History


Pärnu Museum was founded by Society of Archaeology (Pernauer Alterthumforschende Gesellschaft) of the Baltic Germans who were history enthusiasts. Society was established in 1896 and it’s aim was to study, present and preserve local history. On November 3th 1896 at the first general meeting of Society of Archaeology it was decided to open the collection which was grown both through donations and purchases to a wider audience.


Thus a museum, previously available only to a narrow circle of persons, in 1909, moved into the building located at the address 7 Elevandi. This building burned down in September 1944, during World War II. Fire severely damaged a collection and many unique items were destroyed. However, most of the items were hidden outside of the town and were managed to save.


In 1939-1940, Society of Archaeology did not survive due to leaving of the Baltic Germans (Umsiedlung) and they had to transfer the artefacts to the possession of a specially created new society. In October 1940,  museum collections were nationalized by the Soviet government. Since 1944, after the Soviet occupation of Estonia, the museum was relocated into two-story brick building 4 Aia. This house was built for commercial space on the ground and living quarters on the second floor.


In 1948 the first museum scientific expedition took place. The destination of the expedition was Kihnu Island and graphic artist Olev Soans worked as an expedition artist.


The house was rebuilt in accordance with the museum requirements at the time. On September 22th 1971, a new permanent exhibition was opened. Already by that time there was too little space for the museum's needs and collection. Museum's collection had grown to 83,160 items plus the material accumulated in recent years in the course of archaeological field work.


A renovated storehouse of the XIX century on the banks of the river Pärnu at 3 Aida became a new location of the museum.


Updated Pärnu Museum offers  both traditional and interactive solutions in order to enable them to go through all 11,000 years of Estonian history from the time of Early Mesolithic settlement, learn about the life of aristocrats having good time and about the proclaimation of the Republic of Estonia, as well as get acquainted with the lifestyles and shopping habits of Hanseatic city. In addition to exhibits the museum has a whole floor for temporary exhibitions, cafe which has a wide range of historical  and modern food experiences, and a plenty of entertainment for the whole family!


Museum of Parnu has a branch at 37 Jannseni - Memorial Museum of the Estonian poetess Lydia Koidula, which is located in a school building, built in 1850 for estonians of suburb on the right bank of Pärnu River.

History
Elevandi Str. 7 (photo: R.C.E. Kirchhoff).
History
Rüütli Str. 53, in 1960.
History
Aia Str. 4, opened in 1971. (photo: J.Zoova 2007)
History
Aida Str. 3, Museum Granary. (photo: Toomas Liiva 2009).
History
Aida Str. 3, Museum Granary. (photo: Tiit Kask 2011).
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Lydia Koidula's Memorial museum, Jannseni Str. 37