Military museums in Finland

Military Museum of Finland

The Military Museum of Finland is the central museum of the Finnish Defence Forces and the national special museum of military history. It was founded in 1929. n 1933 the exhibition was moved to Suomenlinna. During the second world war 1939-45 the museum was closed to the public. The museum was opened to the public again 1948 in Kruununhaka. Today the Military Museum is located in a garrison building designed by Evert Lag ...
Founded: 1883 (Museum opened in 1948) | Location: Helsinki, Finland

The Headquarters Museum

The Headquarters Museum is located in one end of the Päämaja School, which is where the headquarters of the Finnish Defence Forces was located during the Winter and Continuation Wars. The Headquarters Museum’s premises and exhibition use modern technology to display the operations of the Headquarters and central events of the WWII. The museum’s premises have been restored to the condition they were ...
Founded: | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Aviation Museum of Central Finland

The Aviation Museum of Central Finland exhibits the aviation history of Finland, from the early 1900s until today. The exhibition consists of aircraft, engines and aircrew equipment which has been used by the Finnish Air Force. The equipment of the Air Force Signals Museum has its own section. A large collection of scale models gives a wider perspective to the whole field of aviation.Reference: Wikipedia
Founded: | Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Raatteen portti

Raatteen portti ("Raate Gate") is a memorial and museum for those Finnish and Russian soldiers who battled and died in Suomussalmi during Winter War in 1939. The exhibition consists Finnish and Russian weapons and uniforms, photographs and soldiers´ belongings. There is also a multimedia of the Raate battle fields, a scale model of the Raate Museum Road and the Winter War Monument.
Founded: | Location: Suomussalmi, Finland

Karelia Aviation Museum

The Karelia Aviation Museum is located at Lappeenranta Airport. The museum is run by Kaakkois-Suomen ilmailumuseoyhdistys ry. The museum is housed in two covered halls and displays fighter aircraft and smaller objects from the Second World War and onwards.The first hall, the MG Hall, houses the Mig-21BIS MG-127 fighter. The showcases also feature aircraft instruments and gauges, turbine blades and parts from bombers which ...
Founded: | Location: Lappeenranta, Finland

The Artillery Museum of Finland

The Artillery Museum of Finland is a special military museum dedicated to the history of the artillery from the 15th century to the present day. It was located in Niinisalo from 1977 to 1997 and in 1997 relocated to Hämeenlinna.There are almost a hundred guns, grenade launchers and rocket launchers of different make from 13 different countries. The gun collection of the museum is unique, the most comprehensive in the ...
Founded: 1850-1913 | Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland

Infantry Museum

The Infantry Museum, founded in 1982, is housed in three wooden barracks built in the 19th century. The exhibition includes 70 different military uniforms, 120 hand guns, 20 machine and light machine guns, 20 mortars and guns, and plenty of other military equipment. The exhibition is supplemented by a large collection of photos, also in colour, and scale models depicting the battles of Tuulos and Ihantala.The task of the ...
Founded: 1982 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Armoured Vehicle Museum

Parola Tank Museum, officially Armoured Vehicle Museum displays various tanks, armoured vehicles and anti-tank guns used by the Finnish Defence Forces throughout its history. A rare exhibit is an armoured train used in World War Two. A few kilometers away from the museum is also the Armoured Brigade. The museum was opened June 18, 1961, when there were 19 tanks and 12 anti-tank guns on display. Also Leopard 2A4, the lates ...
Founded: opened 1961 | Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland

The Gun and Military Museum

The Gun and Military Museum in Kuhmoinen has a massive collection of over 3000 weapons, medals, swords, helmets, bayonets and lots of other material connected with war, especially the Second World War. The oldest showpieces are from the 18th century. In a separate area, there is a collection of both old and new hunting weapons. There is also a library of war history that includes more than 2000 books, as well as newspaper ...
Founded: | Location: Kuhmoinen, Finland

The Salpa Line Museum

The Salpa Line is a massive line of defensive fortifications approximately 1200 km long that was built in 1940-41 and in 1944 in order to defend the Eastern border of Finland. The Salpa Line Museum in Miehikkälä is a museum on military history established in 1987 displaying the history of fortification works of the Salpa Line. The permanent exhibition of the museum consists of the exhibition and multimedia shows ...
Founded: 1940-44 | Location: Miehikkälä, Finland

Cavalry Museum

The Cavalry Museum is housed in the former guardhouse of the Lappeenranta fortifications, and dates from the 1770’s. The museum was opened in 1973. In the Cavalry Museum you can experience the fire of the fierce Hackapelites and succumb to the charm of the red-panted dragoons.The Cavalry belonged to the Lappeenranta street scene from the 1880’s, when a garrison was built for the Finninsh Dragoon Regiment. Unif ...
Founded: | Location: Lappeenranta, Finland

Järämä Fortification Camp

Järämä fortification camp was originally built by Germans during the Second World War (1942-1944). It’s part of a larger network of fortifications (also known as Sturmbock-Stellung to the Germans) to protect the harbours of the Arctic Ocean. Järämä camp is dug partly into the bedrock. No real battles were ever fought in this fortification camp.Today there are renovated trenches, shooting points for machine guns an ...
Founded: 1942-1944 (Museum 1997) | Location: Enontekiö, Finland

The Jaeger Museum of Finland

The Jaeger Museum of Finland exhibits history of the jaeger movement in Finland. It tells the story of nearly 2,000 young men who went to Germany during World War I to learn military skills aiming to the independency of Finland.In addition to the permanent exhibition there is a room of General Valve, the last Jaeger, as well as special exhibitions. The museum has a substantial collection of material donated by relatives o ...
Founded: | Location: Kauhava, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.