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Havis Amanda, Helsinki

Havis Amanda - A fountain in Helsinki's Market Square near Esplanade Park, installed in 1908. One of the most famous works by Finnish sculptor Ville Valgren. In the center of the fountain is the sculpture of a naked sea maiden.

The sculpture was created by the artist in 1906 in Paris. It has a height of 194 cm and is cast in bronze. The fountain itself is made of granite, the sculpture is installed on a pedestal, the total height of the monument is 5 m. A woman appears as a sea maiden rising from the water. At her feet there are 4 fish, the composition is surrounded by sea lions. According to the plan of Villa Valgren, the fountain should symbolize the revival of Helsinki. According to the sculptor's recollections, the model for the sculpture was 19-year-old Parisian Marcel Delchini.

In 2014, Japanese artist Tatsu Nishi created around the statue a temporary hotel "Hotel Manta of Helsinki", which served as a hotel room at night and as an exhibition space during the day. Despite the criticism, the installation was visited by more than 23 thousand visitors.

The annual celebration of the Finnish first Vappu begins on the 30th of April, when at six o'clock in the evening students wear a white hat - the headdress of the graduates - on the statue. At this point, all present also put on their caps and open bottles of champagne. The ceremony, which began in the 1920s and took root as an annual event in 1951, brings together 20-30 thousand participants.

Havis Amanda, Helsinki