EXTENDED! Expansive Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki manages in microcosm to present the history of Finland in an aesthetically magical, symbolically rich environment evocative of Finnish identity and nationalism. The graves most often in Swedish, Russian, and Finnish concretely attest to the countrys trajectory from a Swedish possession, to a Russian Duchy, to an independent modern nation.
Through its siting and landscape design, various chapels, and exquisite grave-markers, the Cemetery conveys the design history of a country which values architecture, landscape architecture, and the arts so markedly. Prominent Finns such as Alvar Aalto and Field Marshal Mannerheim are buried and memorialized here, often with striking, creative gravestones ranging from Baroque to Art Nouveau. The sacrifices of the Winter War and other conflicts are also given stark immediacy through the moving memorials to young soldiers and patriots.
The exhibit attempts to communicate some of the cultural richness, multiculturalism, and integration with nature which form so much a part of the identity of modern Finland.