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Manors of Mäntsälä 

Manor tours for groups are arranged by the Kartanomatkat company of Mäntsälä (tel. 019-689 0275, kartanomatkat(at)kartanomatkat.fi). Travellers on their own can visit the Alikartano manor museum during opening hours. Visitors are advised to enquire with Kartanomatkat regarding visits to the Saari, Hirvihaara and Sälinkää manors. 

Hirvihaara manor 

The property is part of the former hereditary estate of Lassila. It was bought in 1905 by the engineer Homberg, owner of the Hirvihaara matchstick factory. The present main building was designed by Jarl Eklund and was completed in 1918. Holmberg and his wife were not able to enjoy the new manor for very long, for in 1926 he died on injuries sustained a year earlier in an accident that took place when new machinery was being moved at the factory.

His widow sold the manor and it has had many owners over the years. During the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939-1940, the manor house was a convalescent home for soldiers founded by Dagmar Ramsay, wife of Baron Johan Ramsay, who owned the manor at the time. During the right-wing Mäntsälä revolt of 1932, the manor was owned by Pertti Sakkinen, a local leader of the insurrection. Hirvihaara manor is currently a popular conference hotel where wedding receptions are often held, see http://www.nexthotels.fi/en/manors/hirvihaara/

Saari manor 

In 1693, this property which included three-quarters of the lands of its village was obtained by Petter Fischer, whose family owned the manor until the 1790s, when it was bought by the Sederholm merchant family of Helsinki. In 1885 it passed on to Baron Richard Casimir de la Chapelle, who established a matchstick factory at the manor. The operations of the factory were continued by his son Knut Richard.

Knut Richard de la Chapelle married Anni Erich in 1919, and their only son Cnut Richard was born in 1929. Anni de la Chapelle's first husband was Mikko Erich, a Social-Democratic member of the Finnish Parliament. In 1932, a speaking engagement featuring Erich at the Mäntsälä Workers Hall was opposed so vehemently by right-wing elements that these events marked the beginning of the so-called Mäntsälä Rebellion, a failed right-wing putsch.

The son of Anni and Knut Richard was born in the new manor house designed by the architect Jarl Eklund, who was familiar with historic architecture in Finland and quite popular among estate owners. Among other works, Eklund designed alterations and additions to numerous manor houses in keeping with their style. The Kalastajatorppa hotel and restaurant and the Hankkija cooperatives building in Helsinki were designed by him. The manor house at Saari is an example of clear-cut classicism with which Eklund has suitable mixed features of the Baroque style, as in the entrance to the main building.

Baron Knut Richard de la Chapelle died in 1934 after a short illness. The early 1930s had been financially difficult years, the baron's investments had failed and building the new manor house had proven to be expensive. Knut Richard died leaving an estate in debt. The matchstick factory was acquired by a Swedish trust, the manor and its lands were bought by the state for providing small farms and the moveable property, livestock and agricultural machinery of the manor were auctioned on several occasions.

The lands of the manor were divided into properties for settlement and cultivation. The core property was left relatively large partly because of the particular value and size of the buildings and park of the manor. There were plans for making the main building a weekend residence for the president of Finland. P. E. Svinhufvud, who was president at the time, and his wife Ellen are said to have liked the manor, but there was no progress in the matter, and in the autumn of 1939 the plans changed completely with the outbreak of the Winter War. During the winter of 1939-1940, the Sofianlehto children's home of Helsinki was evacuated to Saari manor, and in the autumn the Finnish state donated the manor to the recently founded Invalid Foundation. The manor now became a school of farming for invalids, where persons disabled in the war were trained.

Saari manor is presently a training institute for gardening and agriculture, training students for work as florists and nature guides, among other occupations. The gardens have an open house day in May and in December a Christmas Land rich in atmosphere is laid out in the large greenhouses of the manor. 
www.keuda.fi (briefly in English) 

Sälinkää manor 

During the war of 1600-1629 between Sweden-Finland and Poland over the control of Livonia on the Baltic, cavalry captain Henrik Wrede saved the life King Charles IX of Sweden in the Battle of Salaspils in 1605 by giving his horse to the king to permit the latter to escape the enemy. Henrik Wrede, however, was surrounded by the enemy and killed. As a gesture of his gratitude, the kind donated several enfeoffed properties to Wrede's widow Gertrud von Ungern and their children. They included the manors of Sälinkää and Numminen in Mäntsälä.

The Wrede family owned Sälinkää until 1730, when it was obtained by Agneta Wrede's son-in-law Magnus Julius de la Gardie. The property changed owners several times, being in possession of the von Troil, Stjernvall, Sohlberg, Pentzin, Terichoff and Eklöf families. Sälinkää was one of the largest estates in Mäntsälä, and by the beginning of national independence after 1917 approximately 100 crofts or tenant farms had been separated from it. 
Many of the tenant farms were given special names, some of which have lived on in the place-names of houses and villages. The tenant farms of Sälinkää had names such as Mekka, Egypti (Egypt), Brasilia (Brazil), Betlehem and Frankrike (France). The era of the tenant farms is the theme of a special event (Torpparihulinat) held at Sälinkää in early October.

As result of the abolition of tenant farming and legislation for providing land, Sälinkää was split into owned farms. The main building is owned by the municipality of Mäntsälä. A restaurant for booked events is kept at the manor by the Sälinkään kartanoseura association, and it is a popular venue for wedding receptions and family celebrations. Sälinkää manor, tel. 019-6886 263, 0400-612 575, anne.jarvi(at)kartano.inet.fi,www.salinkaankartano.com (in Finnish)  

Mäntsälä manor

This privately owned manor is not open to the public but can be admired from the nearby Mäntsälä health centre, which offers a good view of it. Ulla Möllersvärd, a daughter of the manor, is said to have had a romantic attachment with Emperor Alexander I of Russia in 1809. The owner of the manor, Governor Carl Adolf Möllersvärd and his wife Maria Charlotta L'Estrade had four sons and four daughters, of whom Ulrika Otteliana (Ulla) was born in 1791. During the Diet of Porvoo in 1809 the emperor is claimed to have become infatuated with Ulla and he also visited her at Mäntsälä. She was 18 years old at the time, and the emperor was 32.

Two years after the imperial visit, the Möllersvärd family was accorded a great honour when Ulla was invited to be a maid-in-waiting at the imperial court in St. Petersburg. Ulla married Major-General O.R. von Essen in 1813. The marriage was not to her liking - she ran away already on the wedding night - and it was annulled a year later. Ulla moved to Porvoo and never remarried. She died in 1878 at the age of 87 and was buried in Porvoo. In 1944, the author Mika Waltari wrote a novel of the story of Ulla and Alexander, which was made into a popular film in 1950. 

Monuments in Mäntsälä 

Many of the monuments in the Mäntsälä region are the work of the sculptor Heikki Varja. He was born in Jyväskylä, Central Finland, in 1918, and his family moved to Tampere in South Finland in 1920. Varja was accepted as a student at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society at the Ateneum in Helsinki in 1938. His studies, however, were soon interrupted by the Second World War. After the war, Heikki Varja studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm and worked as an assistant to the artists Essi and Ben Renvall and Wäinö Aaltonen, among others. He moved to Mäntsälä with his wife in 1952.

The primary school of Ehnroos was torn down in 1959 and in 1963 the Ehnroos School monument by Varja was unveiled. Heikki Varja had previously made a baptismal font and a sculpture depicting the Crucifixion for the Evangelical-Lutheran congregation of Mäntsälä, among other works. "Maiden of Karelia" by him in honour of the deceased remaining in Karelia and standing next to the cemetery of the war dead dates from 1965.

In the courtyard of the Mäntsälä health centre is the bronze statue "Girls on a Rock by the Shore" by Varja from 1979. He also made a mural relief for the Mäntsälä Congregation Centre in 1980 and in 1982 a portrait relief of Heritage Counsellor Osmo Viljanen, which is at the Sepänmäki Crafts Museum.

In 1866-1868 Mäntsälä suffered from what came to be known as the great famine years. In the worst year of the famine Mäntsälä lost over 10% of its population. In memory of these hard years, the municipality of Mäntsälä and the Mäntsälä Society erected in 1984 a monument by Heikki Varja. Standing on the church hill in front of Ehnroos school, the monument is a relief sit in natural stone with a "mourning band" in its lower part.

In 1985, when Mäntsälä celebrated its 400th anniversary, Heikki Varja's "Monument to Builders and Pioneers"was unveiled in a central location in the main community of Mäntsälä. This work consists of a bronze relief around a red granite column. Professor Heikki Varja died in 1986.

The monument of the war dead cemetery was designed by the artist Ilmari Wirkkala . It is a large cross hewed from red granite from Vehmaa, with the inscriptions "No greater love hath anyone than they lay down their life for a friend" and "We gave our souls to God and our lives to our country, and our names will live on for posterity" on opposite sides. There are also monuments to both sides who fought in the civil war of 1918, and the difficult years of the Second World War are commemorated in a memorial plaque on the wall of the Mäntsälä Meeting Hall in honour of the soldiers who left for the front in Winter War of 1939-1940.

Vaakalintu (Griffin) on the church hill is a work in granite by Marianne Falk installed in the wall of the original municipal hall of Mäntsälä from 1935. The old municipal hall has been renovated for the use of the Mäntsälä Adult Education Institute. Falk's piece is from 1997 and it is made of local migmatite granite with distinct patterns. In order to display the natural patterns of the rock the artist employed a special folding technique. 

The monuments in Mäntsälä are mainly in the built-up area of the centre, but there are some also further away. At Kerämäki, on the road leading from the main community to Sääksjärvi there is the simple yet touchingCholera Grave Monument. In the autumn of 1831, a total of 59 persons died of cholera in various parts of Mäntsälä. The memorial stone was erected soon after the epidemic at a site where cholera victims lie buried.

In the yard area of Sälinkää Manor is the Monument to the Tenant Farmers of Sälinkää from 1983. The monument consists of stone from nearby fields and the foundations of a total of 124 tenant farms.

Next to the southern motorway exit leading to Mäntsälä are Mäntsälä - Municipality of Light and Stone and Kvartti, forming a work of environmental art. Made of local granite, this work and its lighting were designed by the architect Mikko Aho, the artist Marianne Falk and Henri Juslén.

Hard Rock Stone was unveiled on 26 June 2006 in the area between the Ehnroos and Myllymäki schools in Mäntsälä. Amen, a member of the Lordi group that won the 2006 Eurovision song contest attended school in Mäntsälä. 

The Mäntsälä Meeting Hall / Civil Guard Hall

In 1925, the Mäntsälä Civil Guard and the local chapter of the Lotta Svärd women's auxiliary of the Civil Guard decided to build a Civil Guard Hall in Mäntsälä.

A loan was taken out to cover building costs, but a significant portion of the costs were covered through various forms of volunteer work and donations. A lottery held in 1926 had prizes including 10 Ford automobiles and five Excelsior-brand motorcycles. The site for the hall in the centre of the main community was donated by the owner of Mäntsälä Manor, Herlevi and his wife. Almost all the all the lumber of the house and the bricks and other materials were donated by the municipality, and the architect Einar Flinkenberg, who designed the hall, did not charge for his work. The Lotta Svärd women's auxiliary also provided significant support by arranging numerous lotteries and raffles and evening entertainments to pay for the building loan. 
The Mäntsälä Civil Guard Hall was inaugurated in August 1926. 

The Mäntsälä Rebellion

In the late winter of 1932, the Mäntsälä Civil Guard Hall was one of the main scenes of the Mäntsälä Rebellion. The events began at the Workers' Hall of Ohkola village in Mäntsälä on 27 February 1932. Mikko Erich a Social-Democrat member of the Finnish Parliament had been invited to speak at an evening function at the hall. Local rightist elements close to the right-wing Lapua movement tried to have the permit for the function cancelled. When this proved to be unsuccessful, they attempted by means of force to prevent Erich from speaking.

Around 400 men gathered at Ohkola. They were mostly from Mäntsälä, but the participants also included men from Helsinki and neighbouring localities. Since disturbances were to be expected, a large number of police officers had also come to Ohkola. The confused situation erupted in shooting but fortunately no one was harmed.

The men besieging the Workers' Hall went to the Civil Guard Hall, where the events turned into a rebellion. Information was received at the Civil Guard Hall to the effect that those who had assembled at Ohkola were ordered to be arrested. The men at the Civil Guard Hall decided not to disband and instead to defend themselves against anyone trying to arrest them. The uprising came to be headed by Artturi Vuorimaa, a member of the Lapua movement, who at the time was in hiding in Mäntsälä. There was a warrant for the arrest of Vuorimaa for having kidnapped and forcibly removed two Communist members of parliament.

On the following day, Sunday 28 February, Artturi Vuorimaa drew up a declaration of the insurgents to the president of Finland, calling for the suppression of Marxism and for the cabinet to resign. The insurgents elected a staff of officers and the men were divided into companies. In addition to local elements, armed men arrived in Mäntsälä from other localities in the provinces of Uusimaa, Häme, Ostrobothnia and Viipuri. In reality, only some of the insurgents who had promised to come arrived, and finally at total of some 500 men were assembled at Mäntsälä for the week of the rebellion.

The insurgents took control of the telephone exchange and restricted the work of the local police chief to some extent, but in general life in the main village of Mäntsälä was very quiet. Although the leaders of the rebellion tried to take a strict stand on alcohol, there was a great deal of drinking. The leaders of the Lapua movement, in particular, were said to have taken part in the drinking.

The rebellion was taken over by the Lapua movement on Monday 29 February, when Vihtori Kosola, General K. M. Wallenius and a number of other leaders of the movement informed Mäntsälä of their command from Hämeenlinna. 
The Finnish government was afraid that the insurgents would march from Mäntsälä to Helsinki, and all military units in the capital were ordered to guard the main roads and the railway line. Guards were also placed around the building of the Council of State and the Parliament. On Mon day 29 February, special legislation was declared temporarily restricting civil rights, such as freedom of assembly. On 1 March a declaration by President Svinhufvud was read on the radio in which he urged the Civil Guard members to obey the law and to return to their homes.

Hundreds of men assembled in different parts of Finland either organized by the Lapua movement or of their own accord, and forces also came directly to Mäntsälä. There were strong pro Lapua movement and patriotic attitudes in Mäntsälä, especially among young men. The situation had been fanned by the tense mood and information according to which men arriving from around the country to support the insurgents in Mäntsälä. Many older men, however, felt that the conflict had gone too far and they left the Civil Guard Hall. 
On Wednesday 2 March, President Svinhufvud gave a radio speech in which he appealed to legality and promised amnesty to the insurgents, except for those who incited them, if they would return to their homes in good order. As a concession to the rebels, the president promised to resolve political grievances in legal order.

After the president's speech insurgents began to disband in many localities, and the situation started to become unfavourable for the rebellion. On Thursday, the Mäntsälä insurgents decided to send a delegation to negotiate with the president. They met with the president the next day, but he mainly listened to them and reminded them of what he had said in his speech on the radio. By Friday, public opinion - and the Civil Guard leadership - had turned against the insurgents. It was finally agreed in negotiations that the insurgents could leave Mäntsälä under their own command, and on Sunday the leaders of the rebellion were arrested.