Photographer's Note

Kurssi farmstead under shady trees

Seurasaari is the only open-air museum in Helsinki. The island has been a favourite recreational destination for Helsinki residents since the 1880s, when townspeople arrived by boat to enjoy picnics with their families. In addition to the museum and swimming beach, the island houses a restaurant that was renovated in 2007. The easiest way to get to Seurasaari is by taking bus number 24. Visitors should also visit the neighbouring Urho Kekkonen Museum (Tamminiemi) located beside the bridge leading to the island.

The Kurssi farmstead

The main living room located at one end of the farmhouse was the center of daily life. It was there that food was prepared, bread was baked, and the family ate and slept. The master and mistress of the house slept in their own separate bedroom. The large room at the other end of the building contained looms for summer weaving and is adjoined by an unheated food storeroom. Upstairs, in the daughter’s attic quarters, the retired couple lived as a separate economic unit. The loft’s downstairs quarters were occupied by the master’s brother during summers. The daughter’s loft, with its display of textiles, is located upstairs.

The Open-Air Museum

The open-air museum of Seurasaari is located on a beautiful green island just a few kilometres from the heart of Helsinki. The island is a tranquil oasis in the midst of the city and at the museum the traditional Finnish way of life is displayed in the cottages, farmsteads and manors of the past four centuries that have been relocated from all around Finland.

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum was founded in 1909. All the different provinces of Finland are represented in the well preserved old buildings and they give an overall view of Finnish countryside life from the 18th to the 20th century. At present, there are 87 separate buildings at Seurasaari Museum.
The Niemelä tenant farm from Central Finland and the Antti farmstead from southwestern Finland form complete environments with all of the original outbuildings intact. The life of the rural gentry is illustrated by the wooden church from Karuna (1686), the Kahiluoto Manor House from south-western Finland and the parsonage from Iisalmi.

The museum also includes a country shop and several farmhouses and smaller cottages such as the Kurssi and Ivars houses from Ostrobothnia, the Selkämä house from eastern Finland, the Halla house from northeastern Finland, and the Pertinotsa house from Karelia. ( &

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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