Top Historic Sights in Tornio, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Tornio

Tornio Church

The church was designed and completed by Matti Härmä in 1686. It is dedicated to the Swedish Queen Eleonora. The construction is based on the medieval tradition of church building in Pohjanmaa area (Mustasaari and Pedersöre churches). Tornio church is one of oldest and most well-preserved wooden churches in the Northern Finland and Scandinavia. In the 18th century French scientist Maupertuis did measuremen ...
Founded: 1686 | Location: Tornio, Finland

Alatornio Church

The first church in the island was made of wood and it's said to have existed already in 1316. It has been one of the northest churches in Scandinavia in medieval time. The stone church was built 1500-1513. Today only the eastern nave is still existing. Church was modified to the present shape during 1794-97 by architect Jacob Rijf.
Founded: 1500-1513 | Location: Tornio, Finland

Karunki Church

The wooden church in Karunki was built in 1815-1817. The cruciform shape church is designed by A. W. Arppe. The bell tower was erected in 1815. The altarpiece was painted by J. Hedman in 1827. There are also a manse (1861) and couple of wooden outbuidings on the church site.
Founded: 1815-1817 | Location: Tornio, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Falaise

Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.