Alajärvi – living culture among Aalto’s architecture

Southern Ostrobothnian and Central Finnish characteristics come together in Alajärvi, which is also the hub for local commercial and educational operations and municipal services. In Alajärvi, residents and visitors can spend time in safe, pleasant and architecturally valuable surroundings amid green spaces and lake scenery.

Alajärvi invests in fitness and other leisure activities

Located along the Blue Highway, which runs from Norway via Sweden and Finland to Russia, Alajärvi, with a population of 10,000, is a lively town, offering a wide range of leisure activities and cultural and sports services. The town’s sports and culture department, adult education centre and numerous associations and sports clubs operating in the area offer activities for everyone, regardless of age. Recently, the town has made significant investments in its sports facilities. The town’s Finnish baseball stadium, athletics field and tennis centres have been complemented by an ice rink, sports hall, public swimming pool with a gym and a multipurpose centre, which are visited by hundreds of athletes, local residents and other users every week. The town also has a hiking and running trail that is maintained all year round and a full-length frisbee golf course, which attracts visitors from further afield.  Nature trails and rest places along them have been renovated and updated in recent years to offer ideal conditions for hiking, cross-country skiing and orienteering, as well as opportunities for canoeing! These excellent facilities attract visitors to Alajärvi from all over Finland. In addition, public beaches and waterways have been improved with a view to offering the best possible services to summer guests, and numerous summer events arranged in the area bring together permanent and summer residents and tourists.

Alvar Aalto and Eero Nelimarkka

Alajärvi also has a wide range of cultural experiences to offer. The town is known as the summer haven of Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino, and it is also home to artist Eero Nelimarkka’s museum.  Alajärvi is the world’s only location where visitors can admire Alvar Aalto’s designs completed over a period of 80 years.  The centre of Alajärvi offers a cross-section of Alvar Aalto’s body of work – from the first public building designed by him as a student and buildings from his ‘white era’ to the last work designed by his architectural company. Aalto’s designs located in Alajärvi include municipal offices, a parish meeting hall, municipal hospital, youth association hall, Villa Väinölä and the city library, which was finished by Alvar Aalto’s architectural company. Alajärvi is part of the Network of Alvar Aalto Cities, which carries out close international collaboration. Every summer, the town hosts the Aaltoja ja Aarioita festival, which combines Alvar Aalto’s architecture and surroundings with beautiful music.

In addition to presenting works by Eero Nelimarkka, the Nelimarkka Museum, which serves as the Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia, offers temporary exhibitions and houses a café and a shop.  The museum also collaborates internationally through the residencies it offers to artists. In addition to exhibitions, these operations enable high-quality workshops run by the artists. 

The Nelimarkka Museum, which serves as the Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia, presents works by Eero Nelimarkka and holds changing exhibitions. The museum engages in art education and serves as a venue for various events.