Lapinlahti Hospital – Helsinki, Finland - Atlas Obscura

Lapinlahti Hospital

This former hospital was once one of the oldest mental health facilities in Europe. 


Lapinlahti Hospital is a former psychiatric facility situated in a quiet area on the west side of downtown Helsinki. The hospital was founded in 1841 and operated for over 160 years before its closure in 2008.

It was founded by professor Carl Daniel von Haartman on orders of Emperor Nicholas I, as the quality of care for mental patients in Finland at the time has been deemed abysmal. It was the country’s first clinical building solely built for psychiatric care, and one of the oldest mental health institutions in Europe.

The hospital is a two-story building situated on a small peninsula overlooking Lapinlahti Bay. It was constructed according to plans made by Carl Ludvig Angel in a Neoclassical style, typical for the era

The hospital is surrounded by a small park, and its yard includes a small secluded beach. The area is a popular picnic spot for the locals. There are a couple of cafes and restaurants operating in the main building and the adjacent buildings as well as an artisanal bakery. In the summer, there is also a place where rowboats can be rented.

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