The Turku Biological Museum opened on 15 July 1907. The story of the museum starts in 1902 when the Turku City Council received an anonymous donation for 50 000 marks for an unspecified purpose. Later it was revealed that the donation had been made by Alfred Jacobsson, the vice consul for Sweden, and his wife Hélène.
The Jacobssons had gotten the idea for the museum on their trip to Stockholm, when they visited the local biological museum. Alfred Jacobsson led the construction committee for the Turku museum, and he invited the designer of the Stockholm museum’s exhibition, Gustaf Kolthoff, to discuss the new building and its exhibitions. Kolthoff then caught and stuffed the animals for the exhibition with the help of his son, Kjell Kolthoff. Kjell also painted the backgrounds for the dioramas with oil colours. The architect for the Turku museum was Alex Nyström, and the construction was completed in 1907. Nyström designed a wooden building representing the National Romantic style, and after a hundred years the building still has its original look.
The idea behind the Biological Museum has not changed in the last hundred years. The 13 dioramas in the museum take you on a journey through Finland’s flora and fauna from the Turku archipelago all the way up to the fells of Lapland. The museum also has temporary exhibitions each year, and it hosts nature themed events.
The museum has largely kept its original look, and the main exhibition has not changed much since the first display in 1907.