Kalela is a former wilderness atelier of Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931), a Finnish painter who is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. His work was considered very important for the Finnish national identity.
Kalela is one of the largest nineteenth-century log buildings in Finland whose structure remains intact. It is designed by Gallen-Kallela himself and was completed in 1895. Gallen-Kallela family lived in Kalela several times between 1895 and 1921. Akseli Gallen-Kallela painted there his most famous Kalevala-themed paintings and designed textiles, furnitures and frescoes to l'Exposition Universelle, The Paris World Expo in 1900.
Today Kalela is a museum with temporary art exhibitions. It’s open in summer season (closed in 2011).
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.