Kruunuvuori's Abandoned Villas

It's hard to write an article on Kruunuvuori villas - one of Helsinki’s oddest and most treasured secrets, which will alas not be there for much long longer - without thinking of Charles Dickinson's Miss Havisham's abandoned mansion. After being left at the alter, the estranged character lets time be the sole master of her house and mind: 
“It was spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The most prominent object was a long table with a table-cloth spread on it, as if the feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together. An epergne or centre-piece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite indistinguishable"Great Expectations 

Kruunuvuori  is an entire neighborhood of abandoned villas in the middle of the forest with only companion the slow inevitable passing of time.
The story behind Kruunuvuori is most peculiar. Helsinki has not always been home of the current modern concrete buildings. On the contrary,  for instance, during the 19th and early 20th century, the city created entire neighborhoods made up of villas. Kruunuvuori was one of them, and was built by German businessman Albert Goldbeck-Löwen as a summer residency mainly for wealthy upperclass citizens.   After WW2, the Soviets seized the neighborhood, and later the Finnish Communist Party tried to rent them out to new inhabitants. Initiatives to revive the neighborhood failed though, such as Aarne Aarnio’s, a Finnish businessman, who wanted to rebuild and revitalize the area, only to be constantly turned down by bureaucratic authorities.  Little by little Kruunuvuori villas were abandoned with the slow passing of time.

Inside Out Helsinki recommends taking advantage of this marvel, before the city tears down the villas for a new construction project. Go there during the warm months with a picnic, some good hiking shoes, and imagine yourself set back to another era.

How  to get there:

Take a metro towards either Mellunmäki / Vuosaari and jump off on Herttoniemi
Then from Herttoniemi take a bus 88 to Kaitalahti, which is the final stop

Walk til the end of the road called Päätie, where you can find a forest road beginning on the right.


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