The Presidential Palace is located in the center of Helsinki, on Kauppatori Square (Market Square). This magnificent building in Classicism style is decorated with three arches, the gallery and attic. There is the monument to Emperor Alexander II in front of the palace.
The palace was built in 1818 to design by architect Per Granshtedt as a private mansion, but later it was bought by the state. . In 1843 it was rebuilt to the project by Carl Ludwig Engel, and since that time it served as the residence for the Finnish Grand Dukes - the Russian emperors. During the First World War it served as a military hospital, and while the Russian Revolution raged the building was the headquarters of the revolutionary council of the soldiers and workers. In the Civil War of 1917-18 it housed first the general staff of the German expeditionary force and later the Finnish "White" troops, and in the earliest years of Finland's independence, part of the building was handed over to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Since 1919 the palace became the official place of residence for the presidents of independent Finland. In 1993 the residence was moved to the new place - Mjantuniemi. Today the Finnish President's Palace is the place for the official events and ceremonials, State visits and for the annual Independence Day Gala Reception on December 6th. In the yard the post of the Finnish Guards is located as many years ago and visitors can observe the relief of the guard from Kauppatori Square. When the president visits the palace, the national flag is traditionally raised above the palace.