Medieval churches in Finland

The Church of St. Michael

The eastern part of Tammela Church was build c. 1530-1550 (narrow part in the foreground), western part and the tower in 1780s (completed in 1785). Today the church is well preserved and historically remarkable sample of the post-medieval architecture. The hall is the second longest (54m) in Finnish churches. There are lot of old wooden sculptures inside the church sanctified to several Catholic saints and also an old s ...
Founded: 1530-1540 | Location: Tammela, 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

Korppoo Church

The Korppoo Church was erected probably between years 1430 and 1440. It represents the oldest church architecture in Finland. Good example of this is the stone tower, which was probably built for defensive purposes, not for belfry. When the church was renovated in 1952-1953, several overpainted medieval wall paintings were found overpainted and restored.The oldest wooden statue in Finland, "Korppoon madonna", was original ...
Founded: 1430-1440 | Location: Korppoo, Finland

The Church of St. Catherine

The Church of St. Catherine was built in the end of the 13th century, and is oblong in shape. It was destroyed by fire in the beginning of the 15th century. The wall paintings are from 15th century, and the pulpit was placed in 1650. The church has been reconstructed in the 1830s, and the alterpiece was painted by R.W. Ekman in 1869.
Founded: 1300 | Location: Hammarland, Finland

The Church of St. Matthias

The stone church of Vårdö was built between 1520 and 1550. There may have been a wooden church before in the same site since the 14th century. Church was enlarged in 1784 and the new sacristy was masoned in 1786. Vårdö church survived without damages from the Great Northern War (1700-1721) although the town of Vårdö was burnt.
Founded: 1520-1550 | Location: Vårdö, Finland

Rusko Church

The Church of Rusko was built probably in 1510-1530 and was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. It's one of the smallest medieval churches in Finland. The wooden belfry was erected in 1744. There are three medieval crucifixes in church, other 11 are moved to the National Museum or to the Historical Museum of Turku. The National Board of Antiques has named the church area, surrounding graveyard and near stone bridge as natio ...
Founded: 1510-1530 | Location: Rusko, Finland

The Church of St. Michael

The Church of St. Michael is supposed to be built in the end of the 13th century, but another theories suggest sometime between the beginning of the 12th century or in the end of the 15th century. The church replaced an earlier wooden church from around the 1000s. The church has one of the best preserved medieval interior in Finland. There are many medieval wooden sculptures decorating the interior, and the wall pain ...
Founded: 1445-1455 | Location: Finström, Finland

Geta Church

Geta Church is believed to be built in the 1460s, and was dedicated to St. George. It was used as a chapel until the beginning of the 20th century. The altarpiece was donated in 1685. The Empire-style pulpit is from 1842. The major reconstructions have been done in the 17th century, and in 1842. The belfry was built in the middle of the 17th century, but it has been reconstructed in 1685 and in the 19th century.
Founded: 1460-1540 | Location: Geta, Finland

Akaa Stone Sacristy

Akaa medieval stone sacristy was built probably in 1510. The sacristy was originally a part of wooden church. It is supposed to be the first part of a planned stone church, but the plan was never finished.
Founded: 1510 | Location: Toijala, Finland

Vehmaa Church

The picturesque stone church of Vehmaa was built probably between years 1425 and 1440. It's one of the oldest still existing churches in Western Finland. There are some artefacts from Middle Ages in the church. The pulpit is from the 17th century and other interior from 1840s.
Founded: 1425-1440 | Location: Vehmaa, Finland

Närpiö Church

The church of Närpes was originally built around 1550-1555, but it has been expanded several times during the 17th and 18th centuries. The church itself, surrounding magazines and stables creates an unique historical milieu in Finland.
Founded: 1550-1555 | Location: Närpiö, Finland

The Church of St. Catherine of Alexandra

Lammi post-medieval church was built probably in the 1510s, although there is a written mark "1444" inside the church. The church and bell tower were destroyed by fire during Finnish Civil War in 1918, and the reconstructions were completed in 1920.
Founded: 1510 | Location: Lammi, Finland

Somero Stone Sacristy

Somero medieval stone sacristy was built probably in the end of 15th century. The sacristy was originally a part of wooden church. It is supposed to be the first part of a planned stone church, but the plan was never finished.
Founded: 1490-1500 | Location: Somero, Finland

Sääksmäki Stone Church

The Sääksämäki stone church was built at the turn of 15th and 16th centuries. It burnt down in 1929, and was consecrated in 1933. The major restoration was made between 1998-1999. The stained glass windows and wall paintings in the ceiling were done by the well-known local artist Kalle Carlstedt. The relief was also made by the another local artist Aukusti Veuro. There are two old sculptures of Catholic saints in the ...
Founded: 1495-1500 | Location: Valkeakoski, Finland

The Church of Pedersöre

The Pedersöre (Pietarsaari) church is one of the oldest in Ostrobothnia. There have been wooden churches from the 13th century and the present stone church was built 1510-1520. The church was modified to cross shape in 1787-1795 by famous church builder Jakob Rijf. Pedersöre Church was damaged badly by fire in 1986. It was supposed to be an arson, but any suspects were never found.
Founded: 1510-1520 | Location: Pietarsaari, Finland

The Church of St. Birgit

The first stone church in Vihti was built in the end of Middle Ages, probably between years 1500-1520. Unfortunately it was located to a very soft ground and structures started to fall apart in the 17th century. Until 1801 humidity was damaged church so much that local municipality of Vihti decided to sell the church. Woods and stones were ripped off and used as part of local barns. The church was finally destroyed in st ...
Founded: 1500-1520 | Location: Vihti, Finland

The Church of St. Anna

First record of the church of Kumlinge is in a testament dated back to the year 1484. The church was consecrated to St. Anna. There have been probably a chapel and even two wooden churches before the present stone church, which was built approximately in 1510. Baroque fashioned belltower was erected in 1767. There's also the oldest altarpiece in Finland (from year 1250) and wooden Madonna statue from the 15th century.
Founded: 1510 | Location: Kumlinge, Finland

The Church of St. John

The stone church of Sund was built at the end of 13th century or at least before 1310. Church was damaged by fire in 1672 and again in 1921. The church bells were destroyed in both accidents. There are still an altarpiece and wall paintings remaining from the 14th and 15th centuries. Sund Church is the biggest church in Aland.
Founded: 1290-1310 | Location: Sund, Finland

The Church of St. Michael

Keminmaa old church is northest medieval church in Finland (built in 1520-1553) and one of the latest ones built before Reformation. The paintings on the ceiling depict the sufferings of Christ; they date from 1650. The pictures of saints on the walls, the baptismal font and the holy-water font date from the Catholic times. The bier and stocks located in the church porch as well as the black pew standing inside the churc ...
Founded: 1520-1553 | Location: Keminmaa, Finland

Ulvila Church

The Ulvila Church, dedicated to St. Olaf, is one of the most significant medieval buildings in Finland. The first church was built probably in 13th century to Liikistö, which was a local trade centre. According old documents the graveyard around the church was consecrated in 1347 and church was burnt badly in 1429. Historians believe that the present stone church was built after that between 1495-1510.There are sever ...
Founded: 1495-1510 | Location: Ulvila, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.

Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.

Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.

When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.

In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.

The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.

The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.