Kruunuvuori, The Crown Mountain

The dilapidated villas of Kruunuvuori creek and groan with age; their end is nigh. And yet as the last rays of the day pierce the canopy, the mansion before me reveals its former splendour. The debris on the ground melts away, the trees retreat from view, and the house stands, erect and proud again, to command its position overlooking the gulf of Finland.

In 1900, this whole area was envisioned as a resort for wealthy Germans living in Helskini. Following the war it became a holiday resort for members of the Communist Party of Finland. After repeated rejections for building permission the area became neglected. 

Stood on a promontory that would serve well as a mooring, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Herr Schaeffler at the water’s edge, glass of Reisling in hand, attractive wife by his side. He takes her glass, helps her aboard the motorboat then powers into the setting sun.

Times change. The darling buds of Mayglitter with a different beauty to the stubble-plains with rosy hue. At the house, graffiti now adorns the walls where fine art used to hang. But in the twilight of midsummer, this whole realm sparkles once more with the kind of majesty most befitting of the title Crown Mountain.

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