The Finnish National Museum presents Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. The building of the Finnish National Romantic Style is located in the centre of Helsinki and is part of the Finnish Heritage Agency (National Board of Antiquities until 2018) of the Ministry of Culture and Education.
The building of the National Museum was designed by an architect from Gesellius, Lindgren, Saarinen . The appearance of the building reflects the medieval churches and castles of Finland . The architecture belongs to national romanticism, and the interior is in the Art Nouveau style. The museum was built from 1905 to 1910 and was opened to the public in 1916. The museum was named the Finnish National Museum after Finnish independence in 1917. After the last major reconstruction, the museum was reopened in July 2000.
The ceiling in the museum lobby is decorated with ceiling frescos in the national epic theme "Kalevala". written by Axelie Gallen-Kallela, which you can see without the entrance fee. The frescoes, painted in 1928, are based on those painted by Gallen-Kallela in the Finnish pavilion of the Paris World's Fair in 1900.
The permanent exhibitions of the National Museum are divided into parts. There are collections of coins, medals, orders and jewelry, silver, jewelry and weapons. There is the history of Finland, the development of Finnish society and culture from the Middle Ages of the 12th century to the beginning of the 20th century through the period of the Swedish Kingdom to the era of the Russian Empire, as well as Finnish folk culture of the 18th-18th centuries with life in the countryside. to industrialization among other exhibitions.
Collections also included Mesa Verde artefacts from the rocky homes of Colorado. They were donated to the museum by Swedish researcher Gustaf Nordenskiöld from Finland. They were the most extensive collection of Mesa Verde objects outside the United States and one of the largest collections of Native Americans outside the Americas. In 2019, it was decided to return some of the exhibits to the indigenous peoples of the United States of America, and it was decided to preserve and store about 600 items.
On Monday, January 23, 2006, the National Museum in the Silver Room experienced a methane explosion caused by a methane leak into a broom closet from drainage through the dry floor drainage and sparked from a switch cabinet in a restroom closet. There were two possible sources for methane; a gas pipe leak underneath the nearby Museokatu Street, or a gas that had formed itself in the sewerage system. Later on, a police investigation revealed that the cause was a gas pipe leak. Most of the showcases and 49 exhibits of more than 200 silver items in the Silver Room of the museum were damaged in the explosion, although most of them were only slightly. No one was hurt. All the objects were successfully repaired the same year. The Silver Room was reopened to the public in early 2007.