Mariankatu, which goes through the Market Square, connects the most prominent public and religious buildings in the city, creating a unique urban axis. The ceremonial avenue is
based on the 1878 grid plan by county architect Alfred Caween.

The two buildings both bookended by towers are designed by the two internationally most renowned architects in Finland.

The Church of the Cross (Ristinkirkko) completed in 1978, designed by Alvar Aalto, is situated at the north end of
the avenue on a hill. At the south end of theavenue, also on a hill, lies the City Hall (Kaupungintalo) from 1912, a masterpiece of Eliel Saarinen.