Houses in the area

A visit to Nanoq

The museum area has over 20 different buildings. All houses are built in old, close-to-nature style. Pentti Kronqvist has used old rustic objects as interior details in the houses. 

In the summer we open our summer café, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a cool ice cream. Next to the area there is a beautiful nature trail for hiking in the summer pasture. 

Main Building

The main building where the museum itself is housed is built to mimic a large peat house. On the ground floor there are exhibitions about cultures, customs and peoples in the Arctic, and the summers theme exhibition. On the upper floor you will find an exhibition about famous polar explorers and expeditions to the North and South Pole, as well as an exhibition on hunting in the Arctic.

Goichman’s Gallery

Professor Wladimir Goichman (1903 – 2001) was a brain surgeon, polar explorer and artist, as well as medical colonel in the Red Army. He perticipated as a doctor and researcher in the Soviet Taimyr-expedition in 1932-1934. During his many trips to the Arctic, he sketched motifs for his beautiful oil paintings. 

Nanoq is the only museum in the world that exhibits Goichman’s art. In total, the museum owns 111 of his paintings, which have been donated to the museum by Professor Goichman himself, daughter Julia and the Fram museum in Oslo.

Ostrobothnian Hunting Equipment

In this cottage you can get acquainted with equipment and utensils that have been used in the Ostrobothnian coastal areas in both hunting and fishing. In Ostrobothnia, seals have been hunted for our people for hundreds of years.

Command bunker from the Winter War

This cottage is a model of a command bunker from the Finnish Winter War 1939-1940. The Winter War was fought between Finland and the USSR at the beginning of World War II. The war lasted 105 days and took place in one of the coldest winters in Finnish history. Here you can learn about how the soldiers fought in the cold, what strategies were used and how little Finland managed to stop the Soviet offensive.

Northern Greenlandic Peat House

The Peat house is the traditional way to build houses in northern Greenland, the style has been used by the huntingpeople for thousands of years. Pentti Kronqvist stayed in a peat house like this in the abandoned hunting village of Etah, during his expedition from northern Greenland to Canada in 1976. In northern Greenland, Western-style houses began to be built as late as the 1950s.

Church Avannaata Ulloria (the North Star)

The church is a copy of the world’s northernmost church, which was built in the village of Uummannaq in northwest Greenland in 1909. Here you can experience Christianity as it was is the farthest noth. 

The church was inaugurated in 2010 by Bishop Björn Vikström, and is an Evangelical Lutheran church, where church ordinances such as baptisms, marriages and burials can be held. 

Erik S. Nyholm’s storage building

Dr. Erik S. Nyholm, Finnish predator researcher and writer, made several research trips to the island of Kinnvika at Spitsbergen, where he studied polar bears. 
In 2015, Nyholm donated part of his research equipment to Nanoq. This equipment, as well as information about Nyholm’s polar bear research, is now found in Erik S. Nyholm’s storage building at Nanoq.

Henry Rudi’s hunting cabin
This small catch cabin is a copy of Norwegian Henry Rudi’s hunting cabin on Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Rudi started living in the abandoned hunting cabin in 1910 and used it for 27 years, during his time as a huntsman in the Arctic. Rudi mainly hunted polar bear, and was nicknamed “the Polar Bear King” after catching a total of 713 polar bears.
In 1973, the hunting of polar bears was strictly regulated in the Arctic.

Gold washing camp from Lappland

The gold washing camp shows how people lived and what tools were used for gold washing in Lappland, northern Finland, in the latter half of the 1800 century. At that time a kind of gold rush arose in the area of Ivalo River.

The large Cottage

The large cottage comes from Larsmo and illustrates what a typical farmhouse could look like around the turn of the 20th century in Finland. The lock on the front door comes from the Ylihärmä Church village, from the house where Marshal Mannerheim had his headquarters for 2 days in 1918.

The large cottage is part of a cottage village with a total of eight cabins in the museum area. All cottages are in Finnish country style.

 Finnish smoke sauna
Bathing in the sauna is an important part of Finnish culture, and the sauna has been around for hundreds of years in Finnish homes. The smoke sauna is heated up by heating stones in a relatively large stove. The smoke sauna has no chimney, which means that the smoke is collected inside the sauna. Before the bath, the smoke is ventilated out and the fire is extinguished. The stones are warm enough to warm up the sauna the rest of the evening. The smoke sauna is an early form of the sauna because it lacks the chimney, the chimney began to be connected to the Finnish sauna in the 1800 century.  


A visit to Nanoq can also be combined with a hike along a beautiful nature trail in the summer heat. The trail goes right next to the museum and is marked with red colour on the trees.