Visit a cemetery in Finland
Visiting a cemetery is a unique experience in any country and Finland is no different. Welcome to Northern Europe!
It is cold here, and the day is short. The sun goes down early and at evening, most streets are empty. You will only see a couple of people walking around, in a hurry to get home or to a bar. Bars have their terraces open and they are rather agglomerated, despite the chilly weather. And the people are wearing t-shirts. Brrr. Well, they are used to the cold. But if you’re not, pack winter clothes. And welcome to the north of Europe!
What can you do here? You could visit the museums and the churches in Helsinki or Porvoo and admire the mountains and the lakes. But we suggest something different – visit the Hietaniemi cemetery (Sandudds begravningsplats). Why, oh, why? You might ask. Well because visiting a cemetery is a unique experience. In fact, I suggest visiting the cemeteries in more foreign places you get to go.
Let’s face it – the large majority of the greatest men the earth has produced are dead. And in most cases, the remains of the people who made a difference lay in cemeteries. Visiting then these sad places will allow you to see which great personality was buried there. In the Hietaniemi cemetery for instance lay six former Finnish Presidents and over 100 artists, including musicians, academicians, actors or architects. Some foreign personalities are also buried here – will not however tell you which.
Visiting the cemetery does another thing – it tells you a lot about the city by showing you how it treats its ancestors.