Old Hospital Area in Nikkilä

Nikkilä mental hospital offered treatment for thousands of patients from Helsinki between 1914 and 1999. The hospital was important not only for its patients but also for its staff, which numbered at most around 1000 people. At its peak, Nikkilä treated 1200 patients and had 600 patients placed in households in open care at the same time.

Several famous Finns were once patients at the hospital: authors Uuno Kailas and Elmer Diktonius, the poet Maila Pylkkönen, the photographer Signe Brander, and the author L. Onerva. Among the nursing staff, the most famous is probably the artist Rafael Wardi, who started working as an art therapist at the hospital in 1959. The most renowned of the hospital psychiatrists was Oscar Parland, also called "the icon of Nikkilä”. Parland was not only a psychiatrist, but also a writer, painter, composer, and pianist.

Nikkilä Hospital was a pioneer in art therapy and the patients' art was valued and collected. The art collection comprises over 10 000 works and is owned by the City of Helsinki. Nikkilä Hospital is also known for its beautiful architecture and some of the old buildings have been renovated for residential use, among other things. Today, the hospital area is known as Itäinen Jokipuisto (the Eastern River Park).

Visiting information

Hopeapajukuja 5, 04130 Sipoo