National Museum of Finland Exterior

The National Museum of Finland

Helsinki | Finland

About the Museum

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The National Museum of Finland was founded in 1893 as the State Historical Museum by combining several older collections and placing them in the care of the state. It exhibits Finnish history from the Stone Age to present. Its permanent exhibits are divided into six parts and highlight the prehistory of Finland, development of its society from the Middle Ages on, and life during the Swedish Kingdom Period to the Russian Empire Era. It also features an exhibit focusing on folk culture of Finland and life in the countryside.

The building was designed by Finnish architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen who had won an architectural competition in 1902. The building was constructed between 1905 and 1910. It illustrates the prevailing museum architecture of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, in which various parts of the building reflect the nature of the collections and the different periods of architectural history in Finland. With its granite façade and steatite decoration, the building is one of Finland's most significant national-romantic works of architecture. The museum was opened to the public in 1916.

(Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

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