National Museum of Finland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
National Museum of Finland
Kansallismuseo Helsinki.jpg
National Museum of Finland
General information
Location Helsinki
Address Mannerheimintie 34
Coordinates 60°10′30″ N, 24°55′55″ E
Owner Senate Estates
Height tower 58 m

The National Museum of Finland (Finnish: Kansallismuseo, Swedish: Nationalmuseum) presents Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. The Finnish National Romantic style building is located in central Helsinki and is a part of the National Board of Antiquities (Finnish: Museovirasto, Swedish: Museiverket), under the Ministry of Culture and Education.[1]


The permanent exhibitions of the National Museum are divided into six parts. The Treasure Troves presents the collections of coins, medals, orders and decorations, silver, jewellery and weapons. Prehistory of Finland is the largest permanent archeological exhibition in Finland. The Realm presents of 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. The "Land and Its People" presents Finnish folk culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, life in the countryside before the industrialisation. Exhibition on 20th century Finland and Finns called "Suomi Finland 1900" was open from 26 April 2012 to 1 March 2015.

The planning and construction of the new permanent exhibition at The National Museum is in progress. Due to this The Treasure Troves exhibition will close in November 2015 and Prehistory of Finland exhibition will close in September 2015. The new permanent exhibition will open 2017-2018. The first part, The Profane Middle Ages, has already opened in room 105.[2]

Workshop Vintti - Easy History, is an interactive exhibition, where visitors can study the history of Finland and its culture using their hands and brains. It is based on experimentation and personal experience, and the tasks and assignments also point the way to exploring the permanent exhibitions of the museum.


The prehistoric archaeological gallery

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.

The building of the National Museum was designed by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel 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. 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 2000.


The museum collections include also the Mesa Verde artifacts from the cliff dwellings of Colorado. These were donated to the museum by the Swedish-speaking Finnish explorer Gustaf Nordenskiöld. They comprise 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.[3] These artifacts were on display until May 2013 at the Museum of Cultures in Helsinki.

Gas explosion in the Silver Room 2006[edit]

On Monday 23 January 2006 there was an explosion accident 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. [1]. Most display cases and only 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. All objects have been repaired during 2006. The Silver Room was re-opened to the public in early 2007.



  1. ^ Finnish National Board of Antiquities web site.
  2. ^ Home-page The National Museum of Finland, Permanent exhibition July 2015
  3. ^ FitzGerald, Michael C., "The Majesty of Mesa Verde" in Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2009, p. W12.

External links[edit]