Finland is often referred to as the country where east meets west. This is due to the geographical location as well as Finland's shared history with its two neighbors Sweden and Russia. And still today both of those countries not only play a role in Finnish politic. They have influenced especially the look of Finland's capital Helsinki.
Quite often you can find remarks or landmarks connected to one of the two. In one spot in town you can even spot both at the same time. And that is at Kauppatori.
As one of the first statues the Stone of the Empress was erected here. It was built in honor of the Russian emperor Nicholas I and his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna arrived here when they visited the city in 1833. The engravings are in Latin and translated mean "To the Empress Alexandra on the occasion of Her first visit to the Finnish capital XXIX May X June MDCCCXXXIII". On top of the statue you can see the Russian two-headed eagle who was removed in 1918 when Finland got its independence but was put back in 1971.
Right behind the statue you see the Embassy of Sweden. It was originally built in 1839 and only in the 1920s turned into an embassy. The Swedish architect Torben Grut has the building undergo some heavy changes and designed it to look like the Stockholm palace. The big Swedish flag on top of the building still sometimes makes some cruise ship tourists wonder which city and country they just arrived to.