Who are we and where do we come from? The study of the past seeks to answer the eternal mystery of existence. The three main exhibitions of the National Museum of Finland take the visitor from the past to the present through different perspectives.

The Prehistory exhibition deals with prehistoric times through origin, materials, movement, encounters and world view. The exhibition aims to highlight themes that unite people regardless of the era. The Otherland exhibition depicts an era when the country called Finland did not yet exist. The exhibition presents perspectives, fates and people’s lives from the region’s past from the 11th century, taking the visitor through the times of Swedish and Russian rule up to the early days of Finland’s independence. The Story of Finland exhibition shows how a small autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia became the welfare state of Finland. Eight themes take the story forward from the early stages of the state through the wars to democracy and the welfare state as well as the deep recession of the 1990s. At the end of the exhibition, we turn our eyes to this moment and the future – what aspects of this moment will be preserved for the future?

The three main exhibitions of the National Museum feature hundreds of objects. On these pages, we have selected a few of them for you to learn more about – do the choices tell more about the people of the past or about us?

Select an image for more information