Hermas Homestead Museum - Atlas Obscura

Hermas Homestead Museum

Enklinge, Finland

This archipelago homestead-turned-museum has remained the same since its last resident, born in 1897, died in 1973.  


In the 1980s, the local government of Åland bought the home of the late Sven Karlsson. Sven—a boatbuilder, inventor, fisherman, farmer, and carpenter—had lived his entire life on the farm, weathering all the changes the 20th century brought with it while still sticking to the lifestyle of his ancestors. Having lost one of his legs in a hunting accident in his youth, he got creative in his daily life, using a motorized bike, installing water chutes between the stables and well, and constantly bettering the designs of his nets, traps, and fishing techniques.

Today, the homestead is open for visitors all year round. In the summer, a guide is ready to tell you all about the hidden stories of the place as well as let you into the exhibition hall just beside the farm, where you can marvel at local photos and everyday things from the last century.

The museum is closely anchored to the island on which it stands—in contrast to most similar museums, nothing here has been moved or changed, and the villagers still remember the residents of the farm as well as the lifestyle they all shared not so long ago.

Know Before You Go

To get to Enklinge by car, take the ferry from mainland Åland (Hummelvik). The ferry routes and stops are plentiful, and great for island-hopping. If you come by boat, there is a guest harbor 20 minutes from the museum on foot. Bicycles are available on loan from the harbor as well.

The island is sparse in the restaurant department, but has a small local store. A couple of picnic tables are spread around the island, and in the old schoolhouse not far from Hermas, you can find a café and an art exhibition.

Outside Enklinge, on the island of Bäro, an old coast guard station looms as well—now transformed into a guest harbor and restaurant. For a small fee, you'll be picked up by boat for an evening on Bärö.

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November 8, 2023

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