Jean Sibelius was and still is the most respected and best-known Finnish composer of all time.
Known for his set of seven symphonies and compositions such as Finlandia, the Karelia Suite and Valse Triste.
Jean Sibelius was born on a cold winter’s day, with -17 degrees celsius outside, on December 8, 1865. He was born in a quaint and small wooden house, built in 1834, near the old church and the main market square. It is now a museum and a place of pilgrimage for Sibelius’ fans.
You will find his hometown in the city of Hämeenlinna, about 98 kilometres north-west of Helsinki. Here Sibelius went to school, explored the forests, spent hours fishing in the lake, and skiing in winter.
There has perhaps never been another composer who has so vividly and voraciously been able to capture the nature, history and myths of his own people in his notes. Jean Sibelius was very inspired by the landscape, the forest and lakes, in the creation of his music.
His hometown Hämeenlinna, the Vanaja Lake and Aulanko Park, and the gardens and the Kielomäki forest at Ainola enable the visitor to understand the link between nature and Sibelius’ music. Did you know more of Sibelius music pieces was named from nature elements like Birch, Spruce and Water drops? In addition, Sibelius’ music had a very significant role in the independence process of Finland.
One of the most visited attractions in Helsinki is The Sibelius Monument. It is located in the Sibelius Park, in the district of Töölö, just a stone throw away from the sea. The abstract – and at the time controversial – monument was unveiled in 1967. The aim of this majestic piece is to capture the essence of Sibelius’ music – many would agree that it lives to expectations.
In 1904 Jean Sibelius and his wife Aino moved to Ainola on the shores of Lake Tuusula. The land was expensive but Sibelius needed the distance and peace of mind to concentrate on his work.
Mentioned before nature was the big inspiration for him. Jean Sibelius daily long walks in the gardens and forest at Ainola meant a lot, and Jean Sibelius was very proud of this designed garden by his wife Aino – “My Temple” as he used to call it – were a source of inspiration and it is this relationship with nature that he nurtured throughout his life. Ainola, which means the land of Aino, receives more than 30 000 visitors a year. According to their wishes, Jean and Aino Sibelius were buried at Ainola.
The year 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius. The year will be full of Sibelius related events around the country and also abroad. Museum exhibitions, concerts, pilgrimages to places dear to the composer are amongst these.
As a young boy, Sibelius especially loved the forest in Aulanko, currently a Nature Reserve Park.
Find routes to this destination.