The statue of Alexander II is unveiled in Senate Square.
Pride of place in Helsinki’s most central location, Senate Square, is taken by the imposing statue of Emperor Alexander II. The Emperor is depicted giving a speech to the Parliament in 1863, bedecked in the uniform of a commissioned officer of the Finnish Guard that he always wore on visits to Finland.
The statue, which is the work of Walter Runeberg, became a channel for silent protest among the populace. Flowers were regularly placed at its base, and it became a favourite theme for posters, postcards, and framed portraits. The work was unveiled on the Emperor’s birthday, on 29 April 1894. The unveiling ceremony was attended and adorned with flowers by 300 representatives from across the country. Alexander II’s death on 13 March 1899 offered a new opportunity for protest.