Porvoo, Finland

A Medieval and Winter Finland

Helmi coffee
Strange Freezing Mail
Artillery 1
“VR SUOMI 22375”
multicolor architecture
Blessed Casario I
Multicolor Architecture II
Blessed Casario II
In front of the Cathedral
Last Supper
A Frozen Composition
Day Chat
Mail to the Sun
The Slow Thaw
The Old Warehouses
Beautiful and Yellow Street
The Jokikatu Street
providential sweeping
figures of the city
One of the oldest settlements of the Suomi nation, in the early XNUMXth century, Porvoo was a busy riverside post and its third city. Over time, Porvoo lost commercial importance. In return, it has become one of Finland's revered historic strongholds.  

It's already April. Down in the south of Europe, a few days provide long-awaited bathing recreations.

At latitude 60º of Porvoo, an hour's drive northeast of the capital Helsinki, the sun remains trapped above clouds laden with snow.

The river Porvoo that bathes and baptized the city flows under a compact blanket of ice.

It is broken by two mere zones in which some phenomenon generates surface ponds and a faithful mirror of the houses above.

Porvoo, the village, stretches along the hillside in an assortment of garish tones from which diminished and filtered sunlight only removes some of the brightness.

We wandered through the alleys, frozen like the weather, in search of a high and prominent point that would reveal a worthy panorama.

On this mission, we diverged into the coniferous forest that fills much of Finland and which, accordingly, surrounds the village.

From time to time, the overburdened leaves of pine, fir and birch trees trap them with snow showers. They help us wake up to the day that, at that time, promises to resist winter.

Porvoo: the Multicolored House blessed by a Bilingual Cathedral

Finally, the trail reveals an opening in the trees. From there, unlike the riverside Porvoo where red predominates, the buildings are displayed in yellowish and greenish pastel tones.

Porvoo is religious. In true Christian fashion, its A-shaped church stands out, well above the urban plan and the less steep roofs of the faithful.

Deprived of the former mercantile role, Porvoo retains its religious merit. That same abrupt and ancient cathedral (XNUMXth century) that we admired preserves a double function.

The diocese of Borga is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which brings together thousands of Finnish faithful who speak Swedish.

As an example, Borga (castle over the river) is the Swedish term that, as a result of historical contingencies, the nearly 30% of Swedish-speaking residents use instead of Porvoo.

The parish of Finnish-speaking believers, part of the Diocese of Helsinki, uses the same cathedral for masses and other religious services.

As we pass in front of its façade, a courageous group of believers rehearse for something different.

A Freezing Rehearsal for Holy Week

Holy Week is approaching. Despite the crushing cold, actors and extras recreate the Crucifixion and previous scenes of the Way of the cross.

Out of respect for the narrative, the actor playing Jesus Christ wears little more than a tunic. He slips into a winter jacket and warms up each time the rehearsal is paused for repairs and corrections.

A few errant snowflakes that fall on his hair and face betray historical reality and aggravate the punishment that, it seems to us, is far from over.

A few days later, dozens of re-enactments of the Way of the cross were to unfold in the four Christian corners of Finland. Starting with held in front of the Helsinki Cathedral.

Porvoo too would have its own.

Even without the architectural grandeur of the capital's great temple, it is sought after by thousands of outsiders who consider it more picturesque and prefer it for the beauty of the surrounding scenery, made up of houses and warehouses from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries and a resplendent nature.

Laivos de Sol and a Porvoo that Shines Double

A flock of crows rises from nearby bare trees. It flutters around the cathedral and the village. It splashes the purplish sky with black and reaffirms itself in a domain that has long been its own. Remind us to resume the tour.

With the morning halfway through, the almost scorching sun is finally starting to make its way through the clouds. It melts the ice that resists on the sidewalks and reduces the risk of falling latent in every street, alley and slope.

When feeling the traces of sunlight on the facades and through the windows, the residents of Porvoo are encouraged to go out. Some sweep snow still white in front of their homes.

Others make up the facades, shop windows and signs of the numerous establishments geared towards tourism that dot the village.

A Glorious Mercantile Past

Located on the homonymous river and, at the same time, in the vicinity of Stensbole Bay and the Gulf of Finland, Porvoo soon became a key trading post.

Its people preserve the same historical aptitude for business, now adapted to the demand and offer renewed by visitors.

Porvoo began to emerge, registered as a city, during the XNUMXth century. Before that, still dominated by the Tavastian tribe, German merchants flocked there, probably members of the Hanseatic League that would expand to other parts of northern Europe, including the distant Norwegian city of Bergen.

Germans were landing at Porvoo in increasing numbers.

In such a way that the original center of the village became known as Germany, “the place of the Germans”.


The Swedish Era of Porvoo. followed by Russian

At the time, the Swedes were expanding their territory greatly at the expense of native and pagan peoples in and around present-day Scandinavia.

After a second crusade instigated by the Catholic Church, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, they finally took Porvoo from the Tavastians.

They promoted the colonization of the region by farmers from the heart of Sweden and who they attracted with the offer of land, cattle, seeds and exemption from taxes due to the Crown.

Porvoo has developed to proportions comparable only to Turku and Ulvila. Fast forward to the XNUMXth century.

Russia took Viborg from Sweden. Viborg's episcopal see moved to Porvoo. The number of religious and believers who accompanied the bishops made Porvoo the second largest city in Finland today.

As often happened in those days, the city was growing and evolving at a good pace when an uncontrollable fire destroyed almost two thirds of the buildings.

Had it not been for this catastrophe, the houses of Porvoo that so enchant those who admire it could be much older.

We crossed it again along Jokikatu, one of the local pedestrian streets, two or three parallel, full of cafes, handicraft stores, antique shops, restaurants and the like.

The intermittent solar caress encourages a couple to settle down, over-wrapped, on a newly opened terrace.

Those same unexpected streaks of light convince us to go down to the riverside, cross the bridge and appreciate Porvoo with the blessing of the great star.

Along the way, clouds faster than our past, kidnap and release the solar flare again.

From the middle of the Uusi bridge, we are faced with the front of centuries-old warehouses where merchants kept the products traded there, a uniform red that clashes both with the surrounding whiteness and with the increasingly uncovered, azure blue.

Over the centuries, butter, wood, dried fish, fabrics and also the providential tar were stored and sold there.

Today, almost all cafes and ravinolas (restaurants) renowned, rewrite, with refinement, the past of loading and unloading, boarding and disembarking, for ships coming from other parts of the Gulf of Finland.

At the time, in the east-south of the Gulf, Saint Petersburg continued to emulate Paris, in line with the expansionist desires of the increasingly menacing russian empire.

As feared, in 1808, the Russians conquered the territory of Finland from the Swedish Empire.

In this historic and political shuffle, Porvoo hosted a Diet (legislative assembly) that dragged on for four months and whose main result was the declaration by Tsar Alexander I that Finland would assume the status of an autonomous Grand Duchy.

The Contribution to Finland's Passage from Autonomy to Independence

Even devoid of such intention, this decision became the predecessor of Finland's independence, which, however, would only arrive more than a century later, shortly before the end of the 1st World War.

One of the maxims of Finnish national consciousness, with significant growth in Porvoo, was the so-called Fenomman motto:

“We are no longer Swedes,

 Russians we cannot become

 As such, we will have to be Finnish.”

In Porvoo, at a time of imminent NATO membership, with its back turned to the East, little or nothing remains of submission to Russia.

Swedish is spoken as much or more than in other western Suomi regions.

Old Porvoo remains as Finnish as Finland can dazzle.

Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
Helsinki, Finland

The Pagan Passover of Seurasaari

In Helsinki, Holy Saturday is also celebrated in a Gentile way. Hundreds of families gather on an offshore island, around lit fires to chase away evil spirits, witches and trolls
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.
Kemi, Finland

It is No "Love Boat". Icebreaker since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Hailuoto Island, Finland

Fishing for Truly Fresh Fish

Sheltered from unwanted social pressures, the islanders of Hailuoto they know how to sustain themselves. Under the icy sea of ​​Bothnia they capture precious ingredients for the restaurants of Oulu, in mainland Finland.
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
Helsinki, Finland

The Baltic Daughter Suomi

Several cities grew, emancipated and prospered on the shores of this northern inland sea. Helsinki there stood out as the monumental capital of the young Finnish nation.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
Vittoriosa, Birgu, Malta, Waterfront, Marina
Birgu, Malta

To the Conquest of the Victorious City

Vittoriosa is the oldest of the Three Cities of Malta, headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller and, from 1530 to 1571, its capital. The resistance he offered to the Ottomans in the Great Siege of Malta kept the island Christian. Even if, later, Valletta took over the administrative and political role, the old Birgu shines with historic glory.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Ulugh Beg, Astronomer, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, A Space Marriage
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.
Roça Sundy, Príncipe Island, Theory of Relativity, Lookout
Roca Sundy, Príncipe Island, São Tomé and Principe

The Certainty of Relativity

In 1919, Arthur Eddington, a British astrophysicist, chose the Roça Sundy to prove Albert Einstein's famous theory. More than a century later, the island of Príncipe that welcomed him is still among the most stunning places in the Universe.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Mangrove between Ibo and Quirimba Island-Mozambique
Natural Parks
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

For centuries, the natives have traveled in and out of the mangrove between the island of Ibo and Quirimba, in the time that the overwhelming return trip from the Indian Ocean grants them. Discovering the region, intrigued by the eccentricity of the route, we follow its amphibious steps.
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
UNESCO World Heritage
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.