Ainola, meaning "Aino's place", was the home of the composer Jean Sibelius, his wife Aino and their family from the autumn of 1904 until 1972. It stands on the scenic shores of Lake Tuusulanjärvi in Järvenpää, 38 kilometers north of Helsinki, the Finnish capital. It was designed by the famous architect Lars Sonck. The only requests Sibelius had for Sonck were to include both a lakefront view and a green fireplace in the dining room. Water pipes were never installed until after Sibelius died because he did not want the distraction while he was there composing.
Its distance from the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital gave the composer the peace that he needed for his creative endeavours. Erik W. Tawaststjerna writes that "when Sibelius first left Helsinki, Järvenpää was to a large extent untouched countryside. Foals and sheep almost nosed their way into the house, and from time to time an elk majestically bestrode the grounds." There were also other artistic families living in the neighborhood who provided a lively social circle for the Sibelius family.
Daily life in Ainola was documented by Sibelius’ private secretary Santeri Levas in the 1945 photographic book Jean Sibelius and His Home.
Buildings around Ainola include the sauna and the family's personal workshop. Sibelius died at Ainola on September 20, 1957; he is buried in a garden there. His wife Aino lived in Ainola for the next twelve years until she died on June 8, 1969. She is buried there with her husband.
In 1972 Jean Sibelius' daughters, Eva, Ruth, Katarina, Margareta, and Heidi, sold Ainola to the State of Finland. The Ministry of Education and the Sibelius Society of Finland opened it as a museum in 1974. It is currently open from May to September. Among the personal effects remaining there are a grand piano, which was a gift to Sibelius on his fiftieth birthday, and paintings by Aino's brother Eero Järnefelt.
- Levas, Santeri: Jean Sibelius ja hänen Ainolansa – Jean Sibelius och hans hem – Jean Sibelius and His Home – Jean Sibelius und sein Heim. (2nd edition.) Helsinki: Otava, 1955.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ainola.|
- Ainola website
- Ainola – the home of Jean Sibelius. Virtual Finland, 2008. Archived at Wayback Machine