Phone (019) 574 7500
Raatihuoneenkatu 21
06100 PORVOO

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This large, yellow-painted wooden house in the part of Porvoo where architecture in the so-called Empire variant of Neoclassical dominates was the home of the poet J.L. Runeberg - who composed the words of the Finnish national anthem - and his family for a quarter of a century. The house and its surroundings give an interesting picture of housing and life in the mid-19th century. It is Finland's oldest home museum, opened to the public in 1882.

Finland's national poet

Many of the epic and lyrical poems of Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-77) describe the people and nature of Finland. The first part of one of his best-known works, the collection of poems Tales of Ensign Stĺl, was published in 1848. It describes events in the war of 1808-09, when Finland was wrested from Swedish rule and incorporated into the Russian Empire. He wrote in Swedish, his mother tongue, but his poems were translated into several languages at a very early stage. Some of his love poems were set to music by Jean Sibelius.
Fredrika Runeberg

The poet's wife and mother of six sons was Fredrika Runeberg (1807-79), who is regarded as Finland's first woman journalist. Her literary output included two historical novels. She played a part in founding a school for girls lacking financial means, which opened in Porvoo in 1846, many years before national schools were introduced in Finland.
Runeberg Day in Porvoo

Runeberg attained the status of national poet already during his own lifetime and his birthday, 5 February, was widely celebrated in Finland. On that cold and gloomy winter day, the anniversary of the poet is still commemorated in Porvoo. A torchlight parade and illuminated windows are features of the traditional celebrations. In honour of the day, traditional "Runeberg Tarts", round gateaux with jam and sugar icing on top, are served in cafés.
Contact us

The Porvoo Museum has curatorial responsibility for the Runeberg home and will be pleased to answer enquiries concerning it, tel +358 19 574 7500

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