Museums of Cultural History Map
Ahti Karjalainen Home Museum "Lepola"
Ahti Karjalainen Career Museum "Tupa"
The Kissakoski Power Plant and Electricity Exhibition
Hirvensalmi Museum
Ahti Karjalainen Career Museum "Tupa"
Address & Map
Enquiries Open 2017

Pitäjäntie 3


Postal address: Hirvensalmen kunta, Keskustie 2, FI-52550 Hirvensalmi

Hannu Inkeroinen, Hirvensalmi Municipality:
Tel. +358 (0)15 727 111,
+358 (0)50 5964 781

Jun 28th–Aug 6th
Wed–Sun 12pm–4pm

During Common Alder Festival:
Jun 30th 10am–5 pm
Jul 1st 10am–4pm
Jul 2nd 11am–4pm

Other times by appointment

Changing exhibitions and events 2017 Admission
Independent Finland in 100 years and Hirvensalmi – events, phenomena and personal images

Adults 4 €

Children (under 12 years)
free admission

Joint ticket for
Tupa and Lepola 5 €


Hirvensalmi museums

Hirvensalmi municipality

The Ahti Karjalainen Career Museum ”Tupa” is located in downtown Hirvensalmi. The museum building is a farmhouse built in 1898 that served as a parish hall and a town hall until 1984. The museum was opened up to the public in 2005. Tupa has an exhibition dedicated to Ahti Karjalainen’s career and thus pictures and items related to turning points in the history of Finland.

Ahti Karjalainen was one of the most significant politicians in the post-WWII history of Finland. He was born in 1923 in the village of Kuitula in Hirvensalmi and his childhood home, Lepola, is now a museum. Karjalainen attended school in Mikkeli. When he was 16, he volunteered to fight in the war. After serving during the Winter and Continuation Wars, Karjalainen started to study political science and finance at the University of Helsinki. He married Päivi Koskinen in 1947.

While studying, Ahti Karjalainen served as a press officer for the Agrarian League, etc. Prime Minister Urho Kekkonen asked Karjalainen to be his secretary in 1950, which led to long-term cooperation with Kekkonen. Karjalainen served as Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and then as Prime Minister (1962–63 and 1970–71). In 1981, Karjalainen tried to run for president as a candidate for the Centre Party, but lost to Johannes Virolainen in the ”battle of Ph.Ds”. Karjalainen withdrew from politics and served as Managing Director of the Bank of Finland from 1982 to 1983. Karjalainen passed away in 1990.

Ahti Karjalainen successfully forged good relationships with the leadership of the Soviet Union, which was important for Finnish politicians at that time. He saw the most dramatic moment in his career occur when serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1961 when the Diplomatic Note Crisis between the Soviet Union and Finland occurred. Karjalainen worked close to President Kekkonen and it was felt that he would be Kekkonen’s successor. Kekkonen and Karjalainen also became friends, even though their friendship cooled off later on. It is said that when Ahti Karjalainen suggested to his wife that they should ask Kekkonen to be their child’s godfather, she refused and said “We do not sacrifice children to gods here”.

The Hirvensalmi Museum is located right next to Tupa.

Copyright © Etelä-Savo museums 2007. All rights reserved. Last modified: 29 May 2017 12:15