The Wolkoff House Museum
Get to know the Wolkoff House Museum virtually!
The Wolkoff House Museum is located at Kauppakatu Street, in the centre of Lappeenranta close to the Town Hall. This merchant house is one of the oldest remaining wooden buildings in Lappeenranta. The house was constructed in stages between 1826 and 1905, the oldest section being built by Merchant Claudelin. The plot of land had been owned by many different merchants prior to its acquisition by merchant Ivan Wolkoff in 1872.
Subsequently the house was inhabited by four generations of the Wolkoff family until 1983. To start with, the heirs of Ivan Wolkoff - who had elevated himself from a Russian serf to a gardener, and finally to a respected merchant - continued trading on the site themselves. Later, they also rented out premises to other merchants.
In 1986, the heirs of the Wolkoff family donated the house to the town of Lappeenranta for use as a museum. Placed under the Lappeenranta Museums Directorate, the house was opened to public in 1993.
The Wolkoff House represents a unique slice of the town’s history.
During the guided room-by-room tour visitors can explore the history of the Wolkoff family and marvel at the genuine household effects preserved in the house. The family’s Russian Orthodox tradition is in evidence throughout the house. The tour starts at the Ladies’ cabinet de toilette and the bedroom, and continues to the Drawing Room and from there, to the Gentlemen’s Cabinet. The dining room is situated in the new wing which was completed in 1905. Your tour will conclude with the bedroom, the nursery and the kitchen, also housed in this wing which represents the Art Nouveau style (Jugendstil).
Visitors enter the museum from Kauppakatu Street through the former shop room, where the exhibits include treasures which were not originally part of the house interior but were discovered in the attic. Accompanied by the guide, access to the merchant home itself is via the courtyard. The shop area houses the museum reception and the gift shop which stocks an extensive selection of souvenirs.
The special features of the museum are the displays which are staged during the religious festivals of Christmas and Easter, which occupy an important place in the Russian Orthodox calendar. During these festivals, the house museum is adorned with festive decorations, and the museum shop is stocked with seasonal products.
The house also has an annex, the bakery, which was completed in 1845 and was home to a tailor’s shop for many years. Today the premises are occupied by the first-class restaurant Café-Restaurant Wolkoff which was opened in 1998.