Vironniemi is a district of Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, forming the core part of the city centre, thus also the central location of the Finnish governmental and financial decision making, and the location of Helsinki's most important churches. Vironniemi is the location of the Presidential Palace
Presidential Palace, Helsinki
The Presidential Palace in Helsinki , is one of the official residences in Helsinki of the President of the Republic of Finland. It is situated on the north side of Esplanadi, overlooking Market Square.-Origins and early history:...

, the Palace of the Finnish Council of State, the Senate Square
Senate Square
The Senate Square can refer to several squares depending on the city:* Helsinki Senate Square, a square in Helsinki, Finland* The Saint Petersburg Senate Square, a square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, formerly known as Decembrists Square...

, the Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St...

, the Uspenski Cathedral and the main office of the Bank of Finland
Bank of Finland
The Bank of Finland is the central bank of Finland. It is the fourth oldest central bank in the world.-History:The Bank of Finland was established on 1 March in 1812 in the city of Turku by Alexander I of Russia. In 1819 it was relocated to Helsinki...


Other important sites in the district include the main building of the University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available...

, the Helsinki City Hall, the Helsinki Central railway station
Helsinki Central railway station
Helsinki Central railway station is a widely recognised landmark in central Helsinki, Finland, and the focal point of public transport in the Greater Helsinki area. The station is used by approximately 200,000 passengers per day, making it Finland's most-visited building...

 and the Helsinki main post office. Many bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

s and corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s have their headquarters in Vironniemi, and the Sokos
Sokos is a chain of department stores in Finland that is part of the S-Group. It should not be confused with the hotel chain, Sokos Hotels.- Department stores :* Espoo * Helsinki* Helsinki * Hämeenlinna* Joensuu* Jyväskylä...

 and Stockmann
Stockmann, Helsinki centre
The Stockmann department store is a culturally significant business building and department store located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. It is one of many department stores owned by the Stockmann corporation. Annually, about 17 million customers visit the store and it is thus the largest...

 department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

s and Sanomatalo, the main office of Helsingin Sanomat
Helsingin Sanomat
Helsingin Sanomat is the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries, owned by Sanoma. Except after certain holidays, it is published daily. In 2008, its daily circulation was 412,421 on weekdays and 468,505 on Sundays...

, Finland's largest newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

, are also found there. A part of the core of Finland's cultural life is also found here: the National Library of Finland
National Library of Finland
The National Library of Finland is the foremost research library in Finland. Administratively the library is part of the University of Helsinki. Until 1 August 2006, it was known as the Helsinki University Library....

, the Finnish National Theatre
Finnish National Theatre
The Finnish National Theatre , founded in 1872 in the city of Pori, is located in central Helsinki on the northern side of the Helsinki Central Railway Station Square. It is the world's oldest theatre with performances in Finnish...

, Ateneum
The Ateneum is a major museum in Finland. It is located in the centre of Helsinki at the Rautatientori square opposite Helsinki Central Railway Station. It has the biggest collections of classical art in Finland. Previously the Ateneum building also housed the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and...

 and Kiasma
Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki, Finland. Its name kiasma, Finnish for chiasma, alludes to the basic conceptual idea of its architect, Steven Holl. The museum exhibits the contemporary art collection of the Finnish National Gallery founded in 1990...

. The Helsinki Music House is being constructed in the area.


Originally, a narrow bay called Kluuvinlahti extended south of Töölönlahti, reaching the site of present-day Esplanadi
In the heart of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, the two streets constituting Esplanadi are officially named Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplanadi...

. At that time, the name Vironniemi meant the area eastwards of the bay mentioned above.

The birth of the Helsinki centre today dates back to 1640. At that time, the city centre was moved to Vironniemi from its birthplace at the mouth of the Vantaa river
Vantaa River
The Vantaa River is a long river in Southern Finland. The river starts from the lake in Hausjärvi and flows into the Gulf of Finland at in Helsinki...

, the location of the present-day district of Vanhakaupunki
Vanhakaupunki is a neighbourhood of the city of Helsinki, Finland, to the north of Toukola. The district's name is because Helsinki was originally founded at the Vanhakaupunki area. Vanhakaupunki even appears in the new Helsinki foundation document from 1639, and the forms Gamla staden or...


The city grew and developed. It can still be seen: Old buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th century form about a quarter of the buildings currently in the district. Still in the 1850s, construction of the city was mainly focused in the Vironniemi area and south of it.

When the Kluuvinlahti bay was gradually filled in the 19th century, the name Vironniemi was disused in all except historical contexts. Only in the 1980s the name was restored, as the name of the main district, when division of the city into main districts was established.

Districts and neighbouring districts of Vironniemi

The main district of Vironniemi is divided into three individual districts: Kruununhaka
Kruununhaka is a neighbourhood of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.Kruununhaka became the area next to the harbour and the center, when Helsinki was moved from the earlier location in the mid-1660s...

, Kluuvi
Kluuvi is the commercial centre of Helsinki, Finland, and a neighbourhood in the Vironniemi district of Helsinki. The Helsinki Central railway station, the Helsinki main post office, the Stockmann and Sokos department stores, the Kluuvi shopping centre and the main offices of Finnish banks are...

 and Katajanokka
Katajanokka is a neighbourhood of Helsinki, Finland, with around 4000 inhabitants in 2005. The district is located adjacent to the immediate downtown area, though in the first major town plan for Helsinki from the mid-18th century, the area fell outside the fortifications planned to encircle the...


Neighbouring districts include Kaartinkaupunki
Kaartinkaupunki is a neighbourhood in the southern part of Helsinki, Finland.Kaartinkaupunki consists of the area between the Esplanadi park and the Tähtitornin vuori park. Its area was first confirmed in 1812, but the neighbourhood was only named in 1959. It is neighbourhood number 3 in Helsinki,...

 in the Ullanlinna
' is the southern-most city district of Helsinki, in Finland. The name Ullanlinna refers to the fortification line that was built at the southern edge of the area during the 18th century , as part of the town fortifications, which also included the fortress of . The name refers to the Swedish...

 main district to the south, Kamppi
Kamppi is a neighbourhood in the centre of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The name originally referred to a small area known as the "Kamppi field" , but according to the current official designation, "Kamppi" encompasses a much larger area with a population of 10,000 in 2004.The heart of Kamppi...

 and Etu-Töölö in the Kampinmalmi
Kampinmalmi is a district in southern Helsinki, Finland. It consists of five neighbourhoods: Etu-Töölö, Lapinlahti, Kamppi, Ruoholahti and Jätkäsaari....

 main district to the west, Siltasaari
Siltasaari , Broholmen is a central neighborhood of Helsinki, Finland....

 across the Pitkäsilta bridge in the Kallio
Kallio is a district and a neighbourhood in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, located on the eastern side of the Helsinki peninsula about one kilometere north from the city centre. It is one of the most densely populated areas in Finland...

 main district to the north, and Sörnäinen
Sörnäinen is a neighbourhood in the city of Helsinki, Finland.Sörnäinen is located a little more than one kilometre north from the coastal centre of Helsinki, near the district of Hakaniemi. The east side of Sörnäinen borders the sea....

 to the east of the aforementioned district across the more eastern Hakaniemi bridge.

Office and home to thousands

Vironniemi is a very important employer (35040 offices, as of 31 December 2003) and also the home of 11242 Helsinkians (as of early 2005). Over 80% of the district's apartments have been built before 1960, and a little over 10% in the 1980s, when production of new apartments was being directed towards Katajanokka.

The education level of the inhabitants of the district is the highest of all main districts in the city - 36.4% of the inhabitants have a university degree. 10.6% of the district's inhabitants are native Swedish-speaking (as of 1 January 2005), which is clearly higher than the city average. The unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 rate is very low and the income level is above average.

Traffic connections in the district are excellent. Vironniemi is the endpoint or transit point of many tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

, bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

, train
A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...

 and ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 routes. Two of the stations of the Helsinki metro
Helsinki Metro
The Helsinki Metro , is the metro system in Helsinki, Finland. It is the World's most northern metro system, and currently the only one in Finland. The system was opened to the general public on 2 August 1982 after 27 years of planning...

 - the Rautatientori metro station
Rautatientori metro station
Rautatientori metro station or Central railway station metro station is a station on the Helsinki Metro in Finland. The entrance is located in the Asematunneli main hall, which has an exit to the Helsinki Central Railway Station. It is the only Helsinki Metro station whose name is announced also...

 and the Kaisaniemi metro station
Kaisaniemi metro station
Kaisaniemi or Kajsaniemi is a station on the Helsinki Metro. It serves the central Helsinki district of Kaisaniemi. It is the only station whose name is announced in only one language: whether this is Finnish or Swedish is unknown and irrelevant, because the Finnish 'Kaisaniemi' and the Swedish...

are located in the area. Traffic routes - streets, the rail yard and the piers - have taken up about 45% of the land area of the core of the city centre.

External links

Vironniemi as seen from a satellite
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