Guided tours in Jyväskylä

”Central Finland is often reminiscent of Toscana, the home of cities built on hills, and that provides a small clue about how classically beautifully this province could be built”, wrote Alvar Aalto almost a hundred years ago.

A deep interest in both the historical Latin cultural heritage and the demands of modern society was an enduring feature of Alvar Aalto’s thinking and work. Aalto always had a trip to Italy in mind – the trip he had once made or the journey he was in the process of planning. For him Italy represented something characterised by a sympathetic design world of human dimensions.

Now it is possible to explore the Jyväskylä Region’s fabulous scenery, enjoy the essence of Central Finland, and discover both its cities on hills and Aalto’s human-scale architecture on a variety of guided tours inspired by Italy and the master architect himself.

Ankkapurha past and present – an industrial community by the river Kymi in Kouvola

The tour starts off from the grounds of the Anjala Manor House, from the Makasiinikahvila café, and runs via the manor house milieu across the Ankkapurha rapids over to the Tehtaanmäki area presenting design by Alvar Aalto.

The Anjala Manor was built on the estate of the Wrede family. Finland was then a part of Sweden, and the family received the estate as a donation from King Charles IX of Sweden. Henrik Wrede from Livonia saved the life of the king, dying himself in the battle of Kircholm in 1605.

The history of the manor goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The present main building representing neoclassicism dates from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

From the Anjala Manor House, we will move on in time and across the river to the Tehtaanmäki area with buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. The manor is associated with the history of Finland, with the era of manor houses and the first notions of Finnish independence. The Tehtaanmäki area emerged as a result of the period of rapid growth in the Finnish wood-processing industry in the 1870s. The area has expanded and transformed subsequently. In the 1930s the paper industry gained a more prominent position, and the everyday life and housing conditions of the workers gained new kind of attention.

Alvar Aalto was hired in the 1930s to design the Anjala Paper Mill and homes for the mill workers. A new type of working-class world was created: verdant and communal area built near the river, providing a setting for housing, school, interests and work. The houses designed by Aalto and the entire area are still used for their original purpose. These stages of life are the venue for living, playing tennis and working.

The tour participants can get to know buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, and the tour also includes an indoor attraction.

The tour will finish by lunch in the manor house milieu at restaurant Ankkapurhan Helmi.