Art and Architecture Highlights
Duration: 4 1/2 hours
Tour Code: hel-002
Helsinki is an architectural delight, where many fine and impressive buildings, designed by eminent Finnish architects, wide streets and graceful squares. With an open and spacious feel, the city is in complete harmony with the surrounding countryside. This tour provides an introduction to Finland's charming rural landscapes as you visit Hvittrask, once home to three of Finland's leading architects whose work can also be admired during a panoramic tour of the city.
From the pier depart along the coastal road passing the city center towards Hvitträsk. In the heart of the surrounding countryside, amidst a magnificent backdrop of deep forests, majestic rocks and crystal clear waters, you visit Hvittrask. The former home of famous Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen, Armas Lindgren and Herman Gesellius, built in 1902 of natural stone and logs on a hill overlooking a lake, it is an outstanding example of Finnish residential architecture. Hvitträsk is also the birthplace of Eliel's son Eero Saarinen, his best-known architectural works are the Arch of St. Louise, the TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport as well as the Dulles Airport in Washington, and of course the plastic tulip armchair.
After a tour of Saarinen's magnificent home, now an exhibition center for Finnish art and handicrafts, you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of its delightful grounds. Your tour then continues to Tarvaspaa, the former home and studio of Finland's national painter, Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Located in a charming park at the edge of the sea, the house was built around 1912 and designed by the artist himself. Gallen-Kallela's works and the story of his colorful life are on display here, together with exhibits by other famous artists depicting the Finnish way of life. After complimentary refreshments, you return for a panoramic tour of the capital with its unique charm and elegance created by Finland's most celebrated architects.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking, at both Hvittrask and Tarvaspaa, and is not recommended for guests with limited mobility.