Top Historic Sights in Mikkeli, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Mikkeli

Mikkeli Parish Church

The third church of Mikkeli Parish was built in 1816-17. The church is designed by the government architect Charles Bassi and it is typical large wooden church in Eastern Finland. The altarpiece is a copy of painting in Louvre, Paris painted by Pierre Prudhon. Church bells date back to the year 1752.
Founded: 1816-1817 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Mikkeli Cathedral

Mikkeli Cathedral was built in 1896-1897. The large red-brick church is designed by Finnish church architect Josef Stenbäck. It represents the Gothic Revival style like many other churches designed by Stenbäck. The bell tower is in the western gable of the church. The church has 1,200 seats. The organ was built in 1956 by Kangasala Organ Factory and has 51 stops. The altar painting "Crucified" was made by Pekka ...
Founded: 1896-1897 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

The Suur-Savo Museum

The Suur-Savo Museum is located to a stone granary that was built in 1848 to serve as the parish of Mikkeli’s municipal granary. The building has been used as a museum since 1960. The permanent exhibition of the Suur-Savo Museum contains items from the peasant culture in Southern Savo and artefacts that depict the history of the city of Mikkeli. In addition, temporary exhibitions are held, usually in their own facil ...
Founded: 1960 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Savilahti Stone Sacristy

Savilahti stone sacristy was originally a part of Savilahti church, which was destroyed for some reason. The sacristy was built approximately in 1520-1560 and it was planned to be the first part of new stone church. The plan was never finished because the King of Sweden confiscated parish during Reformation.The sacristy have been used for burials and there are 22 graves under the floor. It was abandoded for a long time un ...
Founded: 1520-1560 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Infantry Museum

The Infantry Museum, founded in 1982, is housed in three wooden barracks built in the 19th century. The exhibition includes 70 different military uniforms, 120 hand guns, 20 machine and light machine guns, 20 mortars and guns, and plenty of other military equipment. The exhibition is supplemented by a large collection of photos, also in colour, and scale models depicting the battles of Tuulos and Ihantala.The task of the ...
Founded: 1982 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Anttola Church

Originally the wooden church of Anttola was built in Juva in 1729. After the new stone church was completed in 1863, the parish of Juva donated their old church to Anttola. It was disassembled and brought to Anttola along lakes between 1869-1870.The church was situated to the donated site and inaugurated again in 1871. The pulpit and crucifix, made in 1660s, were transferred together with church. The present outfit is mai ...
Founded: 1729 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.