From the outside, Ateneum art museum is perhaps one of the most prominent buildings in Helsinki. Due to its close proximity to the Central Railway station Central Railway station in Helsinki, Ateneum attracts the attention of every visitor coming into the city centre, as the beautiful exterior of the building in which the museum is contained is one of the first things a visitor will see. Constructed in 1887 in a style much grander than any other building surrounding it, Ateneum was known as a ‘Palace of a million marks’ – when you see it, you’ll understand why.
Indeed, Ateneum was a great project for a small nation like Finland. When you look above the entrance to the building, you can observe a text in large letters – which reads ‘Concordia res parvae crescunt’. For those of you who don’t speak Latin, the translation is ‘Through unity small things do grow’ – this was the original motto of Ateneum. It is a direct reference to Art and crafts being contained under the same roof – the Helsinki Drawing School was located there, and also the School of Applied Art, and that was the original aim of the building. In fact, Ateneum used to have multiple functions during its early years. In both the interior and exterior, most of this old heritage still survives.
Today however, the museum has a large collection of Finnish art from some masters, and also some lesser known artists. There you can also enjoy the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and some other world famous artists. The museum regularly hosts various temporary exhibitions. The building has served its current purpose of a National gallery from 1990s.
You can find the museum at the address Kaivokatu 2, which is just a 2 minute walk from the central railway station and Rautatientori metro station. The museum is open every day, except Mondays. The entrance fee is 15 euros per adult. For more information you can visit http://www.ateneum.fi/.
Enjoy the museum!
Helsinki Guru ^^