The Savonlinna Provincial Museum
The Savonlinna Provincial Museum is located downtown, on Riihisaari Island right next to Olavinlinna. The museum is located in a former state granary. The brick silo designed by Ernst B. Lohrmann was completed in 1852. The building and the island were the first sites to be listed on the basis of the Act on the Protection of Buildings in 1965. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibitions, visitors can learn more about its temporary exhibitions and museum ships.
In its work, the Provincial Museum concentrates on the cultural history of Southern Savo and the sailing history of Lake Saimaa. The museum has been run by Savonlinna since 1983. Prior to that, various associations took care of collecting museum artefacts. The current museum was opened up to the public in 1985. It was based on collections from the Guild of Saint Olaf and material collected by Saimaa boat traffic hobbyists. The collaboration with State Forest Enterprise, launched in 2008, aims to develop Riihisaari into an exhibition centre for Saimaa area nature and culture.
The museum has one permanent exhibition. “On the platform, life on the shores of Lake Saimaa” displays the living conditions on the shores of Lake Saimaa. It talks about prehistoric times, Sääminki Church art from the 18th century, a Savo cottage from the 1920s, ship models and Finland’s oldest used Savo-style boat. In addition to the permanent exhibition, a nature exhibition was set up with State Forest Enterprise in 2009, and the museum also arranges changing exhibitions.
Four steam vessels are moored on the Riihisaari museum dock. The Steam Schooner Salama from 1874, which spent the years from 1898 to 1970 at the bottom of the lake in front of Parkonsaari Island in Puumala. The tar steamer Mikko from 1914 is the last surviving example of Saimaa’s large tar steamer fleet. The passenger boat Savonlinna from 1903 was branded the “Saimaa Express” thanks to its speed. Riihisaari was also the home dock of the steam tugboat Ahkera, built in 1871. This ship, the oldest steam boat on Lake Saimaa, is being restored. Ahkera is now owned by the S/S Ahkera Perinneyhdistys association. The Mikko and Savonlinna can be chartered for cruises.
There area museum shop in the Provincial Museum and Nestori – Saimaa Nature Exhibition and Information Point. There are cafés and restaurants near the Museum on Linnankatu.
Last modified: 2 Feb 2021