Cultural Saturday

I wanted to do something fun and different on Saturday. As we both have the museum card, which provides free entrance to 250 museums I decided to plan the day’s activities around museums. The plan was to hop in the car and drive to some neighboring towns to check out a few museums and then have a bite to eat before heading home.

Our first stop was the Birthplace of Aleksis Kivi. Aleksis Kivi (Stenvall), Finland’s national writer was born in the village of Palojoki in Nurmijärvi on 10 October 1834. The house where Aleksis Kivi lived was built in 1824 by his father Erik Stenvall. The landscapes and people of Nurmijärvi had a profound impact on Kivi’s writing. The museum is furnished as a historic 19th century home and some of the objects currently displayed in the museum are originally from the Stenvall house. Right across the road from the museum is the Taaborinvuori Museum Area so we also popped up there. The museum area houses small rural dwellings of a farm worker, a crofter a cobbler and a blacksmith and depict everyday life of Nurmijärvi in the late 19th and early 20th century.

From Nurmijärvi, we headed to Järvenpää and the artist community that sprung around Lake Tuusula in the late 19th and early 20th century. First we drove along the lake and marveled at the beautiful old houses and then we headed to Ahola. This was the home of the author Juhani Aho and his wife, painter Venny Soldan-Brofeldt from 1897 to 1911.

Out final stop was Ainola, the home of the composer Jean Sibelius and his family from 1904 until the death of Jean in 1957 and Aino in 1969. The timber-built villa was designed by the renowned Finnish architect Lars Sonck. Jean Sibelius and his wife Aino are buried in the garden. Ainola is preserved as it was when Aino Sibelius died in 1969. Ainola comprises four hectares of forest and gardens.

Sauna at Ainola, designed by Aino Sibelius

We planned to have a late lunch in Järvenpää or Tuusula but as it started raining quite heavily as we left Ainola we changed our plan and decided to head back home and go check out restaurant Sandro at Ainoa. We were quite surprised to find that their brunch buffet was still served when we arrived (I could have checked that on their website but didn’t think to do that) and as it was still going on for another half an hour we opted to try it out. It was very nice. Next time we might want to go after 4 pm to get to test out their a’la carte menu.

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