Mänttä castle’s fountain sculpture
A cast-iron sculpture from the Serlachius Museums’s object collection stands on Aleksanterin linna’s yard. The sculpture has originally decorated the courtyard of Mänttä castle build by the mill founder Gustaf Adolf Serlachius.
After moving to Mänttä, mill founder G. A. Serlachius lived a long time in a wooden house called the mill cottage near the Mäntänkoski Rapid. A building resembling a farmhouse was quite a modest home for an industrialist, therefore Serlachius commissioned Swedish architect Melander to design a new house. The private residence of G. A. Serlachius’ family was completed in 1896. Due to its appearance, this red-brick building was later described as Mänttä castle.
Mänttä castle was built on the beautiful grounds of the mill cottage. Instead of being demolished, the old building was utilised as a part of the new building. Mänttä castle then included a decorative part in neo-gothic style made of red bricks and a board-clad old section freshened up with a light-coloured paint. The building was located near the rapid, in other words quite next to the industrial site. The courtyard was bordered in the south by the narrow-gauge railway and in the north by the street that remained between the mill and Koskelanlampi Pond. The worker’s quarters, or the socalled Pitkä pytinki (Long building) was located next door on the east side in the 1850’s.
The industrialist who received the Finnish honorary title of Commercial counsellor the same year the castle was completed managed to reside in the building for five years before he died in 1901. Gösta Serlachius and his family moved to the castle in 1913, one year after the industrialist’s wife Alice Serlachius’ death in 1912. The building was also in office use before it was demolished in 1939.
In the old photographs from 1910-20’s, a fountain surrounded by the plants is visible in the park of Mänttä castle. In summer, palms planted in wooden tubs were brought to the park from inside. The villa-like appearance was finalised with the window awnings. Cast-iron fountain sculpture is a garden decoration, typical for its time: it depicts a naked putto holding a flat bowl. It is not known who purchased the sculpture. The photographs in which the fountain can be detected date back to Gösta Serlachius’ time.
The sculpture’s phases during the time period after Mänttä castle was demolished remain unclear. The fountain was relocated in the 1960’s or early 1970’s to the factory site of G. A Serlachius Oy, to the courtyard of Koskitalo. Koskitalo building is a water purification plant and office building of G. A Serlachius Oy that was built in 1960’s near the site where Mänttä castle used to locate on the Tehtaankatu street, opposite to the memorial of G. A. Serlachius. Mänttä castle was demolished in 1939. The fountain sculpture was included in Serlachius Museums’ collection in 2014. In Autumn 2015 it was relocated to Aleksanterin linna’s yard.