Landmarks in Jyväskylä

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Every city has its landmarks, identifiable buildings, or monuments that a traveler wants to see and experience while visiting. In Jyväskylä, visitors are greeted by, among other things, the beautifully illuminated Kuokkala Bridge, Harju Observation Tower, and the legendary athlete Matti Nykänen’s ski jump hill. Many of Jyväskylä’s landmarks shine particularly brightly during the dark seasons, as several of them are also light art installations.

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Destinations

Kuokkala Bridge

Siltakatu, 40520 Jyväskylä

The Kuokkala Bridge is one of the most renowned landmarks of Jyväskylä, welcoming visitors from various directions. This exceptionally beautifully illuminated bridge resembles a work of art during the twilight hours. The bridge spans a length of 480 meters, connecting the central area of Jyväskylä with the Kuokkala district through the Lutakko area. Beneath the bridge, there is a shipping lane from Lake Päijänne to the Lutakko harbor. At the Lutakko end of the bridge, you can find Seppo Uuranmäki’s ‘Keinuja’ art piece, which, at first glance, might easily be mistaken for a real person.

 

Matti Nykänen’s Ski Jumping Hill

Hyppyritie 131, 40630 Jyväskylä

In Laajavuori, Jyväskylä, there is a ski jumping stadium consisting of five ski jumps. One of these hills is named after the successful Jyväskylä-based ski jumper, Matti Nykänen, and it is referred to as ‘Nykänen’s Hill’ or ‘Nykänen’s Jump.’ The hill was inaugurated in 1965, and it acquired its current name when Nykänen won three gold medals at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988. Recently, Nykänen’s Hill received a magnificent permanent lighting installation, serving as a beautiful tribute to the memory of Matti Nykänen. The lighting is programmable, allowing it to be adjusted for various events and special occasions. The basic lighting, named ‘Jumper,’ features a striking turquoise light that ascends the jump tower, moves to the take-off spot, and descends the hill. Afterward, the lighting transforms dynamically to resemble the ambiance of the Northern Lights and falling snow. During the summer, you can visit the ski jump hill’s café at its base or enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the observation tower, which is maintained by the Jyväskylä Ski Club.

Nero Stairs

Yliopistonkatu 18, 40100 Jyväskylä

The stone Nero Stairs, which ascend to the top of Harju Hill, are one of the most iconic attractions in Jyväskylä. These sturdy stairs were built as a public employment project in 1925 and were named in honor of the then-city engineer, Oskar Nero. The stairs rise towards the city center and continue to be a popular tourist destination.

Harju Ridge and Observation Tower

Ihantolantie 5, 40100 Jyväskylä

Harju is a ridge formation in the middle of the city of Jyväskylä, and its summit, with the Vesilinna observation tower, serves as a well-known landmark visible throughout the city. Harju offers year-round outdoor recreation and relaxation opportunities for the residents, serving as a green and tranquil oasis right near the city center. Inside the Vesilinna observation tower, there is a Nature Museum and Restaurant Vesilinna, and you should check their opening hours on their own website. During the summer, both local joggers and tourists converge on the summit and slopes of Harju to admire the stunning views. Leading to the top of Harju are the stone Nero stairs, which are one of the most famous attractions in Jyväskylä. These massive stairs, built as a public employment project in 1925, were named after the city engineer, Oskar Nero, and ascend from the direction of the city center.

Kuokkala Water Tower

Survontie 37, 40520 Jyväskylä

The water tower rising high above Kuokkala creates an impressive view from Lutakko’s shore. This water tower is one of over a hundred permanently illuminated landmarks in Jyväskylä. Many people especially notice during the night that the water tower has UFO-like features.

Jyväskylä City Church and Kirkkopuisto

Kirkkopuisto, 40100 Jyväskylä

Kirkkopuisto is one of the oldest parks in Jyväskylä, and its construction began in the early 19th century. Originally, Kirkkopuisto served as the city’s market square in the newly established city in 1837, and the market place was located there until the 1930s. The Jyväskylä City Church, completed in 1880 and designed by architect L.I. Lindqvist, was erected in the middle of the market square and became the first stone church in Central Finland.Kirkkopuisto is a part of a nationally significant urban environment and a culturally and historically valuable area. In the early 2000s, it underwent extensive renovations and is now a green oasis for the city’s residents, located right in the heart of the city. It’s a popular spot for picnics in the summer and for admiring Christmas lights during the holiday season.

Ylistö Bridge

Ylistön silta, 40500 Jyväskylä

Ylistö Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle path that crosses Lake Jyväsjärvi from Mattilanniemi to Ylistönmäki. The bridge is 208 meters long and was completed in 1991. Ylistö Bridge is one of the most impressive illuminated landmarks in Jyväskylä, and its light can be seen from afar, extending all the way to Lutakko Harbor.

Jyväskylä City Hall

Vapaudenkatu 32, 40100 Jyväskylä

The Jyväskylä City Hall, completed in 1899, is located at Vapaudenkatu 32, on the edge of Kirkkotori (Church Square), and is part of the square city plan designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. The building, a masterpiece of Neo-Renaissance style designed by Karl Viktor Reinius, was once the city’s largest construction project. It housed various institutions such as the magistrate, district court, financial chamber, library, reading room, the Bank of Finland, and an auction chamber. The building also provided spaces for associations and clubs, and it included a much-anticipated banquet hall and restaurant for the townspeople. Jyväskylä City Hall is one of the few surviving 19th-century buildings in Jyväskylä’s city center and is part of the nationally significant built cultural environment, along with Jyväskylä Kirkkopuisto (Church Park) and the administrative center.

Please note! The City Hall will not be accessible during the construction work in Kirkkopuisto, which is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2024.

Lutakko Harbour

Satamakatu 10, 40100 Jyväskylä

Sataman Viilu
Sataman Viilu is a unique building that blends traditional and ecological log building materials with modern design and functionality. Its sculpted, charred wood surface meets warm, light-colored logs, creating a striking contrast. The landmark building, fitting seamlessly into the landscape, appears different from every angle. Sataman Viilu represents modern log technology and climate-wise construction, housing a restaurant and sauna world. Learn more about Sataman Viilu.

Alvar Aalto’s boat
The boat “Nemo propheta in patria,” designed by Alvar Aalto in 1954–55, is on display in the Lutakko Harbor in Jyväskylä. The name of the boat reflects the saying “No one is a prophet in their own country.” Originally intended for Aalto and his wife’s summer trips, the boat is 10 meters long, 2.5 meters wide, and was completed in 1955. The boat is part of the Alvar Aalto Foundation’s design collection and has undergone various restoration efforts. The Alvar Aalto Museum has created a miniature exhibition related to the boat, and the design of the boat shelter was led by Sweco, with SAFA Tapani Tommila as the chief designer. WSP was responsible for the design of the terrace surrounding the harbor point and the boat shelter. Learn more about Alvar Aalto’s boat.

Jyväskylä Sign

Lutakon satamapuisto, 40100 Jyväskylä

The giant letters found in Lutakko Harbour Park in Jyväskylä are a popular landmark and photography spot. Behind the bench formed by letters that are one and a half meters tall, you can see Lake Jyväsjärvi, buildings of Mattilanniemi, and the Ylistö Bridge.

The Great Compass

Promenadi, 40100 Jyväskylä

Markku Hakuri: Suuri Kompassi, 1991
The Great Compass stands as a prominent landmark on the Lake Jyväsjärvi shoreline, representing the harmony of water and land. Functioning as a compass, it marks the four cardinal directions. This architectural structure, reminiscent of a temple, hints at the perpetual flow of time and humanity’s desire to control the world. It reflects the life along the shore, where two sides coexist: the nature struggling for its habitat and the urban lifestyle shaped by humans.

Taulumäki Church

Lohikoskentie 2, 40200 Jyväskylä

Taulumäki Church was completed in 1929 under the direction of designer Elsi Borg. This neoclassical longitudinal church features unique two-tiered galleries supported by columns, which are the only ones of their kind in Central Finland. The church’s choir section includes a small octagonal sacristy on the northern side and an oval-shaped baptistery on the southern side, illuminated by a skylight.Taulumäki Church is a significant work of Finnish architecture from the 1920s, designed by architect Elsi Borg. It holds the distinction of being Finland’s first church designed by a woman.

Tanssisali Lutakko

Lutakonaukio 3, 40100 Jyväskylä

Tanssisali Lutakko is a rock club located in the Lutakko area of Jyväskylä. It is managed by Jyväskylä Live Music Association, Jelmu. The property belongs to a mutual real estate company, owned by Jelmu, Youth Against Drugs, and the Kauko Sorjonen Foundation. In addition, Tanssisali Lutakko houses the brewery restaurant Taproom & Bottleshop Hiisi, along with various artists.