Sep 20, 2015

Top 12 Public Penises of Finland

That's right, Finland, the conservative outsider of Scandinavia, somewhat isolated from the usual tourist circuit (but you can fly from London in about 3 hours), cold and cloudy, with a non-Indo-European language that's a problem for most Europeans to learn.  When I  visited in the spring of 1999 with Jaan and Yuri, I found out something very important:

On enemmän julkisia penis kuin Prahassa tai Pariisissa.
There are more public penises than in Prague or Paris.

1. Start with Helsinki, where there are about 400 monuments, statues, and works of public art.  The most famous is The Three Smiths, by Felix Nylund, a statue of three naked smiths hammering on an anvil, in Three Smiths Square in the heart of Helsinki.  It's customary  to tell people, "Meet me at the three naked guys."

2.-3. Then the statues of long-distance runners Paavo Nurmi and Lasse Viren outside the Olympic Stadium.  They didn't really run naked.

4. Drop by the Central Railroad Station to see two muscular guys holding lamps.

5. This statue is called Haaksirikkoiset, "Shipwreck," by Robert Stigell.  It's facing east, toward Russia, so it's often interpreted in patriotic terms as the Finnish people overcoming adversity.

6. After that, you can just wander around.  There are nude men on every corner.  Like this monument to the Battle of Pellinki, by Gunnar Finne.

More after the break

7. Or "The Boxers," by Johannes Haapsalo, depicting two nude men sparring (left).

8.-9. Maano Oitinnen's "Matti and Jaakko" are two naked adolescents greeting visitors to an apartment complex on Munkkiniemenn Street.  They represent the sons of the builder.  How would you like to walk past a naked statue of yourself every day?

Then there's "The Fighter," "The Wounded Athlete," and...well, you get the general idea.

10. And don't forget Tampere, about two hours north of Helsinki, for three naked Tammerkoski, Bridge Statues by Väinö Aaltonen.

11. Or the monument to Aleksis Kivi, author of the homoerotic novel Seven Brothers, who was apparently allergic to clothes.

12. Or Tampere Cathedral, with its naked people rising from the dead in a fresco over the altar.  It also features the very odd sight of 12 naked boys representing the Twelve Apostles handling "The Garland of Life." Real boys from Tampere were used as models.

And we haven't even gotten to Turku.

See also: the Forest of Gay Dreams in Parikkala, a park devoted to muscular male nudes in Oslo, and an Icelandic museum dedicated to the penis.