National Museum of Finland

Coordinates: 60°10′30″N 24°55′46″E / 60.1749°N 24.9294°E / 60.1749; 24.9294
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National Museum of Finland
Suomen kansallismuseo
Finlands Nationalmuseum
National Museum of Finland
National Museum of Finland is located in Finland
National Museum of Finland
Location within Finland
General information
LocationHelsinki, Finland
AddressMannerheimintie 34
Coordinates60°10′30″N 24°55′46″E / 60.1749°N 24.9294°E / 60.1749; 24.9294
Construction started1905
Construction stopped1910
ClientBoard of Public Building
OwnerSenate Estates
Heighttower 58 m (190 ft)
Technical details
Floor areaExhibition area more than 3,100 m2 (33,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Gesellius, Lindgren, Saarinen
Main contractorMaster Builder August Pettersson and Master Builder Frans Johansson

The National Museum of Finland (Finnish: Suomen kansallismuseo, Swedish: Finlands Nationalmuseum) is a museum in Helsinki presenting Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. The Finnish National Romantic style building is located at Mannerheimintie 34 in central Helsinki and is a part of the Finnish Heritage Agency (until 2018 the National Board of Antiquities) (Finnish: Museovirasto, Swedish: Museiverket), under the Ministry of Culture and Education.[1]


Original sketch of the building

The building of the National Museum was designed by the architect company Gesellius, Lindgren, Saarinen. The appearance of the building reflects Finland's medieval churches and castles. The architecture belongs to national romanticism and the interior mainly to art nouveau. The museum was built from 1905 to 1910 and opened to the public in 1916.[2] The museum was named the Finnish National Museum after Finland's independence in 1917. After the last thorough renovation, the Museum was re-opened in July 2000.[3]

The museum's entrance hall ceiling has ceiling frescoes in the national epic Kalevala theme, painted by Akseli Gallén-Kallela, which can be seen without an entrance fee. The frescoes, painted in 1928, are based on the frescoes painted by Gallén-Kallela in the Finnish Pavilion of the Paris World Fair in 1900.[3]


The permanent exhibitions of the National Museum are divided into parts. There are collections of coins, medals, orders and decorations, silver, jewellery and weapons. There is prehistory of Finland, the development of Finnish society and culture from the Middle Ages 12th century to the early 20th century through the Swedish Kingdom Period to the Russian Empire Era, and Finnish folk culture in the 18th and 19th centuries with life in the countryside before the industrialisation among other exhibitions.

The collections also included the Mesa Verde artifacts from the cliff dwellings of Colorado. These were donated to the museum by the Finland Swedish explorer Gustaf Nordenskiöld. They comprised the most-extensive collection of Mesa Verde items outside the United States and one of the largest collections of native Americana outside the American continents.[4] In 2019 it was decided to return a portion of the artifacts to the representatives of the indigenous people of the United States of America, with it agreed for some 600 items to be kept and exhibited.[5][6]

Gas explosion in the Silver Room[edit]

On 23 January 2006 an explosion occurred at the National Museum in the Silver Room, which was caused by methane leaking into a broom cupboard from the drainage through dried floor drain and lit by a spark from the power distribution cabinet in the cleaning closet. There were two possible sources for the methane; a leak from a gas pipe under the nearby Museokatu street, or gas that developed on its own in the sewer. Later, police investigations found the cause to be a gas pipe leak. Most display cases and 49 pieces out of more than 200 silver objects in the museum's Silver Room were damaged in the explosion, although most of them only mildly. Nobody was hurt.[7][8] All objects were successfully repaired the same year. The Silver Room was re-opened to the public in early 2007.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Finnish National Board of Antiquities web site.
  2. ^ "Historiaa". Kansallismuseo. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "National Museum of Finland". The European Museums Network. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  4. ^ FitzGerald, Michael C., "The Majesty of Mesa Verde" in Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2009, p. W12.
  5. ^ "Mesa Verde". Kansallismuseo. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Finland to repatriate American Indian artefacts to the United States from its national collections". Kansallismuseo. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Kansallismuseon räjähdys johtui maakaasusta". Ilta-Sanomat. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  8. ^ Kokko, Karri (20 March 2009). "Museot elävät monenlaisten vaarojen alaisina". Suomen Kuvalehti. Retrieved 29 June 2020.

External links[edit]