The Kuopio Museum was established in 1907 and it is the third oldest museum in Finland. The Jugend-style building, designed by J. V. Strömberg has been influenced by Finnish castles, such as Olavinlinna and the castle of Vyborg.
There are two museums located in the building: The Kuopio Cultural History Museum and the Natural History Museum. The permanent exhibitions of the Cultural History Museum provide information on the prehistory, settlement, local livelihoods, industry and the ways of life in Northern Savo. The smoke cottage, old-style coffee shop and Savo-style rowing boat tells a story of the area's history and traditions.
The Natural History Museum displays the ecological systems of the nature in Eastern Finland. The main themes are winter and summer. The most popular showroom is the mammoth interior, which shows the nature as it was 22 000 years ago. The botanical and zoological collections belong to the the most important collections in Finland.
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.