Market Square / Kauppatori
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This cache takes you to the central market square of Helsinki. Watch out for muggles!
Winter in Helsinki, photographed by the cache owner.
The Market Square (Kauppatori in Finnish, Salutorget in Swedish) is a central square in Helsinki, Finland, and one of the most famous market places and tourist attractions in the city.
The Market Square is located near the centre of Helsinki, at the eastern end of Esplanadi and bordering the Baltic Sea to the south and Katajanokka to the east. The Helsinki City Transport maintains an all-year-round ferry link from the Market Square to Suomenlinna, and in the summer there are also private companies providing ferry cruises, both to Suomenlinna and other nearby islands.
From spring to autumn, the Market Square is bustling with activity with vendors selling fresh Finnish food and souvenirs. There are also many outdoor cafés at the square.
The height of the square's popularity is in early October when the annual Helsinki herring market ("silakkamarkkinat" in Finnish) begins.
Old Market Hall ("Wanha Kauppahalli" in Finnish) is located beside Market Square and it is home to some thirty specialist shops. The offerings include cheeses, coffee beans, seafood and sweets. A great souvenir idea is, for example, to select something from the wide variety of tinned foods.
The Cholera Basin
The Cholera basin (Finnish: Kolera-allas) is the established name for the western harbour basin in front of the Market Square in Helsinki, Finland.
The harbour basins were built in the early 19th century. At that time, the Market Square area consisted of the muddy Kaupunginlahti bay. Its shores had many shore huts and small piers. Where the edge of the Market Square is now was the Eteläinen Rantakatu street.
As the city developed, the harbour needed a continuous pier. The shore was low, and this allowed the shoreline to be moved outwards by filling the shore. The work took years. For small steam ships, rowing and sailing ships, three basins were built. At the northwestern corner was built the so-called Fish basin (Kala-allas). In the city documents, the name of the basin was Stadfiskarens båthamn, meaning city fishers' boat habour, Fiskarhamnen meaning fishers' harbour.
In 1893, a shipsman from Nauvo who had come to the herring market died of cholera on his ship. Later it was found out that the excrement and vomit of the sick man had been dumped into the harbour basin. As a safety precaution, the herring ships were towed away from the harbour, and guards were briefly posted at the shore, because it was feared that the citizens might start to use the contaminated water. After the incident, the colloquial name of the basin was established as Kolerabassängen - the Cholera basin.
In the 19th century, the water in the Fisher's harbour and in the entire Eteläsatama ("South Harbour") area was still contaminated by sewers. Rats infested the harbour. On the northern shore of Katajanokka, there was a sewage pier, also bringing dirt and stench. The products of outdoor toilets were loaded onto barges there, where they were taken to the countryside to be used as manure.
The cache is placed near the eastern basin. The area is full of geo-mugglers, so please be very careful when retrieving the container. You should look for a one litre Lock'n Lock type plastic container, magnetically attached. There's room for geocoins and light travellers. In fact, there is one Finnish Flag geocoin permanently attached to the box which you can discover while visiting the cache! Happy hunting, and enjoy your stay in Helsinki!
Sources: Wikipedia, Helsinki City Tourist Information and cache owner.
For more info about Helsinki, visit:
Helsinki in Wikipedia
Visithelsinki.fi – Official City of Helsinki Tourism Website
Helsinki City Portal