Falling in love with Vyborg. Again and again
Last weekend a very good friend of mine and me spent at a little lovely town called Vyborg not far from St. Petersburg. This place has a really incredeable history, being founded at the end of 13th century by Sweden king and then belonged to Russian state and Finland for some decades at 20th century, it has become russian again in 1944.
As you may imagine for today Vyborg represents a mix of architecture, not so wierd like at Kaliningrad, for example, but still curious to investigate. What is more significant a lot of buildings at Vyborg are almost destroyed and make my heart suffer while I see them. Maybe the govertnment has not enough money to reconstruct them, maybe they do not consider it to be compulsory but after all the historic centre of the town looks being neglected.
However I love this place, ’cause there I found myself at ease (seems like I’m keen on nothern Europe architecture and spirit). Ispite of those ruins there are some picturesque and worth visiting places. When I met this town at first time three years ago I felt in love with the view you can see while getting to the St. Olaf’s Tower (1293 y. of construction), Monrepo Park (Monrepo means sort of my relax) and these ancient streets as well.
This time we decided firstly to visit something new for us that we have not seen yet. That’s why we began our walk with Alvar Aalto Library famous for its a bit cosmic construction created at the middle of 1930s. And actually it appeared to be an extremely apt decision as we were not afraid to look into the library where we found out that they condunct hour lasting excurtions dedicated to library’s history, its architercure and current life of this magnificent place.
So here are some notes amazed me the most. For instance, Aalto from Finnish means wave, and in design of library you can find lots of details that remind you about it: furniture, the ceiling (its total length is abot 9 km), railing and so on. Besides the author of the project — I mean Alvar Aalto — was highly concerned about readers comfort and their willing to stay in library with pleasure, for this reason he created a system of natural lightning reaching by 57 light wells. He also used very worm and soft colours to make the space as cozy as possible.
Certainly, not all the features could be saved till today safe and sound. The library was injured badly in the War. The first reconstuction hold by soviet masters at 1960s was of good quality, anyway quite far from originality. At the end of 20th century was started ther Great Reconstruction (as library officers call it) that lasted till 2013, the last years (2011–2013) were the determinative as all the work was under the control of Finnish side. The collaboration of foreign experts and russian builders led to entire restoration of the library. Today it looks completely like it was at its earlier times.
They say they have almost 400 thousand of books, and only 80 people every day who visit the library. And they sure it is to be not so little I believe such a fabulous place deserves more. And I want people not only from St. Petersburg know about it.
I also believe my country deserves a great amount of libraries like this. Maybe my dream will come true one day. And you… you just come to Aalto library and see everything I said is true :)