Famous for modern architecture, Finland drew inspiration from its pioneers of modernism 1930–55. Particularly in Helsinki these masterpieces articulated a youthful and vigorous city, complementing the archipelago’s historic centre. Finland sprang to the world’s attention in art and design. In the figure of Alvar Aalto and other dynamic architects, the nation was seen as an international leader for modern architecture. Spurred by the Olympic Games in 1952, architectural competitions, international fairs and travel, Helsinki’s iconic buildings are a joy to discover either on foot or by tram.