Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) was the professor of Finnish language and literature at the University of Helsinki in 1853-1862 and played a key role in developing Finnish, improving its status in the 19th century.
The memorial is by Emil Wikström and was unveiled in 1902. It depicts Lönnrot on one of his folklore-collecting journeys. On Lönnrot’s left is Väinämönen, the symbol of `Kalevala’s’ epic and magic verses, rising from the head of Vipunen, represented in bas-relief. On the right is Impi, symbolising the lyric poems and songs of ‘Kalevala’ and ‘Kanteletar’.
The front of the pedestal contains Lönnrot’s name and the text: “Sain sanat salasta ilmi, Kalevala” (The words I laid open, Kalevala).
[Review 10073 overall, 1658 of 2018.]