The memory of Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the national poet of Finland, has been honoured in Pargas since the 1890s with annual celebrations, a street named after him, and a plaque in the Old Town. Then there is The Fredrika Cottage, where Fredrika and her mother lived during their stay in Pargas. The young lovers stayed mostly in the Old Town during 1827-1828, but they also liked to visit the neighbouring villages of Tennby and Munkvik.
In the fall of 2010, the local associations in these villages suggested in a letter to the town officials that a monument should be built to honour the young couple who fell in love in Pargas, and later on came to play a major role in Finland’s cultural life. A result of this initiative was “The Heart’s Tale”, created by the art student Armi Nurminen. The monument was unveiled on 6 June 2015, and is probably the first of its kind dedicated to the memory of both Johan Ludvig and Fredrika. Runeberg got inspiration for many of his poems here in Pargas, and we will therefore give you the opportunity to listen to two of his most loved poems, in Swedish and Finnish.
Listen to “The fountain” in Swedish.
Listen to “The fountain” in Finnish.
Listen to “The Bird” in Swedish.
Listen to “The Bird” in Finnish.
A brochure with more information about Johan Ludvig and Fredrika can be found in a box by the bench close to the monument. The brochure is also available at the Tourist Office in the Town Hall.