One of the oldest streets in Helsinki, Sofiankatu, is located in the very center of Helsinki as a real open-air museum. This ancient street, fully reconstructed to the 450-th anniversary of Helsinki, presents the history of street development and street lighting in Helsinki. Three main stages in development of the city's street lighting are gradually shown at Sofiankatu: dark and unsightly street of 1800-s, gas-lanterns of the mid-late XIX-th century and already familiar electric street lighting of 1930-s.
Sofiankatu's creators aimed to make every part of this street museum mostly authentic. There are true exhibits placed at the street, which date from the XIX-th and the beginning of the XX-th centuries because earlier items of street equipment haven't survived. In addition to gas-lanterns and electric lanterns visitors can see old-time postbox and telephone boot of 1930-s (with a functioning phone), water post and drinking-fountain. Lanterns, telephone boot and postbox are the copies of the original pieces housed in the Helsinki City Museum. All the buildings have tablets with the street's name in three languages - Finnish, Swedish and Russian.
Sofiankatu Street Museum is a branch of the Helsinki City Museum located right here - at Sofiankatu 4, and housed in the historical building constructed in 1911.