The National Museum of Finland

Helsinki, Finland

The National Museum of Finland presents Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. 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.

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'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.

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Details

Founded: 1905-1910
Category: Museums in Finland
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bogdan Olteanu (2 years ago)
The National Museum of Finland is one of the most organized and interactive museums of this kind that I have visited in Europe, with a precise and truthful storyline from the prehistoric age to current days. It is very interesting to see an unbiased exhibition, showcasing both the boom periods and the downturns, including the natural, political or economic reasons that lead to them. The museum has different interactive areas, with up-to-date technologies. I highly recommend a visit during the stay in Helsinki.
Cem Ertem (3 years ago)
Loved it. An interactive museum experience about finish culture and history. Nice building, helpful staff. More than 2 hours should be spend on. Worth its admission cost.
Nenuphar Blanc (3 years ago)
Beautiful and historical building in the centre of Helsinki. Great way to get a comprehensive review for Finnish history in a few hours. Nice cafe. Interesting changing exhibitions too.
Joyce Tang (3 years ago)
Admission to the museum is: Adults - 12 €, Reduced (student, seniors) - 9 € but admission is free every Friday from 4-6pm. As expected, this museum is filled with all things Finnish, and a good way to pass the time while learning something about this fabulous country. I suspect part of the museum has recently been refurbished as there is quite a strong paint smell. The museum is interactive, encouraging you to actively engage in the exhibits. See the making of the Karuselli Chair, discover how significant and important the sauna is to this country, and the famed cardboard box for newborns. One of my favourite parts of the museum was the wall of past Finnish presidents - take a closer look at them and you'll be in for a surprise!
Shaun Theobald (3 years ago)
Fantastic museum. Staff incredibly polite and helpful. Really enjoyed the re-modelled prehistory gallery. Coffee and cafe superb! Will be returning when next in Helsinki.
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Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.