Ainola was home to Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius, and his family from 1904 until 1972. Situated just 38km north of Helsinki, on the scenic shores of Lake Tuusula in Järvenpää, it was the perfect location to provide Sibelius with the peace he needed in order to compose. The villa was made in timber by the architect Lars Sonck, and includes a fine view of the lakes and a green fireplace – Sibelius’ only demands. Although it allowed the composer to keep the perfect distance from the capital’s hustle and bustle, the area around Lake Tuusula was also home to a number of other artistic families and provided him with a lively social circle.
Ainola was sold to Finland by his daughters in 1972, and two years later the Ministry of Education and the Sibelius Society opened it as a museum. It is open to the public every summer between May and September, and among the personal effects that can be seen there are the grand piano which was given to him on his 50th birthday, and paintings by his wife’s brother Eero Järnefelt.