Lyytikkälä Museum Farm


Address: Pajulahdentie 17, 52830 Suomenniemi   Map>>>





Located in the village of Lyytikkälä at Suomenniemi, near Highway 13, the Lyytikkälä Museum Farm comprises one of South Karelia’s best preserved complete farming estates. A former 18th century “augment” or a farm which paid its land tax to a rustholli estate (a larger farm under obligation to equip a cavalryman), Lyytikkälä Farm was purchased as an independent hereditary estate in 1859. It remained with the same family for well over 250 years.

Along with its courtyard, buildings and their contents, Lyytikkälä Farm was purchased by the Finnish National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments in 1984, and transferred into State ownership. Opened to the public in 1989, the museum is managed by the Board, in partnership with Lyytikkälä Museum Farm Foundation. In 2002, the Lyytikkälä Museum Farm was voted South Karelia’s ‘Local Museum of the Year’.

The history of Lyytikkälä under the ownership of the same family began in 1722 when Matti Tuomaanpoika started to cultivate the farm, which had been abandoned during the period of the Great Wrath (1713-1721). During the latter part of the 19th century Lyytikkälä became one of the major estates of the region under the management of Filip (Vilppu) Lyytikäinen. During his time, Lyytikkälä Farm also became a hereditary estate with its total area increasing to 400 hectares. At the same time, the growing number of buildings on the farm began to form an enclosed courtyard around the main building.

Flanking the courtyard of Lyytikkälä Farm are about twenty outbuildings. The main building was constructed in 1867 by Vilppu Lyytikäinen. The biggest room of the building, the tupa, which was used for living and cooking, occupies one half of the entire surface area of the house. The large baking oven in this main room is of the type commonly found in Southern Finland: in front of the opening of the oven, there is a double-walled range (hiillus) with flues rising up from behind the hood. Built against the walls of the main room are the fixed benches, and on the back wall there are the beds. In times gone by, it was the sons of the house, the workers and occasional visiting guests who slept in the tupa during the night. The master and the mistress on the other hand slept in the front chamber at the end of the porch whilst the daughters of the house slept in the back chamber (today, the parlour). In summer, people slept in the outbuildings.

Opposite the tupa, on the other side of the porch, there is the kitchen which also served as a pantry.

The windows of the main building consist of six panes. In the living rooms, the top panes have been separated by a wide dividing frame, with coloured glass used in the openings. This glass probably originates from the same consignment as the coloured glass used in the windows of Suomenniemi Church.

The granaries and storehouses of Lyytikkälä Farm range from the 18th to the late 19th century. Standing around the courtyard are the grain store, salt store and game store (the granaries), the Master’s storehouse (ryytmuanaitta), the Mistress’s storehouse (kartanonmuanaitta), the housemaids’ storehouse (piikoinaitta), and the two-storey ‘High Storehouse’ (korkia-aitta). The courtyard also features two stables, the older of which was built by Elias Lyytikäinen, the father of Vilppu Lyytikäinen, in 1827. The newer stable was completed in 1843 and was in regular use until the end of the 1970s.

The walls of the cow house (constructed during the period 1877-1881) are built with stone blocks and are almost two metres thick. Cows were kept in the large cowshed and calves in the corner shed. At the beginning of the 20th century, a small sheep cot was added to the cow house.

During the 1960s, three ethnographic films were shot on Lyytikkälä Farm: ‘Summer in Suomenniemi – Summer jobs on the farm’ (1962); ‘Autumn in Suomenniemi – Autumn jobs on the farm’ (1962); and ‘Winter in Suomenniemi – Winter jobs on the farm’ (1963). The films, which focus on the traditional agricultural working methods, can be seen in the cafeteria.

For more information on Lyytikkälä Farm, please see: Kataja, Raila: ‘Lyytikkälä – Elämää Suomen salomailla’ (Lyytikkälä – Life in the Finnish backwoods), published by the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments (Museovirasto), 2001.



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