Statues in Finland

Havis Amanda

Havis Amanda is a nude female statue sculpted by Ville Vallgren (1855-1940). He made it 1906 in Paris, but was not erected at its present location at the Market Square in Kaartinkaupunki until 1908. Havis Amanda is one of Vallgren's Parisian Art Nouveau works. She is a mermaid who stands on seaweed as she rises from the water, with four fish spouting water at her feet and surrounded by four sea lions. She is depicted ...
Founded: 1906 (erected 1908) | Location: Helsinki, Finland

Sibelius Monument

The Sibelius monument was designed by Eila Hiltunen and completed in 1967. It consists of series of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern. The purpose of the artist was to capture the essence of the music of Sibelius. The monument weighs 24 tonnes. It’s probably the most well-known abstract sculpture in Finland and popular tourist attraction.
Founded: 1967 | Location: Helsinki , Finland

Virstantolppa

Virstantolppa is the oldest memorial in Lappeenranta. It stands in the site of remarkable battle in Russo-Swedish war in 1741. Over 4000 men were killed or injured in the battle on 23th August 1741 where Russian army conquered Lappeenranta. The battle was one the bloodiest in time. Two Swedish commanders were executed in Stockholm afterwards because of serious defeat.The memorial was erected originally in 1818 and enhance ...
Founded: 1818 | Location: Satama, Finland

The Memorial of Kostianvirta Battle

Kostianvirta battle was part of the Great Northern War (1700-1721). Russian army invaded to Finland in 1713 because the major Swedish army was fighting in central Europe. On October 1713, Finnish army under General Carl Gustaf Armfeldt had set the defence line to Kostianvirta river. When Russians attacked, Armfedlt’s 3,400 men first succesfully prevented 15,000 Russians to cross Kostianvirta.On October 6, Russians m ...
Founded: 1713 (the monument in 1906) | Location: Pälkäne, Finland

Jaakko Ilkka Statue

Jaakko Ilkka (1545-1597) was a Finnish yeoman and trader. He is remembered for leading the Cudgel War, a peasant uprising in the kingdom of Sweden against exploitation by nobility and military. At its end, and the peasants' defeat on January 1–2, 1597, Ilkka escaped, but was soon recaptured and executed for his part in the fighting. Jaakko Ilkka was executed in Kyrönjoki and his body was brought near Ilmajo ...
Founded: 1924 | Location: Ilmajoki, Finland

Mannerheim Statue

The statue of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867-1951), Marshal of Finland, was made by the sculptor Evert Porila in 1939. The statue is located at the hill, where Mannerheim watched the occupation of Tampere in the Finnish Civil War (1918). He was commander of the white army, which occupied Tampere from red guards after the bloody battle .The statue was originally planned to be situated in the centre of Tampere, but the S ...
Founded: 1939-1956 | Location: Tampere, Finland

Napue Battle Monument

The battle of Napue (in Isokyrö) in between a Swedish and a Russian army, as part of the Great Northern War (1714). The Swedish force, consisting almost entirely of Finnish troops, was destroyed by the numerically superior Russian force. As a result, all of Finland сame under Russian military occupation for the rest of the war, a period of hardship known in Finland as the Greater Wrath. The memorial was erected ...
Founded: 1920 | Location: Storkyro, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.