Meaningful National Landscape
How did a piece of pristine nature and a beautiful view become a national landscape? In 1992, 27 national landscapes were nominated in honour of Finland's 75 years of independence. However, the significance of these landscapes dates back much further in history. Sites of national significance are not created overnight.
The idea of a national landscape was coined in the politically charged atmosphere at the turn of the 20th century. A close relationship with nature was seen to represent a key element of what it means to be a Finn. Nationalism was encouraged through art, and certain exceptionally impressive landscapes were often chosen as the theme.
The national landscapes are also full of romance. Jean Sibelius spent his honeymoon at Koli, as did the author Juhani Aho and his wife, artist Venny-Soldan-Brofeldt. In recent years, weddings have also been celebrated at the top of Koli.
What do these landscapes mean to present-day Finns? Do they represent the ideal landscapes of the past, or are they still an integral part of how we view our country? Can you find a new perspective on the national landscape?
Many of the national landscapes are located partially or entirely in nature reserves.
- Archipelago National Park is part of the Archipelago National Landscape.
- Aulanko Nature Reserve is part of the Vanajavesi National Landscape.
- Visitors can see Olavinlinna Castle and the Pihlajavesi National Landscape in Pihlajavesi Nature Reserve (in Finnish).
- Punkaharju Nature Reserve has been a popular tourist destination for over 200 years already.
- The views in Koli National Park are the most famous in Finnish art.
- Kermajärvi Nature Reserve (in Finnish) and Kolovesi National Park are part of the Heinävesi Trail National Landscape.
- The Kvarken National Landscape has several conservation areas within it.
- Hailuoto is known for its fishing villages and for the land lift coastline along the Bothnian Bay.
- The Oulankajoki National Landscape is mostly made up of Oulanka National Park.
- The most famous part of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the Pallastunturi National Landscape.
- Additionally there are state-owned protected sites with the Aavasaksa, Utsjokilaakso and the Helsinki coastline National Landscapes.