Sibelius Monument or Passio Musicae is a stunning timeless composition that was opened on the 7th of December 1967. It was erected to commemorate the great achievements of the most loved Finnish composer- Jean Sibelius.
The monument was designed by a talented Finnish sculptress named Eila Hiltunen. Her project was the winning entry for the Sibelius monument competition organised by the Sibelius Society. Being an abstract artist, Hiltunen created the most original entry for the competition – a monument made of welded steel tubing standing on four legs. For the post war Finland, such a radical abstract design was a matter of a big divide and debates in the society. Finnish art experts of that time appreciated Hiltunen’s out-of-the-box thinking and bravery, whilst conservative critics felt the project was sacrilegious. At that time, some people found that this abstract work was executed in a too new technique, and was made of rather new materials. They also thought it was too much to comprehend.
Today however, the Sibelius monument has become a symbol of Helsinki and perhaps even of the whole country. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the city and something every person coming to Helsinki for the first time has on their to-do list.
The monument is conveniently located in the Töölö area which can be easily reached from the city centre. You can take bus number 24, or alternatively tram 4 or 10. These will take you to the place in about 20 minutes. Otherwise, you can take a relaxing 35 minute walk through some cosy and out-of-the way streets of Helsinki.
The monument is located in Sibelius park (Sibeliuksen puisto) which incidentally is a perfect place for enjoying beautiful Finnish nature and having some peaceful time like we do in Finland. If you get a bit cold or peckish, you can pop to the cosiest cafe in the area called Regatta. There you will find a great selection of coffees, locally made herbal teas, delicious pies and all sorts of traditional Finnish snacks. Regatta is also a great place to see real local Finns sitting on the reindeer rugs whilst enjoying barbecue sausages. Be ready to share a table with a friendly local as this place is popular!
Whilst you are already in a famous Töölö district, nearby is a famous Rock Church– one of the main tourist attractions in Helsinki!
Enjoy your exploring!
Helsinki Guru ^^