Top Historic Sights in Joensuu, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Joensuu

Carelicum

Carelicum is a culture, museum, and tourist centre situated at the market place in the middle of Joensuu. The special interest is the collection of the Sortavala Museum, evacuated during the Second World War. A wide photographic collection related to North Karelia and Karelia on the other side of the border, the Ladoga Karelia.
Founded: 1998 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

Joensuu Church

The brick-made Joensuu Church was built in 1903 and designed by a Finnish church architect Josef Stenbäck. The church is in the Gothic Revival style, but it also has some features of Jugendstil. The high tower located in the southeast corner is the bell tower and in the lower southwest tower is the organ. It was built in 1969 by Organ Factory of Kangasala and has 36 stops. The church has 1000 seats. On the altar is a pai ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

St. Nicholas Church

The Orthodox St. Nicholas Church of Joensuu was completed in 1887. It’s one of the most significant samples of Orthodox wooden church architecture in Finland. The most valuable artefact is the iconostasis painted in St. Petersburg. The original six bells are also casted there.
Founded: 1887 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

Kiihtelysvaara Church

UPDATE: The church was completely destroyed by fire at 23.9.2018. The wooden church of Kiihtelysvaara is the oldest church in North Carelia province. It was built in 1769-1770 to replace the previous decayed one made in 1680s. The building master was Henrik Häger. Interior of the church was mainly renovated in 1966-67. The bell tower, built in 1856, is the third on site. Two earlier ones were destroyed by fire.
Founded: 1769-1770 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.