The National Museum of the Republic of Karelia is one of the oldest museums of the Russian North-West. It has more than 200 thousand depository items. The Museum deals with history, local lore, traditional culture of Karelian people and the study of the natural features of the Russian North.
The Museum was established in 1871. Its establishment was initiated by Olonets Governor G.G.Grigoryev. The Museum shared the building in Circular Square where the Governor’s residence was. The building is a part of the architectural ensemble built in the 1780-1790s in Circular Square. The Museum opened up for visitors on June 29, 1783. Its first name was “The Olonets Museum of Natural and Industrial History and Ethnography”.
Under the Soviets the Museum remained under the supervision of the People's commissariat for education. In 1928 it changed its status and became the Karelian State Museum.
In 1931-1933, the Museum moved in the building of the former Alexander Nevsky Church. It occupied the building till the 1990s.
During the Great Patriotic War and under Finnish occupation of Petrozavodsk some part of the museum collections was taken to Finland or lost. After the War the Museum carried out various researches and some museum workers took part in a number of archaeological and ethnographical expeditions.
In 1993, the Karelian State Museum of the Local History moved back to the building in Circular Square (at present, Lenin Square, 1). Some of its collections are kept in the former house of the Mining Chief (Engels Street, 5).
Within 15 years they only held temporary exhibitions there, and the main building of the Museum was under restoration.
In 2009-2010, the museum workers got down to the arrangement of a renewed display that was supposed to be a permanent one.
On June 8, 2010 the first visitors came to the Museum to see the first showrooms with permanent displays.
In 2011, by its 140th anniversary the Karelian State Museum of the Local History got a new status and was called the National Museum of the Republic of Karelia.
Mon: day off
Аdress: Lenin Sq.,1
Phone: 8 (8142) 76-94-79