Vantaa City Museum
The Vantaa City Museum is a part of the Urban Culture Department. Regulations on the museum’s activities have been laid down in the administrative regulation of the City Culture Board of Vantaa and the administrative regulation of the Urban Culture Department, approved by the City Council.
Legislation and municipal decrees also guide the work of the museum. The most important legislation includes the Museums Act, the Antiquities Act, the Museums Decree, the Act on the Protection of the Built Heritage, the Copyright Act, the Personal Data Act and the Archives Act.
The museum complies with international agreements and recommendations, such as the instructions and recommendations issued by ICOM (International Council of Museums), the Finnish Museums Association and the Finnish Heritage Agency.
- The Vantaa Cultural Environment Programme project was included in a European catalogue of good practices for cultural heritage work. Granted by: Cultural Heritage in Action, an EU cultural heritage peer-learning project for cities and regions.
- Finalist of Local Heritage Book of the Year award for the book ‘Håkansbölen kartanossa - På Håkansböle gård’. Granted by: The Finnish Local Heritage Federation.
- The mobile game project ‘Breathing Life into Jokiniemi and the Stenkulla Rock’ received the European Heritage Days Stories grant worth EUR 10,000. Granted by: The Council of Europe
- The book ‘Kotikulmilla – Kuvia Vantaasta ennen ja nyt’ was included in the collection The Most Beautiful Books of the Year 2018, and it received the diploma ‘Kirjataiteen kaunis kirja’ (A Beautiful Book of Book Art). Granted by: The Finnish Book Art Committee
- The recognition ‘Vuoden vantaalainen pyöräilijä’ (Vantaa Cyclist of the Year) for the staff of the Vantaa City Museum. Granted by: The Poljin work group of the City of Vantaa
- The prize ‘Vuoden viestintäteko’ (Communication Act of the Year) for the ’Rakkauden tiloja’ (Spaces of Love) joint exhibition and event package by four museums in Uusimaa. Granted by: The Finnish Museums Association.
- The prize ‘Vuoden sisältöteko’ (Content Act of the Year) for the ‘Kasarikoti’ (A Home of the 1980s) site at the Vantaa Housing Fair. Granted by: Osuuskunta Suomen Asuntomessut.
- A diploma for an excellent presentation of interior design in the 1980s for the visitors at the fair. Granted by: Osuuskunta Suomen Asuntomessut and the City of Vantaa.
- Special Mention of the Jury, Category 2: Research, granted to the project ‘Padise - Vantaa, The Middle Ages Bridge’. European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards.
- The ‘Apple of Good Information’ award for the exhibition Sateenkaari-Suomi (Rainbow Finland). Granted by: Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland
- Honourable mention in the ‘Vuoden museojulkaisu’ (Museum Publication of the Year) contest for the publication ‘Samuelin kartat’ (Samuel’s maps). Granted by: The Finnish Museums Association.
The long history of Vantaa in brief
- The first inhabitants came to the region during the Stone Age nearly 10,000 years ago. The sea level was higher than it is now, which means that the region was located on the shores of the ancient sea.
- Already during the Stone Age, settlements were focused on the Myyrmäki and Tikkurila areas. Stone Age settlements in the Myyrmäki town centre and in Jokiniemi have been studied in extensive archaeological excavations.
- In the Middle Ages, people moved into the area from Sweden. With them, they brought things such as the Swedish language and social structure. The area was called Helsinga, or the Helsinge parish.
- The area is mentioned in written sources for the first time on 14 September 1331. The document concerns the payment of a tithe to the bishop. Another early mention is from 1351, when Magnus IV, King of Sweden, granted the Estonian Padise Monastery permission to fish salmon in the Vantaanjoki river.
- The first railway in Finland was built across the parish in 1862. In addition to the railway terminals, the old Tikkurila railway station is the only station building that was built of brick. The station building currently houses the Vantaa City Museum.
- During the administrative reform in 1865, the Helsinge parish turned into the Helsinge rural municipality.
- The rural municipality was mainly Swedish-speaking until the early 1900s.
- The rural municipality became the Vantaa market town in 1972 and the City of Vantaa in 1974.
- Vantaa is the 4th largest city (in 2021) and the most multicultural municipality in Finland.
Publications of the museum
Publications related to the history of the region are published regularly in the publication series of the Vantaa City Museum. You can read them at the museum’s reference library, and you can also purchase the most recent publications at the Pieni museopuoti museum shop.
n:o 10: Bysantti valinkauhassa = Bysans i stöpsleven = Byzantium in the Casting Ladle. Frolova, Galina et al. 2000. [edition sold out]
n:o 22: Colonists on the shores of the gulf of Finland. Medieval settlement in the coastal regions of Estonia and Finland. Poutanen, Marjo (edit.) 2011. [edition sold out]
n:o 25: Seuraavana Tikkurila! Nästa Dickursby. The next stop Tikkurila. Hällström, Jaana af (edit.) 2012.
n:o 31: Our journey. Vantaa in history. Junno-Huikari, Karoliina (edit.) 2015.
n:o 35: Kotikulmilla / I hemknutarna / In the neighborhood. Junno-Huikari, Karoliina (edit.) 2018.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
The museum and the museum building
The first exhibition of the City Museum opened at the old Tikkurila railway station in 1990. The history of the museum’s birth reaches decades further than that, however.
The idea of establishing a museum was born among those interested in local history already in the 1950s. The ‘Helsingin pitäjän kotiseutu- ja museoyhdistys’ local heritage and museum association of the Helsinki parish was established to promote the issue in 1961. The efforts resulted in a local museum in the granary of the Helsinki parish village, where the Helsinge-Tusby Ungdomsförbund r.f. collection is still being exhibited.
The cultural office of the City of Vantaa had also started to acquire items for the museum collections, and there was active cooperation with the local museum. The cultural office focused on gathering a photograph and school collection, because one of the ideas was to establish a school museum.
Citizens’ initiatives for establishing a museum were submitted to the city government and the City Council in 1978 and 1979. The old Tikkurila railway station, which was empty, was considered a suitable place for the museum exhibitions. The Vernissatehdas factory building on the other side of the track was considered as premises for the collections. However, young people took over the Vernissatehdas building with great fanfare in 1985, and the premises remained in the use of youth services.
The City Council confirmed the rules of procedure of the City Culture Board and the cultural office in 10 February 1986. They specified the duties of the City Museum and the museum division of the City Culture Board. The operations of the museum started in the temporary barracks in the yard of the Hiekkaharju Vocational School. There was no permanent exhibition space.
In 1988, the museum had to move again into barracks in Lummepolku, until the office and exhibition premises of the museum were completed in the renovated old Tikkurila railway station in 1990. The first exhibitions opened in December of the same year. The City of Vantaa purchased the building in 2007. Until then, the station had been rented from the State of Finland.
The stately red-brick building used to be a railway station. It was completed in 1862 as one of the intermediate stations on the first railway in Finland. The building was designed by Carl Albert Edelfelt, the official architect of the Häme Province.
In addition to the Tikkurila station, only the railway terminals in Helsinki and Hämeenlinna were built of brick. The original Helsinki railway station was demolished in 1918, and the Hämeenlinna station burned down the same year. This means that the Tikkurila station is the oldest railway station built of brick in Finland.
Exhibitions, guided tours, services
- The entry to our exhibitions is always free.
- Public guided tours are free of charge. You can check the prices of guided tours booked for groups on the page ‘Exhibitions and events’.
- We have free entry. We can still mark your visit at the museum on your Museum Card, if you want. You can also buy a new Museum Card from us or extend the period of validity of your existing card.
- Currently, recreational vouchers cannot be used as payment.
There are no regular guided tours in English, but you can ask the museum for a guided tour for your group.
See the page ‘Exhibitions and events’ for more detailed information on guided tours.
The exhibition space is located on two floors, but you can use a lift to go from one floor to another. Our old museum building is not completely accessible, however. The doorways have thresholds and the front door is heavy to open. You can find more detailed information about the accessibility of the building on the page of the location. The entry to our exhibitions is always free for everyone.
The museum does not have a café of its own, but there are plenty of excellent cafés and places to eat nearby.
Objects, photographs, archival material
If the object/document/photograph meets the conditions set in our collections policy, we are interested in it. To see what kind of materials we accept, you can check the page ‘Participate in the work of the museum’. You can read more about our collections policy on the ‘Collections’ page.
See first what our Finna page has to offer for the area, time period or topic in which you are interested. If you cannot find the images you want, you can contact the image archives by email. You can find the contact information at the bottom of the page.
Buildings, the cultural environment, archaeology, protected sites, ancient relics
In Vantaa, the updated information from all of the cultural environment inventories has been collected in the collections management system of the museum. You can find it electronically via the kartta.vantaa.fi service.
You can show all inventoried buildings on the map (in addition to ancient relics, protected buildings and built cultural heritage sites of national significance) that have been found to have cultural and historical value:
- Select Real estate and building > Historical buildings > Old building sites from the layers (in the same menu, you can also find prehistoric and historic relics, protected buildings and built cultural heritage sites of national significance ‘RKY-kohteet’)
- Clicking the “i” button next to the selection opens an info box. It explains what the building classification identifiers (SR, RP or K) mean.
- Built heritage sites are shown on the map as green triangles. When you click the triangle, you will see the basic information about the building and, among other things, the classification identifier (SR, RP or K) of the building’s cultural and historical value. The museum has some inventory data on all of the sites marked with a green triangle.
- Even if the building is not marked with a green triangle, it may still have been included in some inventory. In that case, the missing triangle means that the cultural and historical value of the building is minor, and from the perspective of the museum, it is not a built heritage site that needs to be maintained.
- Some of the built heritage sites shown on the map are protected. The regulations on them can be found in the regulations on the local detailed plan.
- To find more specific inventory information on each building, you need to contact the building researchers of the museum, because there are no texts on the history of most buildings available electronically.
You can see the local detailed plans in the menu:
- Planning > City plans per areas.
- Click the area of the plan you want to display on the map.
Cultural landscapes with national, regional and local significance have also been protected in the Vantaa city plan. You can show them in the map service:
- Planning > Yleiskaava 2020 > Oikeusvaikutteinen liitekartta 1: arvokas kulttuuriympäristö
In addition, you can find things such as old maps and aerial photographs in the map service that you can use to study the changes in the cultural environment.
- SR = Protected built heritage site. Protection regulations are given during the resolution of the protection matter.
- RP = Built heritage site. Inventoried site has significant cultural-historical value but it is not protected. Waiting for decision on the matter of protection becoming legally valid.
- K = Incomplete inventoried site. Classification of the site has not been completed. Site is not protected.
Building-specific protection orders are specified in the local detailed plans (also see the response to the previous question).
If a site is protected in the local detailed plan, it cannot be demolished according to the plan regulation. If no decision has been made yet on the protection of an inventoried building, building control will hear the City Museum during the demolition permit procedure (requirements for granting a demolition permit have been specified in the Land Use and Building Act, sections 118 and 139). The cultural and historical value of the building and the possibility of preserving it will be investigated in more detail during the permit process.
Continuing the current use of the land in the surroundings of an ancient relic is allowed. This means that you can use the plot for the same activities that have been carried out there before, too.
If you want to construct new buildings or excavate the ground to lay pipes or cables, for instance, you need to contact the archaeologist of the City Museum. You can review the plans and consider suitable solutions with the archaeologist.
For example, you can invite the Trial Excavation Team of the Finnish Heritage Agency to the site; the team will carry out any archaeological investigations necessary before the construction work starts. Private individuals are usually not invoiced for small research projects.
The authorities request statements of the City Museum for land use planning projects and permit applications. A statement is requested if there is a cultural environment site or a valuable landscape located in the area subject to the plan.
In addition to issuing statements, the building researchers and the archaeologist of the City Museum offer advice in projects implemented at cultural environment sites.
The easiest way to contact the building researchers and the archaeologist is by sending them email. Their contact information can be found at the bottom of the page.
I have bought a metal detector and would like to get started with the hobby. What should I keep in mind? / Our association would like to adopt a monument, how can we do that?
See instructions on the page ‘Participate in the work of the museum’.