OSTROBOTHNIAN MUSEUM Museokatu 3, 65100 Vaasa | Tel. +358 6 325 3800 Open Tue–Sun 10–17, Mondays closed. Admission fees 7/5 €, under 18s free of charge.
THE MEMORIAL HALL
The museum’s Memorial Hall, which commemorates the Finnish Civil War, was planned and established by Karl Hedman. The official opening of the hall took place in the new museum building which was opened to the public in June 1930. Through the memorial hall, Hedman sought to honour the freedom fighters who had led Finland to independence, and whose sacrifices were all too soon forgotten, in his opinion. The Memorial hall was decorated with bronze busts of the leading freedom fighters, the foremost of these being Supreme Commander C.G. Mannerheim and Head of State P.E. Svinhufvud.
The window in the memorial hall features Henry Ericsson’s stained glass painting “Our Nation” and the floor is covered with a large oriental mat which C.G. Mannerheim brought home from his trips to Asia. A large bronze baroque chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The chandelier, which previously hung in Old Vaasa church, was taken as spoil by Russian soldiers during the occupation known as the Greater Wrath, but it was successfully returned during the First World War.
Models that provided inspiration for the memorial hall stretch back to antiquity. The ancient tradition of honouring war heroes has influenced Europe for centuries. Examples of such “civic temples” are Pantheon in Paris and Walhalla in Regensburg, Germany. In the 1870s, a “heroes’ gallery” was dedicated to the great men of Finland in the banquet hall of the Finnish Literature Society. The artefacts placed on display in the hall mark the installation as a national statement, with each individual element articulating the message of nationhood.
The Memorial Hall is a monument to its time, in which nationalist perspectives are combined with ancient modes of expression. Not only does the Memorial Hall highlight the struggle for a free nation and in favour of Western culture, it also emphasizes Vaasa’s role as the capital of the “white” side of the struggle in 1918.
THE MUSEUM SHOP AND CAFÉ NOVA The museum’s publications, as well as literature and postcards, Ostrobothnian craft and design products are available for purchase at the museum shop. In the café there is a wide selection of coffees, as well as soft drinks, confectionary, cakes and pastries. The museum shop and Café Nova are open during the museum's opening hours.