Top Historic Sights in Inari, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Inari

Siida

Siida is home to the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre. Siida arranges exhibitions on Sámi culture and the nature of Northern Lapland. In addition, Siida has an open-air museum open in the summers, which was originally known as the Inari Sámi Museum. The first buildings were moved to the museum grounds in 1960. The 7-hectare (17-acre) area has nearly 50 sites of interest related to Lapland's nature and the ...
Founded: 1960 | Location: Inari, Finland

Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church

Pielpajärvi is the old centre of Inari. In former times, there was a winter village of Inari by the shore of this wilderness lake where people gathered to stay for the winter months. The church, built in the winter village in 1760, is one of the oldest buildings in northern Lapland. The reddish church stands on a stone field lined by a beautiful birch wood. A natural-state meadow now grows on the church grounds.The w ...
Founded: 1760 | Location: Inari, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).