The market square is the most prominent market in Helsinki and the most popular among tourists. It is located on the southern edge of Helsinki's historic centre, in the wig of Etelasatama Bay bordering the sea to the south, Pojojeslandi on the edge of the square to the north, Unioninkatu on the west and Esplanadi Park on the other side, and Linnanalta at the mouth of Katajanokka Canal to the east.
Until the early 19th century, the market square was the bottom of a dirty city bay with fishing piers. The bay was used as a marketplace for fishermen who were close to the berths and sold their fish to Helsinki residents. Around today's Pohjoisesplanadi was Eteläinen Rantakatu, behind which an urban settlement began. The real market square at that time was the Great Market Square, which was located on the site of today's Senate Square .
The Market Square was born in the early 19th century, when the centre of Helsinki was rebuilt into the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland. In the plan of Johan Albrecht Ehrenstrem's town, from 1812 the old Great Square was turned into a new monumental square, Senate Square, and a new market square was established on the place of former fishing pier. In order to build a wide market suitable for shipping, a lot of land had to be driven into the dirty and shallow bottoms of the bay. Three square ports were built on the square: on the east end there was a swimming pool for Viapori movement (now a swimming pool with a castle), on the west end there was a swimming pool for fishing boats (now a swimming pool with cholera), and on the south end there was a swimming pool for steamboats (now an Estonian swimming pool). In connection with the construction of the square was also excavated channel Katajanokka.
In the 1890s, the Katajanokka harbour was turned along the Kauppatori shore; therefore, the market was extended to the sea, and two swing bridges were built at its ends, allowing trains to cross the mouth of the cholera and Katajanokka canals. Rail traffic with Katajanokka was discontinued and the rails were dismantled in the 1980s.
In the middle of the market square is the Empress, an old public monument in Helsinki, which was erected in Nicholas I of the first visit of Empress Alexandra's wife to Helsinki in memory of 1835 . It was opened in 1835 on the site of the landing of the Emperor and Empress from her ship. The Empress' Stone, designed by CL Engel, is a red granite obelisk with a bronze globe on top and a double eagle of imperial Russia on top. Russian sailors threw the ball and Kotka down in the year of the revolution in 1917, but they were preserved and restored at the restored site in 1971.
On the western side of the square, next to the Unionkatu and Esplanadi Park, is the Havis Amanda Fountain (Villa Valgren, 1908), one of the most famous sculptures of Helsinki.
The market square is a favorite place for tourists. Ferries depart from the market to Suomenlinna and Korkeasaari and take sightseeing cruises through the Helsinki archipelago. There is also a berth on the M / S JL Runeberg ship in Porvoo . Above all, to the delight of tourists, the experiment with the evening market was also launched in the 1980s. In the first week of October, the traditional herring market opens in Kauppatori, whose history goes back to the 18th century and the time of fishing pier in the Gulf of Riga.
Major public events were also held on Market Square in honour of the World Ice Hockey Championship of the Finnish National Teams on 8 May 1995. In February 2006, two large television screens were installed on Market Square in honour of the Finnish-Swedish Olympic Ice Hockey Final in Turin, which was broadcast live all over the country. Even if Finland lost the match, the next evening a celebration in Kaappatori was held in honour of the lions with the silver lions. The event was also attended by members of the Finnish national team who did not play the NHL match the following night. On May 26, 2006, the market also hosted a major celebration of the Lord. In honor of the victory in the Eurovision Song Contest. The last event was attended by around 90,000 people, which is more than any other event held in Finland before. The event also set a world record for Finns in group karaoke.