Jyu Kiseleff
Photo: Riikka Javanainen

Seminaarinmäki in Jyväskylä first in Finland to seek the European Heritage Label

European cultural heritage, International Activities, Built Heritage

Based on a proposal by the Finnish Heritage Agency, the Ministry of Education and Culture has selected Seminaarinmäki in Jyväskylä as the first European Heritage Label applicant from Finland. The site, proposed by the University of Jyväskylä, highlights the significance of the educational system in Finland and Europe as the basis for an equal and democratic society.

Seminaarinmäki on the University of Jyväskylä grounds is a protected built cultural environment of national importance with buildings dating from the 19th century to the present day. Architects such as Constantin Kiseleff, Alvar Aalto, Arto Sipinen and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy contributed to the design of the area. This milieu is the birthplace of the globally distinguished Finnish educational system.

The successors of the seminar (or teacher training college), the institute of higher education and the university, have continued in its footsteps. They have had an immense impact on European educational and research tradition in the field of education as well as European integration by engaging in versatile international cooperation in promoting education and research in the branch.

– We are glad to be able to present an example that represents the Finnish education system so profoundly as a candidate to the European Heritage Label. This allows Seminaarinmäki to raise European children and young people’s awareness of the significance of the educational system as the basis for an equal and democratic society, says Minister of Education and Culture Annika Saarikko.

Jyväskylä University Open Science Centre/University Museum, Department of History and Ethnology, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, Department of Teacher Education and Childrens University organised by the Summer University of Jyväskylä are applying for the label for Seminaarinmäki.

The transnational cultural heritage of Kalevala, Malmi Airport, Minna Canth’s legacy: equality and Old Town Raahe were also nominated for the European Heritage Label from Finland.

Labels awarded to significant cultural heritage sites

For the first time next spring, Finnish cultural heritage operators have the chance to apply for the European Heritage Label. The European Commission has awarded labels for a total of 48 sites since 2014. The sites are connected to built heritage, documents, cultural environment and intangible cultural heritage. The label can be awarded to sites located within the EU that have played a significant role in European history, culture and integration. The sites must also be developed through an educational project.

The purpose of the label is to improve European citizens’ knowledge of European history and the construction of the Union, and of shared, diverse cultural heritage. Finland joined the European Heritage Label in late 2018. The Finnish Heritage Agency coordinates the national implementation of the Label in Finland.

The first national call for applications for pre-selection was launched by the Finnish Heritage Agency 14 July–10 August 2020. The Ministry of Education and Culture will submit the application to the European Commission in March 2021, with results expected in early 2022. The next application period is in spring 2023.

Further information

Leena Marsio, special advisor, Finnish Heritage Agency
leena.marsio@museovirasto.fi tel. 029533  6017

Pirjo Vuorinen, chief curator, Jyväskylä University Open Science Centre/University Museum
pirjo.vuorinen@jyu.fi, tel. 040 550 6099

Mirva Mattila, Ministry of Education and Culture
mirva.mattila@minedu.fi, tel. 0295330269

About the European Heritage Label

European Commission website and sites awarded the European Heritage Label

European Heritage Label on Facebook