National Museum of Finland

Helsinki | Finland

About the Museum

Interior view of the National Museum of Finland

The National Museum of Finland’s permanent collections tell the story of Finland from the settlement of the area now comprising Finland 10,000 years ago through the present. The Prehistory Exhibition features animal motifs, silver items, weapons, and Iron Age human remains. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can touch a reindeer axe, see a mammoth move, and animate cave paintings. Over 138,000 objects in the historical collections detail Finns material culture and history from the Middle Ages through the present, with a focus on the culture of the gentry and church artifacts, in addition to an ever-expanding collection of objects and art that recount the politics and state in Finland. The Coin Chamber preserves items relating to Finnish monetary history and boasts nearly a quarter of a million coins, notes, tokens, medals, and decorations. The Independence Era exhibition gathers objects manufactured after 1918 and reflects Finland’s increasing multiculturalism. The National Museum’s ethnographic collections unite artifacts from every continent, acquired by Finnish sailors, whalers, missionaries, diplomats, and social anthropologists who traveled the world. Finally, the Workshop Vintti-Easy History offers a hands-on, interactive exhibition on Finnish history for children.

The National Museum’s National Romantic-style building was designed to resemble Finnish medieval castles and churches. The ceiling of the entrance hall is painted with frescoes that recount scenes from the national epic of Finland, the Kalevala.

(Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

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