In the heart of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, the two streets constituting Esplanadi (Swedish: Esplanaden) are officially named Pohjoisesplanadi (Finnish for North Esplanade, Swedish: Norra Esplanaden) and Eteläesplanadi (Finnish for South Esplanade, Swedish: Södra Esplanaden). They lead from Erottaja Square to the Market Square (Kauppatori), and the North Esplanade extends along the border of the Market Square up to the Katajanokka Channel. Parallel to Pohjoisesplanadi, a little northwards, is Aleksanterinkatu. Esplanadi is colloquially called "Espa".
The big green area between the two streets is very active in summer, where many Finns come to have a picnic. There are also numerous live music performances on a special outdoor stage in front of Cafe Kappeli. There is a statue of Johan Ludwig Runeberg by his son Walter Runeberg in the park. The park was originally opened in 1812.
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