Ahti Karjalainen Home Museum “Lepola”

Ahti Karjalainen Home Museum "Lepola"

The birthplace of Ahti Karjalainen, Lepola, is located in the village of Kuitula in Hirvensalmi, along the Joutsa Road, approximately 22 km from downtown Hirvensalmi. Lepola was the childhood home of one of Finland’s most
influential politicians, Ahti Karjalainen. The municipality of Hirvensalmi owns and runs the museum.

Ahti Karjalainen’ mother, Lyydia Karjalainen, grew up at Lepola after she was adopted. She received Lepola as a wedding present when she married Anshelm Karjalainen in 1915. The couple went on to have four children, of which Ahti (b. 1923) was the youngest. The Karjalainens used Lepola as their residence until 1962, after which it started to be used as the family’s summer cottage. Hirvensalmi bought Lepola in 2002 and opened the museum up to the public in 2004.

The main building, built in 1904, the combined barn-shed and the granary-store ring the courtyard at Lepola. There is a small storehouse on the eastern side of the main building. A path leads from the yard to the drying barn and the sauna located on a creek bank. Along the way, visitors will find a root cellar. The farmyard, full of diverse types of plants, was still surrounded by fields and gardens in the 1960s.

Lepola has an interesting combination of a house museum, a local history museum, a biographical museum and a specialist museum. Lepola was a farm and the birthplace of Ahti Karjalainen in Hirvensalmi. Architecturally and historically the buildings in the farmyard that were built in the beginning of the 20th century represent a style that combines the styles of both the Häme region and the border region of eastern Finland.
All of the artefacts on display are authentic items from the Lepola farm. They bring to life everyday life at the beginning of the 20th century. Lepola was also home to the post office for the village of Kuitula up until the 1960s, and museum-goers can learn more about what a genuine rural post office from the mid 20th century was like. Ahti Karjalainen’s father, Anshelm, had a store in the farmyard. Ahti Karjalainen’s career is described in Paris Hall Museum, which is located in downtown Hirvensalmi.

Open 2023

Jun 28th–Jul 30th
Wed–Sun 12pm–4pm


Free admission


Tel. +358 (0)15 727 111

Address & Map

Joutsantie 1729


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

Last modified: 6 Jun 2023

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