The Empire-style Hakasalmi villa is a historically valuable building on Mannerheimintie in Etu-Töölö. It was originally built in the 19th century for the family of Governor and Secret Counsel Carl Johan Walleen as a summer residence. The Hakasalmi villa complex includes several buildings in an English-style courtyard. There is also a café in one of the courtyard buildings. Not only is the villa a café and exhibition space, it is also part of the Helsinki City Museum.
The history of the museum dates back to the early 1800s
In the year 1843 Secret Counselor Carl Johan Wallen decided to build a villa for his family on a rental plot on the shores of Töölölahti in a horse-drawn carriage for middle-road guards and drivers. He invited E.B. from Berlin to work as an architect. Lohrman, who headed the Finnish Construction Administration C.L. After Engel. E.B. Lohrman designed the building in its characteristic neoclassical style. The construction of the villa took about a couple of years and was finally completed in 1846. In 1847, wing buildings were also completed next to the main building, surrounded by an English garden.
The villa was made famous by Wallen’s niece Aurora Karamzin, who was a noble relative and a prominent social beauty in the Grand Duchy of Finland and in the whirlpool of the emperor’s court life. Aurora Karamzin was once mentioned as even the richest woman in Europe. Descendants know him as a pioneer of social and diaconal work in Finland, the founder of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, a significant benefactor and a social influencer. In 1896, the city of Helsinki bought the villa from Aurora Karamzin. However, the city allowed Karamzin to live in the villa until his death in 1902.
Today, the space is filled with a changing exhibition
Today, the charming villa of Hakasalmi is part of Helsinki’s amazing concentration of cultural buildings. There have been changing exhibitions since 1911, when the Helsinki City Museum moved to the villa. The exhibitions held in the space very often deal with social issues and views. At the time of writing,
The exhibition is on display from 16.10.2020 to 28.08.2021 and the entrance fee is 12 € / 10 €. Free admission for children under 18 and the Museum Card.
Next to Hakasalmi villa, there is also a café called Cafe Huvilain the English-style courtyard. It serves fresh coffee, tasty sweets and a daily changing lunch. The single-storey detached building of the café was originally a bakery and a chamber and was completed in 1847.
We recommend Hakasalmi Villa to anyone who appreciates Helsinki’s colorful and culturally valuable history. The past is part of all of us and part of the reason we are here today.
Contact information and opening hours
Hakasalmi Villa and Cafe Huvila can be found at:
Mannerheimintie 13 B
You can find more information about exhibitions, the villa and prices on the Hakasalmi villa website.
You can find more information about the café’s offer on Cafe Huvila’s website.
Hakasalmi villa Opening hours:
The museum is closed until 31.01.2021.
As the restrictions ease, the museum will be open as follows:
Wed–Sun klo 11.00–17.00
Cafe Huvila opening hours:
Mon-Sun 10.00 – 17.00
Lunch Tue – Fri 11.00 – 14.00