During the Second World War, Mikkeli operated as the headquarters city of Finland, and so all the war operations, led by Marshal Mannerheim, were issued from here. Having the headquarters left its mark on the city landscape and cultural life. Besides museums and landmarks, you can explore Mikkeli's history on guided tours.
Below you can explore the 8top museums where you’re able to sense historical atmosphere. After the museum, visit at least one of the historical manors of Mikkeli that completes your experience.
The Centre of War and Peace Muisti in Mikkeli centre is a science centre narrates how a war is experienced. Experience the war-time reality of the human and the society in a new way. What did women do in the war? What would you decide on censorship? Is propaganda an invention?
Infantry Museum in Mikkeli centre. March with us through the history of the Finnish infantry! Located in the atmospheric late 19th century barracks in the centre of Mikkeli, the museum introduces you to Finland’s main military force from the time of Swedish rule to present. The permanent exhibition tells the story of independent Finland from the infantry’s perspective. The museum experience is complemented with special exhibitions that offer an in-depth insight into the work and life of soldiers. Suitable for all ages. Guided tours and a museum shop available. Museum card accepted.
Pien Toijola Open Air Museum in Ristiina is located around 40 km from Mikkeli in the village of Toijola. Here you will get a fascinating look in to the rural Finnish life in the 18th and 19th centuries at the Pien-Toijola Open-Air Museum. The museum has 28 buildings for you to explore from the main building to barns, storehouses and saunas. You will get to see how Finnish farms functioned and how the households and peasants lived during those times and explore the many artifacts which were in everyday use. Owned by the Toijonen family since 1672, the open-air museum has an honorary plaque from the Foundation for Finnish Peasant Culture for preserving a significant rural cultural environment. Nearby at Astuvansalmi you also find the largest collection of ancient rock paintings in the Nordics and a historical villa Kallioniemi which has a great significance in Finland becoming an independent country in 1917.
Harjukoski Mill in Mikkeli built in the 1870s is a mill with two pairs of stones. It was in operation until 1975. In the yard, you can find a mill cottage, granaries and a smoke sauna. Open during summer seasons. No admission fee during the opening hours. The address is Ihastjärventie 261, Mikkeli.
Woikoski Car Museum in Nurmaa is renowned for its colourful guided tours. Come and hear our guide reveal the stories behind the cars. The history of the vehicles in the museum’s unique collection is part of the history of Oy Woikoski Ab as well as its owner family, the Palmbergs. Some of the cars in the museum have been in the company’s ownership since the 1930s. The stories of the cars are also closely tied to the history and development of Finland. Cars have been instrumental in driving the country forward. Meanwhile, on the racing side, the Jyväskylä Grand Prix that preceded today's Neste Rally Finland was once something completely different. In the museum, you will also see top racing moments and gems from years gone by.
Pitkäpelto farm house museum in Kangasniemi is situated in the Paappala village 18 km from the Kangasniemi main village. The farm has all the buildings typical of an old Finnish farm such as the main building, 12 outbuildings and a windmill, all in a functioning environment. The last farmer and his family moved out in 1960. In 1967-1968 the place underwent its first repairs and was turned into a museum. The most recent work, a large scale restoration under the leadership of the National Board of Antiquities was started in the early 1990s. The main building’s shingle roof was redone in summer 2008 and the roofs of the remaining buildings will be done in the near future. Summer 2014 saw the re-erection of a split rail fence around the courtyard by a group of volunteers. Pitkäpelto farmhouse museum is open on July Sundays 12.00–15.00. Other times for groups by prior booking.
The Juva Museum is one of the Saimaa UNESCO Global Geopark destinations. Juva’s Partala was built in the Middle Ages. The King’s manors were established by Gustav I of Sweden in 1550s. The current, classicist building was built in the late 1800s, and it was renovated and converted into a museum in 1991. The space itself is owned by the municipality, and Juvan Kotiseutu- ja Museoyhdistys ry owns most of the artefacts. The Juva Museum displays the local history from different points of view.
Partala museum area can be visited in summertime. Visits for groups can also be organised outside of the open season.