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Art bike tour in Hämeenlinna
In Canada, you can get a prescription to go to art exhibitions and, in Japan, to go to nature. So, just imagine how refreshing an art bike tour could be, when you cycle around, sometimes surrounded by nature, while admiring works of art. The Hämeenlinna art bike tour was planned by Tawast Cycling Club, which has also guided two such tours. In this blog, we present a shortened version of the original art bike tour. We have also detached some of the works on the original route into a separate art walk tour. The route combines known and unknown works of well-known artists and future names around Keinusaari, Kantola, Visamäki and Hämeensaari areas.
The art bike tour combines art and nature with fresh air – in an unhurried pace. The route begins from and ends at the railway station, so you can take a train to Hämeenlinna even from further away and come tour the local works of art.
Art bike tour – destinations in order:
Hämeenlinna railway station
Finland’s first railway line was built between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna in 1862. The present Hämeenlinna railway station building was completed in 1921. The previous station building burned down in the civil war when a grenade hit an ammunition train and it exploded. You can admire the architecture of the building both in the indoor waiting area and out on the platform. On the station wall, there is a memorial plaque and a memorial relief for war children taken to Sweden during World War II, designed by Jaakko Veuro. The old steam locomotive bell in front of the building serves as a monument to rail traffic.
“Smells like teen spirit”, Teemu Mäenpää ja Kim Somervuori 2016
Underpass of Viipurintie railway bridge
During the UPEA16 Street Art Festival, visual artists Teemu Mäenpää and Kim Somervuori painted a graffiti, designed by Mäenpää, in the underpass of the Viipurintie railway bridge, at its railway station end.
The graphic concrete wall of Hämeenlinna Provincial Archives, Aimo Katajamäki 2009
Aittatie 2, 13200 Hämeenlinna
Aimo Katajamäki, in collaboration with Architectural Office Heikkinen-Komonen, designed the pattern on the façade of the Hämeenlinna Provincial Archives building based on old documents selected from the archives. Another partner was the Finnish Graphic Concrete Oy. The surface patterns were selected from the documents kept in the provincial archives, and they cover the period from the present to 400 years back in time. On the wall, it is easy to distinguish such symbols as an extract from the old deed of sale of the Jokioinen manor, the Emperor’s seal displaying the double-headed eagle of Russia, and the signature of King Gustav III of Sweden himself. Another dominant feature on the concrete surface are the images of the statue of Kleio, the Greek goddess of history and heroic poetry. Modern bar codes and the @ symbol can also be found among the symbols. The building was awarded as the concrete façade of the year in 2009.
Hämeenlinna graffiti, Jaakko Autere ja Jukka Hakanen 2012
Verkatehdas, the side of Keinusaarentie, inner courtyard
Verkatehdas commissioned the work of graffiti in wonderful colours displaying the silhouette of the City of Hämeenlinna through Ars Häme. The story tells that it was cheaper to have a work of art made on the wall than to have it plastered – offers were requested on both.
Giants, Aimo Katajamäki 2007
Verkatehdas, exterior wall at the crossing of Paasikiventie and Keinusaarentie
A blue and white mural on the exterior wall of Verkatehdas. Katajamäki’s work was implemented in connection with the major renovation by which Verkatehdas was turned into a cultural centre.
Kantola mural, Guido van Helten 2017
Puusepänkatu 9, 13110 Hämeenlinna
The Kantola mural was painted in summer 2017 as part of the UPEA17 Street Art Festival on the 56-metre high façade of the Kantola grain silos. Guido van Helten has a unique style of linking his works to local daily life and people in fascinating ways. In Hämeenlinna, the artist sought for a theme and inspiration by first getting to know local families, communities, lifestyle and environment. Based on photographs, he eventually produced a skilful and touching final work. More information about the work is available on top of the hill in the Kantola events park.
Hautausmaantie 20, 13110 Hämeenlinna
The Vanaja Church, built in the early 16th century, is one the smallest medieval grey stone churches in Finland. As a special feature, the church has an external pulpit at the western end of the building.
Antinportti, Antti Nurmesniemi 1999
The intersection of highways 3 and 10 in Hattelmala, near Visamäki
The blue landscape tower designed by Professor Antti Nurmesniemi in Hämeenlinna.
Kauas pilvet, Kati Lehtonen 2015
Visakaarre 9, the exterior wall of Ohutlevykeskus
The work on the exterior wall of HAMK Ohutlevykeskus in Visamäki is Kati Lehtonen’s “Kauas pilvet” (Faraway Clouds). “I try to capture, reach what exists, freeze the time as an image or slow down its passing, stop myself, stop in time and in the landscape. Landscape is a concrete place for realising, examining, experiencing and humanly understanding time.” The work was commissioned by Ruukki Construction in connection with the construction of the site. Aiming at zero-energy consumption level, the HAMK Ohutlevykeskus building uses modern technology, such as solar panels and energy piles, to store heat. Different sensor technologies are used for controlling and developing its energy efficiency.
Memory Waves, 2017
Visakaarre 1, the end wall of the G building
The work “Memory Waves” of HAMK’s glass and ceramics design students on the wall of the student hall of residence. Inspired by a rag rug, the Memory Waves work consists of nine aluminium plates that together form an entity covering a wall area of more than 20 square metres.
Paikka, Olli Larjo 2004
The yard of Hattelmala Day Care Centre, Lehmusrinne 1
The environmental work “Paikka” consists of about 4 metres high grassy mound approximately 18 metres in diameter. On top of the mound, there are four bronze ‘stones’ shaped like bird eggs. They represent the stories told by the peoples of the four corners of the world. 12 alder trees were planted around the mound to describe the months of the year, but, today, only two of them survive.
The exterior wall of Virveli Development and Resource Centre for the Disabled, Ansarikuja 1 A
Students Laura Lappalainen, Anne Kuntola, Saara Mansikkamäki, Annina Hakala, Satu Turunen and Suvi Heinilä from the HAMK Degree Programme in Design designed and implemented the work “Sun Birds” on the exterior wall of the development and resource centre for the disabled. They had sought inspiration for the work from the painting “Vine” by Mirja Kurki and the bird drawing by Mirjami Karisto.
Graffiti walls & container
Skate park, Hämeensaari
Mini D.I.Y skatepark is a communally built skatepark maintained by Skate ry in Hämeensaari. The skatepark has communally maintained graffiti walls with changing works and a painted container that serves as a summer café.
The changing huts of Hämeensaari beach
Uimarintie 2, behind the swimming hall
The renovation project of Hämeensaari beach and Hämeensaari park began in 2016. The soil in the area was cleaned and, as the beach was expanded and improved, new great-looking changing huts with photos of Hämeenlinna residents on each wall were also erected on the beach. In addition to the improvements made on the beach, new facilities were built in the area, including basketball fields, an outdoor gym, a volleyball field and a new playground, to be opened in summer 2020.
Hämeenlinnan ennen ja nyt, Jaakko Veuro 1967
Ystävyydenpuisto, Arvi Kariston katu
Sculptor Jaakko Veuro’s work “Hämeenlinna ennen ja nyt” (Hämeenlinna before and now) stands in Ystävyydenpuisto park. The work describes means of livelihood and life in Hämeenlinna at the turn of the 19th century and celebrates the local artisans and merchants. The money for the sculpture was willed by Arvi A. Karisto. The sculpture consists of three relief-style bronze slabs stacked on top of each other. In the Ystävyydenpuisto park, there is a fountain with three parts on a square surrounded by a circle of stones. The plaques mounted on some of the stones feature the names of Hämeenlinna’s twin towns.
Time Concrete, Rúrí 1986
Mahlianpuisto, 13200 Hämeenlinna
On the shore of Lake Vanajavesi, near Hotel Vaakuna, there is an environmental artwork called Time Concrete. The work consists of six concrete elements, reminiscent of a ruined building and collapsed columns. The work of the Icelandic environmental artist Rúrí was moved from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna in 1989.