The Headquarters Museum
Opening hours 2017
Open 2.5.-31.8 daily 10-17, 1.9.-30.4. Fri-Sun 10-17, at other times by advance booking, tel. +358 15 1942424.
All Museums are closed 1.1., 6.1., 14.–17.4., 1.5., 25.5., 23.–25.6., 6.12. ja 24.–26.12.2017
On eves of holidays, the exhibitions will close at 4 pm.
Entrance fee 6 €, under 18-year-olds free of charge, groups (more than 12 persons) 5 €/person.
Visits outside opening hours 60 € plus entrance fee. Visits outside opening hours on Saturdays, on the eve of public holidays, from 18 to 24, on Sundays and holidays 100 € plus entrance fee. Free admission on June 4 (Defence Forces' Day).
In 1974 the Commander-in-Chief's office in the staffroom of the Central Elementary School in Mikkeli was opened to the public. This was supplemented in 1984 by a photographic exhibition presenting the operations of the headquarters. A separate Headquarters Museum within the school building was opened in 1989.
In autumn 1999 the 'Mikkeli - the Headquarters City' Project supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Ministry of Education was started with the aim of renovating the museum's rooms and exhibition according to plans drawn up by the firm of architects, Lasse Kosunen Oy. The graphic look of the exhibition was designed by the graphic artist, Kari Piippo. The enlarged and renovated Headquarters Museum was opened to the public on 4.6.2001.
Mikkeli was the location of army headquarters for the first time in spring 1918. In the Civil War the headquarters of the White Army were in the Seurahuone Hotel near the railway station.
The next time Mikkeli served as the headquarters city was in the Winter War of 1939-40 and again in the Continuation War of 1941-44. Mikkeli was chosen as the location of the headquarters of the Finnish Armed Forces owing to its favourable position, for in the opinion of the wartime military command it was a suitable distance from the future fronts. The centre of the headquarters operations was the Central Elementary School. The three school buildings in the same schoolyard were taken over by the headquarters, as were most of the public buildings in Mikkeli. The Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Mannerheim, and the rest of the wartime high command were based at the Central Elementary School.