/2587-8352-2017-1-1-4

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