Have you ever been to the official home country of Santa Claus? No, we are not kidding, for the Finnish town of Rovaniemi has acquired a certificate that states that it is the official home town of the world-famous “Christmas Man”. Yet this is not what we are here to talk about – today, we shall to look at some of the most exquisite cultural establishments that Finland has to offer. So, without further ado, let us set sails upon some icy waters (wink)!
1. National Museum of Finland:
It is not a secret that most tourists tend to spend most of their Finnish time in the capital city of Helsinki. We can most certainly understand why (the city is absolutely fabulous) and, for that particular reason, we recommend that you check out its most famous museum, the National Museum of Finland. Pertaining to the National Board of Antiquities under the influence of the Ministry of Culture and Education, the establishment showcases items ranging from the Stone Age all the way to the present day. Its collections are separated into six different sections: “The Treasure Troves” (displaying coins, weapons, decorations and other items pertaining to the theme); the “Prehistory of Finland” (this is quite possibly one of the largest archaeological exhibitions in the country); “The Realm” (a hefty collection that spans eight centuries from the 12th to the 20th); the “Land and its People” (incorporates the fine nuances of the 18th and the 19th century by exploring country life and industrialisation); the “Suomi Finland 1900” (this one is mostly preoccupied with the people of the 20th century); and, last but not least, the “Workshop Vintti – Easy History” (this is an exhibition where visitors can explore the complete history of Finland in an interactive fashion). Housed in a grandiose building designed by master architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen and built between the years 1905 and 1910, the National Museum of Finland adheres to the imposing standards of the Finnish National Romantic architectural style. Provided with a tower that soars at a sky-piercing height of 58 metres, it surely is a beacon of magnificence but also of knowledge. If you happen to lose way in Helsinki, you can somewhat rely on the tower to guide you (wink). Oh, and did we mention that there is a bear statue from by Emil Wikström outside the establishment created in 1910 – an extra reason to be one of the thousands and thousands of people who flock to Helsinki’s pride annually.
You remember when we’ve stated that getting out of Helsinki wasn’t as mainstream as it should be? Well, here’s a living, breathing proof that it is true: the village of Inari has one of the most interesting museums that Finland can offer: Siida. Its name might sound interesting at first but its marvels are far beyond problems of pronunciation. Situated proudly on Lake Inari, the establishment stretches upon an area of 7 hectares and boasts with over 50 marvellous points of interest for visitors to explore. Harbouring the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre, Siida hosts various exhibitions that explore the Sámi people and the northern environments of Lapland. If you happen to find yourself in Inari during summertime, know that it has special open-air exhibitions open only during that season (this is what was basically known as the Inari Sámi Museum in the past). Finally, let us slide in an extra fact to lure you to Siida: some of its archaeological findings are more than 9,000 years old (that is even older than the documented Sumerian culture) – definitely worth your time!
3. Finnish Airforce Museum:
You may have witnessed wonderful museums in your life but few are as radiant as the Finnish Airforce Museum (formerly known as the Aviation Museum of Central Finland). Located adjacent to the Jyväskylä Airport in Tikkakoski, Jyväskylä, the establishment is owned by the Foundation of Aviation Museum of Central Finland. Showcasing aircrafts from 1900 to today, engines and aircrew equipment (all of them used by the Finnish Air Force), it is visited by more than 25,000 people each year. Notable aircraft on display include: a Mignet HM-14 Pou du Ciel, a De Havilland D. H. 115 Vampire Trainer T. Mk. 55, a Focke-Wulf Fw 44 J Stieglitz, a Bell P-39 Airacobra, a Morane-Saulnier MS 50C, a VL Pyörremyrsky and numerous others. People who are fascinated by the history of the World Wars are definitely going to enjoy this one!
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned museums have you visited and how much have they impressed you? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back for some interesting updates! Happy culture-hunting (wink)!