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Military Museum of Manes, Helsinki

#13 of 51 in Museums in Helsinki
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Military Museum
The Military Museum’s Manege, located in Suomenlinna sea fortress, is originally a Russian artillery storage built in 1880-1881. In 2012 a new exhibition From Autonomy to Atalanta was opened in the Manege. The new exhibition covers Finnish military history from early 19th century to the present day. Although most of the exhibition consists of World War II history, there is also some information about earlier centuries.The building was opened as a museum in 1989 and there are approximately 13 000 visitors annually from all over the world. The museum is open 12.5.2012–31.10.2016 every day 11AM-6PM.History of the BuildingThe Manege was built in 1880-1881, in a time when Finland was still part of the Russian Empire. Some architectural plans had been made already in 1875 but they were however rejected. Three years later architect Greifon’s plan was considered the best alternative. The Manege was built using brick and floor was originally made of clay. Floor was re-constructed however in 1908 by using concrete as building material. Between the entrances on both ends of the building is a large hall. Originally there were heating ovens next to the entrances.Russians used the building mainly as artillery storage but there was also a possibility for soldiers to train gymnastics in the main hall. In the beginning of 1890s places for an orchestra, a stage and dressing rooms for both women and men were built in the end of the main hall. The Manege was suitable for many different purposes, but despite its name it was neved used as a riding hall.After Finland gained its independence in 1917 the command of Suomenlinna sea fortress transferred from Russia to Finland. Soon after becoming independent Finland fell into Civil War. During and after the Civil War, Suomenlinna sea fortress had camps for red side´s prisoners of war. However, during the war the Manege served as storage and workshop. After the Civil War the Manege has primarily served as storage facility for the Finnish Navy and from 1974 onwards for the Military Museum. Anyhow, the main hall has occasionally served as a movie theatre and during the Continuation War it was also used as a basketball court.
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  • The Military Museum consists of two buildings (halls) and a submarine. Good value for this ticket in my opinion. Exhibits start around 1917 - as Finland gained independence after World War One and a.....  more »
  • The museum building was originally Russian artillery storage from 1881. The exhibition tells about the four wars Finland has fought during its independence: the Civil War in 1918, the Winter War in....  more »
  • One the most awesome museums I’ve ever been. The amount of cool stuff you could see here for the incredible price!!! Is unbelievable! Highly recommended. You can see and learn and enjoy a lot visiting only of the three exhibitions offered on the combined ticket, let alone all three!
  • Awesome experience looking through this gem of a war museum! I was fascinated with all the information which there was plenty of and I was mesmerised by the life like statues. Looking at all the old memorabilia from the war time gave me a sense of how intense it was during that time.

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