Former Nikkilä Mental Hospital Area

The great mental hospital of the city of Helsinki, located in the Municipality of Sipoo, was a place where the most severe and ill patients were transferred. Many spent years in the hospital, some of the patients spent the remainder of their lives here. The hospital was closed in 1999, but the culturally and historically valuable hospital hill is still opent to walk among the jugend styled buildings, where thousands and yet thousands of patients have walked.

Please notice, however, that the area is nowadays a residential area and the houses are people’s homes. Please respect the residents and refrain from walking into private yards or entering in buildings. Leave your cars outside the former hospital area in public parking spaces and enter the area on foot. See below for information on where to park.

The hospital drawings were made in 1909 by architect E.A. Kranck. The first patients were admitted in October 1914. Many famous writers and and poets have undergone treatments in Nikkila, such as Uuno Kailas and L. Onerva. One of the patients was a woman, who became known as the Princess of Kellokoski, about whom also a popular book and film (Princess, the Movie) have been made.

Lobotomies were a form of treatment in the 1950s and 1960s and electric shock therapy without anesthetics were also used in the post WW II times. However, the hospital was throughout its active period in the forefront of psychiatric treatment and many forms of treatment were also developped there. The Nikkilä Mental Hospital was the first to employ a gymnastics teacher and to found art therapy groups.

The hospital area was like a small town of its own. It had its own bakery, industrial level washing facilities, greenhouses, a festival hall, farm, burial ground, fire brigade and heat and electrical as well as waterplants. At the peak period the amount of patients rose to up to 1 200. Nowadays many of the jugend style buildings have been converted to apartements and the area is called Itäinen Jokipuisto (Eastern River Park). It is possible to walk around in the area, but please do not drive inside the area with motor vehicles and refrain from entering residents’ private areas.

Source: Sirkka Liisa Tuovinen: Inhimillinen Nikkilä, Helsingin suuri mielisairaala Sipoossa 1914–1999. (Translated for the Sipoo website by Kristian Meurman)

Vanha vesitorninmäki 1, Festival Hall (Juhlatalo) parking area.
Uudensillantie, parking spaces along the side of the road and parking area close to the junction of Uudensillantie and Runeberginkuja.