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Havis Amanda

Submitted by Visit Plus on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 22:25

large_havis_amanda_overal.jpg “Havis Amanda” is a fountain and sculpture, located between Market Square and Esplanade Park in Helsinki. This is the most famous sculpture in Helsinki and one of the main attractions of the city. The sculpture was created by Finnish sculptor Ville Vallgrenvo during his living in Paris in 1906.

The sculpture represents a figure of a nude young woman, symbolizing the sea nymphs and city of Helsinki, which has decided to leave his home in the sea, has just came out on land and stands on the edge of a cliff.

Sculptor Ville Vallgren received an order for sculpture in 1905. The models for the sculptor were two 19-year-old Parisian woman’s Léonie Tavieri and Marcelle Delquini. The sculpture was cast in bronze in 1906, and was installed in its place in 1908.

The “Havis Amanda” sculpture has caused much debate in Helsinki. It was a lot of criticism to the author from newspapers, politicians and women's organizations. The original name of the sculpture was Merenneito (sea nymph), but the locals quickly gave the sculpture its own name.

Local residents gave the represented for bronze woman various names: Haaviston Manta, Kaivo-Manta, Manta, Merenneito, Vedenneito, Neiti Helsinki and others. Now the sculpture is known far beyond the borders of Finland. As the name remained “Havis Amanda”. (Swedish hav means the sea, amanda in Latin means “a favorite”, and in the end it turns out – “Favorite by sea”. According to the Wikipedia.) Local residents often use a shorter name - Manta.

The best known tradition associated with the Havis Amanda is dressing student cap on the statue on eve of “Vappu” (May 1). Every year, April 30, students of one of the universities of Helsinki set up on its head a white student cap. The first time, the authorities unsuccessfully forbade the action. In 1951, the traditional dressing naked Amanda has been officially authorized. Nowadays, nobody climbs the statue at midnight (as it was before). The event occurs with a large number of people at 18 o’clock April 30. To ensure the security and safety of the statue is using a car lift.

This attraction location is marked on the Helsinki map.

More photos from Finland.


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