National Museum of Finland

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The National Museum of Finland
Kansallismuseo Helsinki.jpg
National Museum of Finland
National Museum of Finland is located in Finland
National Museum of Finland
Location within Finland
General information
AddressMannerheimintie 34
Coordinates60°10′30″N 24°55′46″E / 60.1749°N 24.9294°E / 60.1749; 24.9294Coordinates: 60°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
Technical details
Floor areaExhibition area more than 3 100 m²
Design and construction
ArchitectGesellius, Lindgren, Saarinen
Main contractorMaster Builder August Pettersson and Master Builder Frans Johansson

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 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 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 is closed from 9 November 2015 and Prehistory of Finland exhibition is closed from 30 August 2015. The new permanent exhibition will open 2017–2018. The first part, The Profane Middle Ages, has already opened in room 105.[4]

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 museum collections include also the Mesa Verde artifacts from the cliff dwellings of Colorado. These were donated to the museum by the Finland Swedish 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.[5] 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. 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.[6][7] 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. ^ Home-page The National Museum of Finland, Permanent exhibition July 2015
  5. ^ FitzGerald, Michael C., "The Majesty of Mesa Verde" in Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2009, p. W12.
  6. ^ "Kansallismuseon räjähdys johtui maakaasusta". Ilta-Sanomat. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  7. ^ Kokko, Karri (20 March 2009). "Museot elävät monenlaisten vaarojen alaisina". Suomen Kuvalehti. Retrieved 29 June 2020.

External links[edit]