Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo

The Sinebrychoff Art Museum is all ready for Christmas: get in the Christmas mood in the spirit of the noble houses of old


The tables have been laid with damask linen tablecloths and the finest porcelain. The gorgeous Christmas tree has been decorated with paper roses. The scent of cinnamon and cloves linger in the air. In the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff House Museum, you can now see how the nobility of years gone by celebrated Christmas at home. In addition to sittings, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum will celebrate Christmas through music, events and guided tours.

Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.

Christmas spirit on Bulevardi
1 December 2023–7 January 2024
Sinebrychoff Art Museum
Entry to the House Museum is free

Over a hundred years ago, Christmas in the home of Fanny and Paul Sinebrychoff on Bulevardi in Helsinki was spent in much the same style as today. In nineteenth-century noble homes, it became common to lay the table for elegant and hearty Christmas meals, the settings for which you can now see in the House Museum. Enjoy the Christmas spirit with the whole family.

“Entry to the House Museum is always free, and at Christmas especially, families visit the Museum to experience together how Christmas was spent in the past,” Kirsi Eskelinen, Director of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, says.

The dining room of the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff House Museum, furnished with baroque furniture, displays a set dinner table, and in the Gustavian room the table is laid for coffee. In the empire room a table is enticingly set with sweets. There would have been nuts, raisins, fruits, marzipan and fruit jellies on the table throughout Christmas. At the centre of the Christmas tables is the decorated dinner service, with gold rims and PS monograms, which the family used regularly. The service belonged to Paul Sinebrychoff’s parents from the 1840s or 1850s. The Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum donated the services to the Museum.

Festive events

Get in the festive mood in the Museum with music, events and guided tours. Get tips for decorating and creating an atmosphere at home, too. Learn more about the festive table settings on guided tours: Kari-Paavo Kokki will talk about the Christmas table tradition in Finnish on Saturday 2 December, and art historian Catarina Welin in Swedish on Wednesday 13 December. The tours are organized in association with the Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. You can also arrange a dedicated Christmas guided tour for your group, which will give a broader oversight of Christmas traditions in Helsinki in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Christmas tree only became popular in Finnish homes at the turn of the twentieth century, but the Helsinki nobility already had them at home at the start of the nineteenth century. This year, the House Museum’s tree will be decorated with paper roses and glass baubles. The large napkins were an essential part of the festive table and they were folded into fleurs-de-lis, candles, fans and scallop shells.

“Music will be played in the Museum many times throughout December, crowning your visit to the Museum,” Museum Director Kirsi Eskelinen says.

In the nineteenth-century tradition, people began preparing for Christmas on St Anne’s Day by cleaning, making candles, and preparing Christmas breads and drinks. They decorated the house and the suspense of the approaching holiday sparked the Christmas spirit in people. On Saturday 9 December 2023, St Anne’s Day, the Museum will celebrate one of the most established residents of the house, Anna Sinebrychoff (1830–1904), the wife of Paul Sinebrychoff the Elder. Anna Sinebrychoff successfully ran the business after the death of her husband Paul the Elder in 1883. On St Anne’s Day, the Museum will offer classes in paper rose Christmas tree decorations, and you may bump into Fanny, Paul or their housekeeper in the guise of drama guides.

In the House Museum, you can enjoy a nostalgic Christmas spirit and admire period furniture, rare artefacts, and Fanny and Paul Sinebrychoff’s extensive art collection, which has an emphasis on Old European masters. Entry to the House Museum is free.


Christmas season events

1 December
11.00–18.00 Festive music

Saturday 2 December
Deck the halls…
12.00 and 14.00 Guided tour of the Christmas table. Kari-Paavo Kokki, Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
12.00–15.00 Drama guides on hand to answer questions
15.00–17.00 Festive music

Saturday 9 December
St Anne’s Day
11.00–14.00 Paper rose Christmas tree decoration workshop Suitable for all ages. Children under school age must be accompanied by an adult.
12.00–15.00 Drama guides on hand to answer questions
14.00–16.00 Introduction by the Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Members of the Friends on hand in the museum to talk about their association and answer visitors’ questions.

Wednesday 13 December St Lucy’s Day
12.00 and 14.00 Guided tour of the Christmas table. Art historian Catarina Welin, Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. The tours are in Swedish.
15.00–17.00 Festive music

Saturday 16 December Christmas spirit with Fanny and Paul
12.00–15.00 Drama guides on hand to answer questions
15.00–17.00 Festive music

In addition to the Christmas atmosphere, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum will display a temporary exhibit, Peder Balke — The Spell of the Arctic, while the collection exhibition will display Valentin de Boulogne’s (1591–1632) monumental painting Allegory of Italy (1629-29).





Tickets: Free admission to the House Museum and the permanent collection on the 2nd floor (Christmas spirit on Bulevardi).

Peder Balke – The Spell of the Arctic -exhibition 21.9.2023–14.1.2024: Museum entry €18, Concessions €12, Museum Card, free of charge, Under 18s €0, 

Opening hours: Tues, Thurs, Fri 11–18, Wed 11–20, Sat–Sun 10–17, Mon closed. Museum is closed  24.−25.12.2023 and 1.1.2024.

Guided tour bookings: Finnish National Gallery service sales, +358 294 500 500 (Mon–Fri, 10–14)

Contact: Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Bulevardi 40, 00120 Helsinki, Finland, +358 294 500 460,

Facebook @siffmuseo | Instagram @Sinebrychoffartmuseum | Twitter @Sinebrychoffart

The Finnish National Gallery is the national museum of fine arts. It operates three of Finland’s best-known museums: the Ateneum Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. It also manages the national art collection and its archives, develops Finnish cultural heritage and promotes art to the wider public.

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