Planned names – Kruununhaka / Kronohagen in Helsinki
From a pasture of the horses owned by the Swedish Crown to Kruununhaka
The name Kruununhaka / Kronohagen
“the Crown’s Pasture” was given to a quarter of Helsinki in the 19th
century. The Swedish-language name Kronohagen had already been in use at
least since the 1750s. It was born spontaneously to designate a
grazing land of horses owned by the army of the Kingdom of Sweden, i.e.
“the Swedish Crown”. It is in Kruununhaka where the oldest official
street names still in use in Helsinki, fi Unioninkatu / sv Unionsgatan “Union Street” and fi Liisankatu / sv Elisabetsgatan “Elizabeth’s
Street”, are found. The Swedish names Unionsgatan and Elisabetsgatan
were given in 1819, in connection with the visit of Russian Emperor
Alexander I to Helsinki. A bit later the streets were given their
Finnish names. Elisabetinkatu, i.e. Liisankatu “Elizabeth’s Street” was named after Empress Elizabeth, the wife of Alexander I.
Commemorative names in Kruununhaka
Kruununhaka has a large number of commemorative names, i.e. names that have been given to specifically honour or commemorate a person. The street names Helenankatu – Helenegatan ’Helen’s Street’, Kristianinkatu – Kristiansgatan ’Christian’s Street’, Mariankatu – Mariegatan ’Maria’s Street’ and Sofiankatu – Sofiegatan ’Sophie’s Street’ date from the 19th century. Nikolainkatu – Nikolaigatan ’Nicholas’ Street’ (comes from its location close to Nicholas Church; the name of the church referred to the Russian Czar I and Saint Nicholas) was renamed as Snellmaninkatu – Snellmansgatan ’Snellman’s Street’ in 1928, after the Finnish statesman and national philosopher J. V. Snellman.
Occasionally there are no records of the people the names were meant to commemorate. It has been thought that the name Katariinankatu – Katrinegatan (Catherine Gatan 1820) ’Catherine’s Street’ was given to commemorate either the Russian Czarina Catherine II, or the mother or spouse, both called Catherine, of Councillor of State J.A. Ehrenström, who was involved in the naming process of the street names in Helsinki.
Names can also be given to commemorate events. For example, in many Finnish towns, we find streets called Rauhankatu ’Peace Street’. In Helsinki, Rauhankatu – Fredsgatan ’Peace Street’ was given to commemorate the 1809 Treaty of Hamina; the name was given later in the 19th century.
There are also cases where places have been named after companies and associations. For example Kirjatyöntekijänkatu – Bokarbetaregatan
(1945) ’Printing Industry Workers’ Street’ was named after the printing
industry employees’ union premises located in the street.