Military museums in 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.
Founded: 1979 | Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Military Museum of Finland

The Military Museum of Finland was earlier located in a garrison building designed by Evert Lagerspetz in 1883. This site was closed in 2016.
Founded: 1883 (Museum opened in 1948) | Location: Helsinki, 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

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

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 Sca ...
Founded: 1850-1913 | Location: Hämeenlinna, 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 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

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

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: 1939 | Location: Suomussalmi, 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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.