Religious sites in Finland

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral is a distinct landmark in the scenery of central Helsinki, with a tall green dome surrounded by four smaller domes. It was built in 1830–1852 in neoclassical style to replace an earlier church from 1727. The cathedral was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, to form the climax of the whole Senate Square laid out by Engel, surrounded by a number of buildings all designed by him.Today the cathedral is one ...
Founded: 1830-1852 | Location: Helsinki, Finland

The Church of St. Lawrence

The Church of St. Lawrence dates back to ca. 1450 and is the oldest building in Vantaa and all of Greater Helsinki. Along with its surrounding neighborhood, the church is a part of the Helsingin pitäjän kirkonkylä district, which is one of the best preserved historical parishes in all of Finland. The Church of St. Lawrence was partially destroyed in a fire on 7 May 1893, after which it was reconstructed in a Gothic Re ...
Founded: 1450 | Location: Vantaa, Finland

Turku Cathedral

Turku Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and the country's national shrine. It is the central church of the Archdiocese of Turku and the seat of the Archbishop of Finland. It is also regarded as one of the major records of Finnish architectural history.The cathedral was originally built out of wood in the late 13th century, and was dedicated as the main cathedral of Finland in 13 ...
Founded: 1400-1410 | Location: Turku, Finland

Tampere Old Church

The old church of Tampere is a wooden cruciform shape church built in 1824-1825. It’s the oldest public building in the downtown. The church was designed by Carlo Bassi. The belfry was added in 1828-1829. The first public park in Tampere was built around the church in 1835.The old church is popular for weddings and it’s open around the year from Wednesday to Sunday.
Founded: 1824-1825 | Location: Tampere, Finland

Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary). The cathedral was designed by the Russian architect Alexey Gornostaev (1808–1862), but it was built after his death in 1862-1868. It was made of bricks brought mainly from Bomarsund fortress in Åland which had been destroyed during the Crimean War in 1854.Uspenski cathedral represents the Slavonic architec ...
Founded: 1862-1868 | Location: Helsinki, Finland

Jyväskylä City Church

Jyväskylä City Church is located in the heart of city. The church building was completed in 1880, five years after the establishment of the city parish. The church was designed by architect L. I. Lindqvist and construction led by the Swedish-born architect, Anders Johan Janzon. The red-brick church replaced the earlier wooden church built in 1775.The new church was needed since the early 1850s due the poor condi ...
Founded: 1880 | Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Kirkkonummi Church

The medieval Kirkkonummi brick church was built in the 15th century. The local parish was established in 1240 and there have been several wooden churches at the same site before. The present church has been renovated and modified several times. In 1570s Russian soldiers damaged church and it was burnt by lightning. Next renovations were made in 1637 and again in the 19th century.
Founded: 1400-1490 | Location: Kirkkonummi, Finland

Tampere Cathedral

The national romantic cathedral was designed by Lars Sonck and built between 1902 and 1907. In the beginning of the 20th century Russification was a governmental policy of the Russian Empire aimed at limiting the special status of the Grand Duchy of Finland and possibly the termination of its autonomy. This caused the rise of the national romanticism in Finland and Tampere Cathedral was one of the most remarkable examples ...
Founded: 1902-1907 | Location: Tampere, Finland

Muonio Church

The wooden church of Muonio was completed in 1817 and inaugurated in 1822. It is designed by Charles Bassi. The bell tower was built in 1889. Muonio Church was one of those few buildings the withdrawing German army didn’t destroyed during the Lapland War in 1944. The village of Muonio was almost completely burnt down. The church is open from June to August Mo-Fri 10-14.
Founded: 1817 | Location: Muonio, Finland

Oulu Cathedral

The Oulu Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral and the seat of the Diocese of Oulu. The church was built in 1777 as a tribute to the King of Sweden Gustav III of Sweden and named after his wife as Sofia Magdalena's church.The wooden structures burned in the large fire of the city of Oulu in 1822. The church was built again on top of the old stonewalls with famous architect Carl Ludvig Engel as the designer. T ...
Founded: 1777 (restored 1832) | Location: Oulu, Finland

Espoo Cathedral

The Espoo Cathedral is a medieval stone church built in the last half of 15th century. The church is thus the oldest preserved building in the city. The church was originally designed in by an unknown "Espoo master" and built between 1485 and 1490 under his supervision. The only remaining parts of the medieval church are the eastern and western parts of the nave. The weapons room was removed between 1804 and 1806 and cer ...
Founded: 1480-1490 | Location: Espoo, 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

Joensuu Church

The brick-made Joensuu Church was built in 1903 and designed by a Finnish church architect Josef Stenbäck. The church is in the Gothic Revival style, but it also has some features of Jugendstil. The high tower located in the southeast corner is the bell tower and in the lower southwest tower is the organ. It was built in 1969 by Organ Factory of Kangasala and has 36 stops. The church has 1000 seats. On the altar is a pai ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

Kemi Church

Kemi Church is an Evangelical Lutheran church. The Gothic Revival building was designed by architect Josef Stenbäck and it was completed in 1902. The brick-made church has 1000 seats.
Founded: 1902 | Location: Kemi, Finland

Lappeenranta Church

The Lutheran church of Lappeenranta was completed in 1924. The building started in 1912 and it was originally mentioned to be an Orthodox military church of Russian garrison in Lappeenranta. The construction was interrupted quite soon by World War I. After the independence declaration the church was moved as the property of Finland government. The parish of Lappeenranta decided to complete it as the Lutheran church. The ...
Founded: 1912-1924 | Location: Lappeenranta, Finland

Vaasa Church

Vaasa Church was planned by the architect C. A. Setterberg and consecrated in 1869. The church, built in an English neo-gothic style, has a capacity of almost 900 people. The last restoration took place in the year 2000.The church has three altarpieces: The Institution of the Eucharist by R. W. Ekman (1861), The Adoration of the Angels by Albert Edelfelt (1894), and The Deposition of Christ by Louis Sparre (1897).
Founded: 1862-1869 | Location: Vaasa, 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

Naantali Church

The Naantali Church was originally part of the Catholic Convent of St. Bridget. The convent was built between years 1443 and 1462 and church probably later in the end of 15th century. Nowadays the church is the only remaining building of the convent, which was closed during Reformation in 1540s. Naantali Church is damaged several times by fire and the present interior is mostly from the modern times except the pulpit (162 ...
Founded: 1443-1462 | Location: Naantali, Finland

Kallio Church

The spectacular Kallio church, designed by Lars Sonck and built in 1908–1912, represents the Finnish national romantic school of architecture, as well as a change to Art Nouveau. The bells of the tower play a melody composed by Jean Sibelius. Inside the church are numerous interesting details such as a crucifix and relief made by sculptor Hannes Autere.In the beginning of independent Finland Tolstoyan movement took ...
Founded: 1908-1912 | Location: Helsinki, Finland

Masku Church

The Masku Church, built probably in 1490-1510, and surroundings represents one of the oldest parishes in Western Finland. The Masku parish was mentioned first time in 1234. The Mural paintings and pulpit date from the 17th century. There are also several medieval artefacts like crucifix and Silesian altarpiece located inside the church. Near the church is also "Humikkalan kalmisto", an Iron Age burial ground. Finnish Nat ...
Founded: 1490-1510 | Location: Masku, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.