Jyväskylä worker's club, photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola
Follow in the footsteps of Alvar Aalto from the wide open landscapes of Seinäjoki through Kuortane and Alajärvi to Jyväskylä, the heart of Finnish Lakeland. Visit the birthplace of the master architect and the family grave, admire his most famous competition entries and his early and later works.
Architect Alvar Aalto designed the internationally acclaimed administrative and cultural centre of Seinäjoki, the Aalto Centre. Stand in wonder at the foot of the 65-metre tower of Lakeuden Risti Church, the landmark among the six iconic edifices of the
Aalto Centre. The refurbished Aalto Library houses the world’s largest private collection of Aalto glassware. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Theatre Restaurant surrounded by design classics or sample the regional specialities carefully prepared by the chefs at our recommended restaurants.
Alvar Aalto was born in Kuortane and spent many summers in Alajärvi, where the young architect student’s first buildings, as well as the last creations by Aalto’s practice, are located. Among the points of interest in Alajärvi is the recently restored house that he designed for his brother. The countryside offered Aalto much-needed respite during the most hectic years of his career. Admiring the green and inviting Lakeland views, it is easy to understand his attraction to the rural landscape. Jyväskylä boasts more buildings designed by Aalto than any other city in the world. The high points among the 28 sites include the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is considered the most significant work of Aalto’s redbrick period. Jyväskylä is also where Alvar Aalto went to school, started a family and launched his stellar career.
Jyväskylä boasts more buildings designed by Aalto than any other city in the world. The high points among the 28 sites include
the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame Church and Säynätsalo Town Hall, which is considered the most significant work of Aalto’s redbrick period. Jyväskylä is also where Alvar Aalto went to school, started a family and launched his stellar career.
Welcome to the world of Alvar Aalto!
AVAILABLE FOR AN EXTRA CHARGE
Aalto Centre, Seinäjoki:
https://tarinasoitin.fi/seinajoenaalto (FI, EN, SVE, JPN)
Alvar Aalto locations in Jyväskylä:
https://visitjyvaskyla.fi/en/alvaraalto/alvar-aalto-locations (FI, EN)
Aalto tour in Central Finland https://citynomadi.com/route/99e3796c47c214ca2b9d727a416ae247 (FI, EN)
Practical details, transport and vehicles
Travel between Seinäjoki, Alajärvi and Jyväskylä by own car or hired car. The rates vary depending on the make and model of the car.
Recommended level of fitness
The route includes some stairs and walking. Suitable for guests with a normal level of fitness. Unfortunately, some sites on our tour are not fully accessible.
Arrival in Seinäjoki and check-in to double/twin rooms at Hotel Alma, one of the oldest buildings in Seinäjoki. Located near the train station, the building was originally occupied by railway workers.
Independent walking tour around Seinäjoki Aalto Centre Mobile guidance available: https://tarinasoitin.fi/seinajoenaalto (EN, SVE, FI, JPN) Alvar Aalto designed the administrative and cultural centre of the City of Seinäjoki, unique on a global scale. The Aalto Centre comprises six buildings: Lakeuden Risti Church, church hall, town hall, library, government administrative building and theatre. During the summer, you can climb to the top of the 65-metre church tower of Lakeuden Risti Church to admire the sweeping views over the region. Another building worth a visit on your tour is the Apila library, which is connected to the Aalto Library by a subterranean corridor. Apila was designed by JKMM Architects, a leading contemporary Finnish architectural practice. The Aalto Library has on display the world’s most extensive collection of Aalto glassware.
Lunch in Restaurant Alma or Äärellä Kuppi + Kattila
The Defence Corps and Lotta Svärd Museum The museum presents interesting facts and stories about voluntary defence organisations in Finland. The museum operates in the South Ostrobothnia Defence Corps building designed by Alvar Aalto. The buildings are the only early works of Alvar Aalto that have been preserved in their original appearance. The building represents Ostrobothnian classicist style.
Amfora is the ceramics studio and gallery of the Seinäjoki based designer and sculptor Päivi Rintaniemi. Open Thursdays 10–17 or by appointment.
Taito Shop Rustoopuori
The selection of Rustoopuori is based on products made in Finland, with a focus on Ostrobothnian crafts. Open Mon–Fri 10–18, Sat 10–14.
Bicycle hire and tour on the accessible outdoors trail that features several points of interest and Kyrkösjärvi network of trails in Seinäjoki (summer season)
Departure by hired cars towards Alajärvi (Seinäjoki–Alajärvi approx. 70 km / 60 min.) The route runs through Kauhajärvi or Kuortane. In Kauhajärvi, you will have the opportunity to visit the church bell tower designed by Alvar Aalto in 1923. In Kuortane, you will have the chance to view Alvar Aalto’s birthplace from the outside. The building is currently privately owned. There is an Alvar Aalto memorial relief in the garden.
Arrival in Alajärvi. Guided walking tour around the Aalto Centre in Alajärvi “From Alvar Aalto’s first design to the last project by Aalto’s office”. The Aalto Centre in Alajärvi is formed by Alvar Aalto’s classicist works in the town centre, including Alajärvi Youth Association House, Aalto’s first constructed work; Villa Väinölä; and the old municipal hospital. On the walking tour, we will have the chance to admire Alajärvi Church designed by C.L. Engel for this beautiful lakeside location. In this church, young Alvar Aalto had a favourite spot in the gallery where he used to sit. Be sure not to miss the beautiful Alajärvi cemetery and pay your respects at the Aalto’s family grave and the war memorials designed by Alvar Aalto. Aino and Alvar Aalto’s 1930s glass design is on display at the For the Form exhibition in the lobby of the Alajärvi Town Hall.
Lunch at Restaurant Alvariini in the centre of Alajärvi Opportunity to shop for berry wines at Punaisen Tuvan Viinitila vineyard. Open Mon-Sun 10–18
Visit to the Nelimarkka Museum, coffee and cake. Designed by architect Hilding Ekelund, the Nelimarkka Museum is an art museum built by artist professor Eero Nelimarkka, and it serves as the regional art museum for Southern Ostrobothnia. Guided tours are available for an extra charge.
Departure to the Jyväskylä region (Alajärvi–Petäjävesi approx. 125 km / 100 min.)
Visit to Petäjävesi Old Church Petäjävesi Old Church was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994 and is described as a flagship work in Nordic wood architecture. The church represents Lutheran Nordic church architecture and the long tradition in log building skills. Guided tours are available for an extra charge.
Departure to Jyväskylä Drive from Petäjävesi to Jyväskylä approx. 35 km/35 min.
Arrival at Jyväskylä and check-in at Hotel Yöpuu (double/twin room) Why not get a head start on the next day’s programme by learning independently about the sites on the themed route and list of sites at: https://citynomadi.com/route/99e3796c47c214ca2b9d727a416ae247
Explore the wooden architectural period in Jyväskylä at Toivola Old Courtyard, which has charming authentic boutiques and workshops. Lunch in Toivola Old Courtyard restaurant.
Explore the “Aalto campus”, the Jyväskylä University campus, independently guided by https://visitjyvaskyla.fi/en/alvaraalto/alvar-aalto-locations
(available in English):
• Capitolium – Main building
• Teacher training school and gymnasium.
• Swimming hall (AaltoAlvari)
• Former student hall of residence
• Student canteen Lozzi, teachers’ canteen Lyhty (from outside only)
• Student Union Building (Ilokivi)
• Faculty of Sport Sciences building
From the university, your tour will continue to the Alvar Aalto Museum.
Visit to the Alvar Aalto Museum
The Alvar Aalto Museum is located on a slope by Lake Jyväsjärvi, next to the University of Jyväskylä and the Museum of Central Finland. The first plans for the museum building were completed in 1970. Alvar Aalto finalised his designs in 1973. In accordance with the original designs, the exhibition space on the first floor is divided into areas with movable partitions. The highest part of the hall has slatted pine panels on the walls, resembling the wall structure of Finland’s pavilion at the New York World Fair, designed by Aalto in 1939. All furniture in the museum is designed by Aalto. The facade is built of white Halla bricks manufactured by Arabia and embellished by porcelain strips. The main doors have a copper surface and brass handles designed by Aalto. Today, the museum focuses on fostering the heritage of Alvar Aalto.
Café Alvar: Coffee and cake à la Alvar Accommodation at the same location as the previous night.
Your journey continues by hired car from Jyväskylä southwards towards Säynätsalo island, one of the absolute highlights of the tour. This island is also called the best known island in Finland because of the Säynätsalo Town hall designed by Alvar Aalto. Säynätsalo Town Hall This iconic building is one of the best known and most significant works of Aalto’s entire career. The unique architecture of the building attracted great interest at the time of its construction. Nowadays, it is a popular destination welcoming some 3,000–4,000 visitors annually from all over the world.
You also have the possibility to visit the Muuratsalo island just a 5 min drive from Säynätsalo. There you can experience first hand the Finnish Lakeland landscape and hills that Alvar Aalto loved. The easiest way to take in the beautiful scenery is to climb on top of Paljaspää hill, which has stunning views over Lake Päijänne, the longest and second largest lake in Finland.
Aalto’s Experimental House
Muuratsalo is also where Alvar Aalto’s famous Experimental House is located, open to visitors during the summer season.
Entrance: €18 / person
Book a nature guide who will take you to the breathtaking natural scenery on Muuratsalo island either by foot, snowshoes (winter season) or even on an off-road bike. Departure and arrival at, e.g., Säynätsalo Town Hall.
Guided tour starting from: €35 / person You may drop off your car in Jyväskylä or, for an additional charge, continue your journey to other Aalto sites around Finland. https://visit.alvaraalto.fi/en/
from € 590 / person
all year round
The price is an estimate based on two persons sharing a room. The availability of services and prices are verified at the time of booking, and they depend on the time of travel. The programme is provisional and can be modified according to customers’ suggestions. All information is subject to change. We comply with the general package tour terms and conditions. For full terms and conditions, please visit our website www.epmatkailu.fi.
Etelä-Pohjanmaan Matkailu Oy
Valtionkatu 1, FIN-60100 Seinäjoki, Finland
www.epmatkailu.fi, matkailu (at) epmatkailu.fi
tel. +358 (0)6 420 9090
Find services and nearest points of interest on a map