Jean Sibelius, born 1865. Lived in Lake’s End (Järvenpää, Finland) with his wife Aino. He is recognized as the greatest composer of Finland. Mr. Sibelius moved to this house, which he built, in 1904. He financed the house with concerts in Finland and neighboring countries. It is said that his music was one of the building blogs of Finnish identity. His face was on the 100 mark bill until Finland joined the Euro currency. His birthday 8th December is a national flag day in Finland. He really is a true Finn, hero and master of music. He is best known among citizens for his piece called Finlandia. Many think this song should be the national anthem of Finland. See and hear this great song on youtube right under here…

But enough about Janne, as locals here call him, let’s get back to Ainola. It is a museum now. Closed because of a pandemic. I am confident that it will open the doors this summer. I went there last Sunday and took some fresh pictures for you. Because of the pandemic, I had to take them behind the gates and spruce fence. I’ll just add them here as a carousel.

Many international artists visited Ainola, Where Janne created music and lived his life. I once met an older lady who used to work in a telegram office. For some reason Janne needed to get a message to Stockholm about the delay on his arrival there and he was not able to do it from his home. She was called to Ainola and given the message Sibelius himself had written on a piece of toilet paper. Now the toilet paper in 1940 times was not the same smooth tissue we now use, no it hard as sandpaper. Anyway, the lady told me that she still has the original toilet paper kept in her home. She wondered if that would have any value at all, and kind of wanted it to stay a part of local history. I recommended that she contact the Ainola museum. I am sure they would like to have it in the collection. Is it there? I am going to find out this summer.

Few interesting points of the house: Janne never installed water pipes to the building. They were installed after his death. He thought the sound of water pipes would distract his composing and concentration. He gave the architect only a couple of demands, there must be a view to the lake from the living room and a green fireplace. The architect is also one of the country’s most famous architects, Lars Sonck. He designed for example a huge rock church in Helsinki called Kallio Church and Kultaranta presidents summer home. The other building on the carousel above is the workshop and sauna for the whole family. Janne died at Ainola 1957 and is buried at the property. His wife lived the rest of her life in Ainola until 1969. Later in 1972 Sibelius’ 5 daughters sold the house and land to the Ministry of education. The Sibelius Society of Finland opened the museum in 1974.

This is just a brief look at the place, please learn more from links in this blog. I am sure you will find interesting stories about Janne and Ainola everywhere.

Feel free to share this blog and I’ll be more active in the near future, now that the pandemic situation and vaccinations are getting better. I really hope you get a chance to visit Lake’s End (Järvenpää) soon as possible.

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