National Museum of Finland

National Museum of Finland
National Museum of Finland
Suomen kansallismuseo (Finnish)
Finlands nationalmuseum (Swedish)
General information
Type Museum
Architectural style National Romantic
Location Helsinki, Finland
Coordinates 60°10′30″N 24°55′55″E / 60.175°N 24.93194°E / 60.175; 24.93194
Construction started 1905
Completed 1910
Inaugurated 1916
Height 58 meters (the tower)
Design and construction
Architect Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen

The National Museum of Finland (Finnish: Suomen kansallismuseo, Swedish: Finlands 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 operates in collaboration with the National Board of Antiquities (Finnish: Museovirasto, Swedish: Museiverket), an association related to the government's Ministry of 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 18th–19th centuries, life in the countryside before the industrialisation. The 20th century exhibition presents independent Finland and its united and international culture. This exhibition is closed 2010-2011.

VINTTI, Easy History, National Museum’s newest department, 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 the Mesa Verde artifacts from the cliff dwellings of Colorado. These were dedicated 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.[2] These artifacts are on display in the Museum of Cultures, in Tennispalatsi address: Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8, Helsinki.

The museum's entrance hall ceiling has ceiling frescoes about the Kalevala, 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 opened in 2000.

Explosion in 2006

On Monday 23 January 2006 there was an explosion accident at the National Museum in the Silver Room, which was probably caused by methane leaking into a broom cupboard and lit by a spark from the electrical mains in the 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 some silver objects in the museum's Silver Room were damaged in the explosion, although most of them only mildly. All objects have been repaired during 2006. The Silver Room was re-opened to the public in early 2007.


External links

Coordinates: 60°10′30″N 24°55′55″E / 60.175°N 24.93194°E / 60.175; 24.93194

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