A friend of mine invited me to join her on the Christmas tour of Loviisa, a small town on the southern coast of Finland, approximately 1,5h away from Helsinki. Loviisa was founded in 1745 as a border fortress against Russia. Most of the fortifications survived the time. Currently, Loviisa is famous for having a nuclear power plant. Residents of Loviisa really wanted to improve the image of the city and this is why they came up with two celebrations to attract tourists from other Finnish cities and neighbouring Russia. There is a garden viewing during the summer time and a Christmas house showing during winter, when old houses decorated for Christmas open their doors for everyone. This is the event that is going on this weekend.
We made a trip to Loviisa yesterday. It’s been a truly unique experience. Most of the houses participating in the event were built in late 1700s – 1900. There was almost no modern furniture seen as most of it came from the same time when the houses were built. Huge closets with beautiful wooden carvings, amazing tables, stylish kitchen pieces made me think that the quality must have been really good as these things lasted for 100-200 years.
And the masonry heaters that no words can describe. Even pictures don’t do them justice, those really need to be seen!
Some houses were more classic and some more creative, but all of them had their own particular character and personality, and I loved that.
There was a lot of beautiful decorations, creative finds and a very joyful and happy atmosphere of Christmas. Some families were selling handmade Christmas decorations, some organised Christmas treats cafe. You could grab a glögi and a Christmas star pastry or some ginger bread, and listen to a cheerful host playing piano.
I got a small jar of cherry confiture, a wooden star and a candle holder for a long candle. I’m glad I stopped at some point, because the tempting was real 🙂 I think every year it’s getting more and more difficult to find yourself in a cheerful mood just before Christmas: too many things to handle at work and at home before the year end. Events like this are a great way to remind yourself that Christmas is also about slowing down, focusing on small things and being grateful for everything we have.
Have a nice weekend!