Top Historic Sights in Kemiönsaari, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Kemiönsaari

Bengtskär Lighthouse

Towering 52 meters above the sea, Bengtskär lighthouse is the tallest one in Scandinavia. The building started in in 1905 after the shipwreck of S/S Helsingfors and was completed in 1906. The lighthouse was designed by architect Florentin Granholm. On December a special petrol lantern, designed and built in Paris, was brought to Bengtskär and installed atop the tower.German fleet bombarded Bengstkär in the ...
Founded: 1905-1906 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Hiittinen Church

St Andrea's Church in Hiittinen (Hitis) was built in 1686 and it’s the second oldest cross shape church in Finland. There was a chapel in Hiittinen already in the 13th century. Some stone wall ruins of that building are remaining in the small cemetery.The altarpiece is painted by A.F.Ahlstedt, and the pulpit is a late plainer replica of the one in the Dome of Turku from 1650.
Founded: 1686 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Söderlångvik

Söderlångvik has been inhabited since the early 16th century. In the past it frequently changed hands. Owners in the sixteenth century were called de Jonsson or Jönsson, in the 17th century Michelsson, Tomasson, Sigfridsson and Faxell-Cronmarck. In the 18th century Söderlångvik was owned for a long period by the Thesleff family and in the early 19th century by the af Petersen and Ramsay families, owners of Björkboda ...
Founded: 1934-1935 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Västanfjärd Churches

The Old Church of Västanfjärd was built in 1759-1760. The wooden octagon shaped church was designed by Isak Olin and it’s dedicated to St. Jacob. The belfry was erected in 1763. Interior is mostly from the 19th century.The newer stone church is located near the old church site. It was built 1910-1912 and represents the Romantic Nationalism style. It was designed by Helge Rancken. The altarpiece (painted by ...
Founded: 1759 & 1910 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Angelniemi Church

Angelniemi Church was built in 1772 by famous church builder Matti Åkerblom. It is oblong in shape, and the belfry is annexed to the church as if it was a bell-tower. The church has been restored several times in the 19th century, and in the 20th century. The altarpiece was painted by Aleksandra Stålt in 1897. There is also a crucifix from the 14th century. The pulpit was made in 1772.
Founded: 1772 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

The Sagalund Museum

The Sagalund Museum is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Finland. It consists of 26 historically valuable buildings with about 70 authentic room interiors. Among them are a courthouse from the 18th century and an old school from1649. There’s also a library with e.g. studies of Linné.
Founded: ca. 1900 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".