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The Prison

Kustaa III:n katu 8,
Hmeenlinna Tavastehus

Finlands largest prison museum The Prison examines the history of prison management and prison life by evoking emotions and breaking preconceived notions.


Finlands first cell prison, the previous Hmeenlinna county prison, was completed in 1871, and on 2 May 2019, the National Museum of Finland opened it to the public as a museum The Prison. At the same time, the National Museum of Finland began a reform of The Prison exhibition and the visitor experience to bring up the fundamental questions of humanity and various feelings.

The county prison was used as a prison until 1993 after which it was opened as a museum managed by the city of Hmeenlinna in 1997. The National Museum of Finland opened the site under the name The Prison. The reform of the museum is carried out in two phases, and many people who have experienced the prison from various perspectives will participate in the planning of the contents of the exhibitions together with the National Museum of Finland. The Finnish Cultural Foundation supports the reform.

The city of Hmeenlinna has always been known as a prison and garrison city, because these activities have been tightly connected to Hme Castle since the Middle Ages, when it was built. The Castle was used as a prison from the 1830s until 1972.

Many criminals known from history have served their sentences here, such as murderer Matti Haapoja and Ostrobothnian knife-fighters Isoo-Antti and Rannanjrvi. Poet Elvi Sinervo and sleeping preacher Maria kerblom are among the best known female prisoners of the Castle.

In the early stages of the operation of the Prison, which was also called the Hmeenlinna penal labour prison, an example was taken from American prisons, where cells were grouped on either side of a central corridor. Previously, the prisoners had lived in shared dormitories. Today, the history and stories of prison life live on in the writings on the walls, the items, and the lived-in cells.

In May 2019, the Prison will open as a barren complex of facilities and stories. The grim prison building also offers an excellent setting for hosting events, discussions, and private functions. The visitor experience will be completed in summer 2020 through new kinds of audio-visual and digital methods of representation. The reform of the exhibition contents aims to highlight the memories and stories of those who actually experienced it, whether prisoners, guards, or other people related to the prison. For example writer and escapee Jan Jalutsi has participated in the manuscript team of the Prison.

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Museum contact details

The Prison
Kustaa III:n katu 8, Hmeenlinna Tavastehus

0295 33 6202

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


The Prison, Kustaa III:n katu 8, Hmeenlinna Tavastehus


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Aluelippu 23/12 ajalla 2.5.-31.8., sisnpsy Vankila, Hmeen linna ja Museo Militaria.

Payment methods

Museokortti, kteinen, kortti, Smartum.

Opening hours

Mon 10:00-17:00
Tue 10:00-17:00
Wed 10:00-17:00
Thu 10:00-17:00
Fri 10:00-17:00
Sat 10:00-17:00
Sun 10:00-17:00

Closed 21.6. 2.5.-31.8. Mon-Fry 10-16. Sat-Sun 11-16. 1.6.-31.8. daily 10-17.

Guided tours

Guided tours from 1st of June to 31st of August 2022 every day in English at 14.00 and in Finnish at 10.00, 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00. Max. 20 persons/guided tour.