Autumn park walk

Helsinki, 7 degrees


There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.

Psst..I'll take you on my afternoon walk with me. Come join me, to the beautiful setting of Töölö, Helsinki in early November...

Starting with a statue in the beautiful Sibelius Park...


...a statue taken straight from our national epic Kalevala "Ilmatar and the Scaup".  

Here's the story behind the sculpture, borrowed from the Helsinki City Art Museum: "In 1939 the Leo and Regina Wainstain foundation organized a competition for a sculpture with a Kalevala theme to be erected in Helsinki. The competition was won by Aarre Aaltonen's entry "Ilmatar and the Scaup", and it was decided that the bronze piece would be placed in what is today known as the Sibelius Park. The piece was unveiled in 1946.

The sculpture's subject is Kalevala's creation myth. Ilmatar, the spirit or goddess of the air is impregnated by a storm and expects Väinämöinen (the symbol of Kalevala's epic). She drifts in the sea for 700 years until a scaup settles on her knee, mistaking it for an islet, and lays seven eggs which she then begins to brood. The heat from the brooding makes Ilmatar move her leg and the eggs break, becoming the earth, sky, sun, moon, etc. Aaltonen's work is an interesting amalgamation of international Art-Deco-inspired forms and a national epic subject. The figure in the sculpture is evocative of the interpretations of the Classical myth of Leda and the swan portrayed in painting and sculpture.

The sculpture's pedestal is of red Vehmaa granite. It contains an inscribed quote "Tuuli neittä tuuitteli..." from the beginning of Kalevala, recounting the myth of Ilmatar and the scaup."



 Followed by stunning early sunset...


...leading to the famous landmark of Helsinki - the Sibelius monument, made for our national composer Jean Sibelius. It might be a public holiday in Helsinki, but foreign visitors always find our stunning city!

Here is the story behind this breathtaking monument, again borrowed by the Helsinki City Art Museum: "Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is the most notable composer in the history of Finnish music and one of the most influential men in Finnish culture. The core of his work is formed by his symphonies and symphonic poems which extend from Karelianism and National Romanticism to tonal experiments. He earned international interest already in the 1920s.

A two-staged competition was arranged by the Sibelius Society, founded in 1957, for a memorial to the composer. The second stage was taken by Eila Hiltunen's entry 'Passio Musicae'.
The competition gained immense publicity; the conflict between the supporters of abstract and figurative art was in the air, but it was solved by adding Sibelius' bust to Hiltunen's work. The work is made unique by its spatial diversity of the work, allowing the viewer to enter it, and the echoes and sounds generated by the structure. Viewed from further away, its form blends in with the woods and rugged rocks.

Eila Hiltunen's work started to become more abstract in the late 1950s. Simplification appeared side by side with a strong expressiveness. The rugged expressiveness of her works was influenced by the welding technique which Eila Hiltunen had pioneered in Finnish sculpture. The monument is a visual expression of the way Sibelius' music depicts nature and it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions of the City. 


The Sibelius Monument was inaugurated on 7th September 1967. It is one of Helsinki's best known and loved tourist attractions. The work is made of acid-resistant steel and measures 8,5 m high, 10,5m in length, and 6,5m in depth. It consists of over 600 tubes and weighs 24 tonnes.

A smaller version of the monument is situated in the Unesco headquarters in Paris and sculptural details of the work are located in the yard of the United Nations headquarters in New York. A sculpture of 6,5 meters high representing part of the monument was shown at the World Exhibition in Montreal in 1967 for the Exhibition Pavillion of Finland. On this occasion, the Finnish State donated the work to the City of Montreal."

 

Without forgetting one of Helsinki's most well-known cafés Café Regatta, open almost round-the-year...


...or the splendid autumn colors of Helsinki...


...finishing with a claim I'll sign any day: Kaupunki on kiva paikka - the city is a nice place! Written by children next to a playground in the Hesperia Park, the park in front of our apartment building! What a wonderful place to live in!

8 comments

  1. Beautiful Autumn inspiration!
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  2. Grazie Stella per il tuo commento!

    xxx
    E

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  3. Thank you Shannon, believe me, in Helsinki all seasons are so pretty! <3 I'm already waiting for some winter landscapes to come..it won't feel like Christmas next month without snow...

    xxx
    E

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  4. I love Helsinki now! beautiful pictures :)

    and your lashes are amazing!! x

    The Beautiful Mind | Blogspot

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  5. ilovetrina, thank you for your kind words!

    xxx
    E

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  6. Thank you Ellen, Erin and Tara for your comment! :)

    xxx
    E

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