Top Historic Sights in Porvoo, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Porvoo

Porvoo Old Town

Porvoo was first mentioned in documents in the early 14th century, and Porvoo was given city rights around 1380, even though according to some sources the city was founded in 1346. Porvoo is famed for its old town (Gamla Stan in Swedish), a dense medieval street pattern with predominantly wooden houses. The town was mainly destroyed by fire in 1760 and current buildings were built after that. Today Porvoo old town is a p ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Porvoo Cathedral

The Porvoo Cathedral was originally made of wood. The first stone walls were built between 1410 and 1420 and in 1450 the church was expanded four meters towards east and six meters towards south. The cathedral has been destroyed by fire numerous times; in 1508 by Danish and in 1571, 1590, and 1708 by Russian forces. On May 29, 2006, the outer roof collapsed after arson, however with the inner ceiling undamaged and the ca ...
Founded: 1410-1420 | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Porvoo Hill Fort

There are two ancient hill forts in Porvoo, so-called small and big one. There is burial ground in a small hill from the Roman Iron Age (0-400 AD). The items found in excavations reveal that Porvoo river has been a remarkable trading centre already in prehistoric times and local people has had connections to Estonia and Latvia. The bigger hill fort is one of the largest in Finland. It was used for defensive purposes alre ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Haikko Manor

The history of the Haikko manor dates back to 1362 when a Dominican monastery owned the site. Jöns Olafsson Stenbock bought the manor and Haikko was a residence of Stenbock family for next 400 years. In 1871 it was bought by general Sebastian von Etter. Several members of the Russian Imperial family visited Haikko because von Etter was a close friend to czar Nicholas II. During the revolution in 1917 Grand Duke Kiril ...
Founded: 1913 | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Bosgård Manor

Bosgård Manor was formed in the 1610s by joining together five freehold estates. The present-day manor house with its grounds dating back to the 19th century, are protected by the National Board of Antiquities. As well as growing cereals the farm breeds Charolais beef cattle by organic methods. Meat products can be bought directly from the Bosgård Manor. The Manor provides facilities for organising meetings, d ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Kiiala Manor

Kiiala Manor (Kiala gård) was first mentioned in the 14th century. It was owned by Stålarm family from the 1300s to 1600s. The current wooden main building dates from 1796. The two-storey, Rococo style manor was built by general Carl Johan Adlercreutz. It was renovated to the Empire style in the 1830s and the current appearance dates from the 1880s. Carl Axel Lewin established a distillery, which is today an e ...
Founded: 1796 | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Sannäs Manor

Already in ancient times, there was a residential village, a mill and a fortress where Sannäs Manor is currently located. In the 1400’s the estate was owned by Peter Svärd, a native of Livonia, who was a member of a magnificent and rich family. In 1467 The estate was owned by gunman Paul Skytte, who donated the manor estate to the Nådendal Abbey as an act of gratitude for his daughter Anna’s ac ...
Founded: 1836-1837 | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Boe Manor

Boe manor dates from the 15th century and all owners are known since 1529. The oldest part of current main building were built around 1850. It was enlarged in 1870 and again in 1916. The grain magazine dates probably from the 18th century. Today Boe, also known as Högvalla, is a horse riding centre.
Founded: c. 1850 | Location: Porvoo, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.