What significance does art, architecture and design have for Finland and its people? What is the relationship between art, architecture and design and the forest industry, the traditional lifeline of the Finnish economy? How close to nature is it possible for Finnish architecture and design to get?
The Alvar and Gösta tour offers, on a human scale, a unique insight into the Finnish way of living in close relationship with nature. The tour offers unforgettable experiences for fans of culture and those who would like to learn more about the Finnish way of life in the midst of the most beautiful Central Finland landscapes, where lakes, rivers and forests are ever present.
On the first day you will start from beautiful lakeside town Mänttä, and learn the history of the forest industry and paper making in Finland. Alvar Aalto lost the architectural competition for the design of the building, and you will hear the history and have chance to make paper by yourself.
Lunch will be served in the Art Museum of Gösta from seasonal Finnish ingredients. Then the tour continues to the Museum, where you will be able to learn about art treasures and wood architecture.
Coffee break at a peasant log cabin or Gösta’s ski cabin, which today serves as a wine bar and then heading to the Alvar Aalto Capital, Jyväskylä.
Jyväskylä is a bold and vibrant city in the middle of the most beautiful part of the Finnish lake-land. The city is known as the Alvar Aalto capital, as it boasts more buildings designed by the master than any other city in the world.
Accommodation is at Hotel Verso.
The evening ends to the dinner.
On the second day you will start with Finnish breakfast and have an Aalto Andante walking tour, where you will learn about Architect Alvar Aalto.
Then you will see the most significant Aalto destinations in Jyväskylä, which includes the Workers’ Club, Defence Corps Building, the Administrative and Cultural Centre, University Campus, and Alvar Aalto Museum.
Lunch will be served at Café Alvar, surrounded by Aalto’s architecture. As part of the lunch menu, you can taste Alvar’s Cake, with wild lingonberries picked from Finnish for-ests and delicious white chocolate.
On summer season you can end the day (after 2pm) with Alvar Aalto e la natura lunch cruise:
Alvar Aalto e la natura lunch cruise
On this cruise you will have the chance to see the landscapes around Lake Päijänne and Säynätsalo, which were a strong inspiration for Alvar Aalto, aboard the same Suomi steamboat on which Alvar himself used to travel. There's a visit to Säynätsalo Town Hall. A sumptuous lunch is served on board. Arrival at Säynätsalo boat harbour at 3:20pm, from where there is a walk with guide to the Säynätsalo Town Hall nearby. At the Town Hall, the guide will give us a tour through the fascinating building and tell us more about Alvar Aalto and his work. At the end of the tour, you'll get to taste Alvar’s Cake at the Säynätsalo Town Hall café.
Return to Jyväskylä by local bus.
18:30 Arrive in Jyväskylä
The other option is:
Aalto Bravo bus tour starting at 2:30 pm
Boarding the bus and heading for a number of major Alvar Aalto sites outside the city centre. Duration 2 hrs.
The first stop is at Muurame Church, which Alvar Aalto designed for his love of beauty. It is a manifestation of clean forms and harmony. Aalto once said, “There is an ulterior motive [...] in architecture, which is always peeping out from around the corner... With every work of architecture...we want to build a paradise on earth for ordinary mortals.” (1957) For Aalto, Italy and the Mediterranean world were long the epitomes of harmony. That is where he turned for solutions that would lead to balance, wellbe-ing and health. (Source: www.muuramensrk.fi/fi/kirkko)
Säynätsalo Town Hall, where you will stop for coffee
Säynätsalo Town Hall (1949–1952) is one of the most important works of Alvar Aalto and of 20th century architecture in general. The building has attracted global interest since it was first built. The majestic redbrick building has a raised atrium that leads to the entrance to the administrative offices and the library. The Assembly Hall stands higher than the rest of the group of buildings, sovereignly commanding the land-scape.
Arriving in Jyväskylä at 4:30pm
Opportunity for shopping in the city centre and an independent dinner.
Restaurant Harmooni, a cosy cellar restaurant at an old harmonium factory.
Restaurant Figaro, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs since 2010, Winebistro.
Restaurant Vesilinna, on the water tower on Harju hill, with great views over the city
Finnish breakfast at Hotel Verso. Check Out.
The package includes:
• Accommodation in Jyväskylä (2 nights in twin/douple room) at Hotel Verso, breakfast in-cluded
• 3 x guided tours The Tale of the Finnish Forest tour, Aalto Andante walking tour, Aalto bus tour
• 2 x lunch (Art Museum Gösta and Café Alvar)
• 2 x coffee (Mänttä: original log house or Gösta’s ski cabin, Jyväskylä: Säynätsalo Town Hall)
Available for extra charge:
• Experience the Aalto walking tour by dance artist Helena Ratinen
• AALTO E LA NATURA cruise to Säynätsalo (summer season only)
• Single room
Picture: Keijo Penttinen