Of all Helsinki’s prominent landmarks, the Sibelius Monument seems to secure the maximum crowd. Visited by hundreds of tourists every day, Sibelius Monument is where you will find both the Jean Sibelius sculpture as well as, the monument devoted to him. I’d say, the surroundings play an important role in enhancing this monument’s magnificence. It was, in fact, the curator’s idea to sustain the tall forest pine trees for a seamless panorama effect. Something that blends well with the very concept of the Sibelius monument. I was lucky to spot a Finnish artist playing lovely woodwind instrumental music, on this given day.
From a distance, the Sibelius Monument looks like a silver archetype musical wave. When I got close, is when I began to notice the numerous silver pipes tethered together as an instrument. (symbolising the change of season) Even though, what makes the Sibelius Monument stand out is that the hollow pipes snare the bird chirping sounds, ocean breeze and organ music. Perhaps why, a lot of Yoga practitioners visit this location in Helsinki.
One Day in the Life of Jean Sibelius
One day in the life of Jean Sibelius introduced me to this famous Finnish composer and violinist of the early modern era. Yes! His music was extraordinary but what makes Sibelius great is that he helped Helsinki find an identity during the war of freedom. Therefore, when Eila Hiltunen suggested the idea of building Sibelius monument, it was instantly accepted by the heads of the state. My guide informed me that until 2002, the Finnish Markka currency featured Sibelius’s image, after which Euro replaced the Finnish notes. By all means, Finland government found an alternate way to honour Sibelius.
Not just by erecting the Sibelius Monument but by also celebrating Finland’s flag day on Sibelius’s birthday. (which happens to be on the 8th of December) Furthermore, to mark the importance, of this special day Finnish government organises several events for everyone to participate. In fact, Finland recently celebrated the150th anniversary of Sibelius in 2015.
Eila Hiltunen, the Mastermind behind the Sibelius Monument
In 1967, Eila Hiltunen was the first to curate and display the Sibelius Monument in Helsinki. For which, Hiltunen had to hand-finish 600 hollow stainless steel pipes, before the final display. Easy as it may sound, the sculpture measures 24 tonnes which means it must be quite a task to finish it. The sculpture contains 14 different elements featuring the true essence of Sibelius’ music in a musical note format. An absolutely, gorgeous piece-of-art by Hiltunen! However, the face sculpture was placed by Hiltunen after she faced her initial critics. Adding the face of Sibelius led to traditional acceptance nationwide.
It was indeed a pleasure to visit this site. Which, is a grand tribute to Jean Sibelius, famous for his world-class music and set of 7 orchestras.
Opening Hours: From 10 AM – 7 PM (No Entry Fee)