Religious sites in Finland

Kolari Old Church

The Old Church of Kolari, also known as the Kolarinsaari Church, is a cubelike wooden church completed in 1819. It’s designed by A.W. Arppe and the altarpiece is painted by J. Hedman as well as in many other 19th century churches in the Lapland and Oulu area.
Founded: 1818-1819 | Location: Kolari, Finland

Tervola Old Church

The Old Church of Tervola was built in 1687-1689 and is one of the oldest and most well-preserved wooden churches in Finland. The wooden pulpit is made by Johan Skogh and Nils Ahlboom in 1733-1735. The altarpiece is painted by Johan Hedman in 1831.The church was unused 85 years after the new church of Tervola was completed in 1865. Worships began again in 1950.
Founded: 1687-1689 | Location: Tervola, Finland

Tervola Church

The newer Church of Tervola was built between 1861-1864 to replace the old church. It is called also "the great church”"because its large size. The architect was Ludvig Isak Lindqvist who has also designed couple of other churches in Northern Finland.
Founded: 1861-1864 | Location: Tervola, Finland

Lemi Church

Construction of the first church in Lemi was started in 1668, but it was destroyed by arson already in 1670. The next one was completed in 1688 and used for one hundred years. The present one was built in 1786 by the local church builder Juhana Salonen. The wooden crusiform-shaped church is one of the most valuable wooden churches in the Europe.
Founded: 1786 | Location: Lemi, 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

Ilomantsi Orthodox Church

The wooden Orthodox church of Ilomantsi is the largest in Finland and is dedicated to the prophet Elijah. It was built in 1892 according the design of S. V. Sadovnikov from St. Petersburg. The church has an obvious Russian influence.
Founded: 1892 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Hyrynsalmi Church

Hyrynsalmi church was built in 1786 and it was designed by Jacob Rijf. It is one of the most significant wooden churches built in Finland in the 18th century.The separate bell tower was erected in 1840. The altarpiece painted by J. G. Hedman dates back to 1830. During World War II corpses from the Suomussalmi battlefield were brought into this church to be returned to their home parishes for burial. The church is one of ...
Founded: 1786 | Location: Hyrynsalmi, Finland

Manamansalo Memorial Church

The first church in Kainuu province was built to Manamansalo in 1559. This church was burned by the Karelians and Russians in 1578. The church bell was stolen and carried as a war booty to the Russian monastery in Solovetski, the White Sea.The memorial church, designed by Tuomas Väyrynen and Eero Huotari, was built in 1959 to the site where the original church have probably been. The memorial is an outdoor church wit ...
Founded: 1959 | Location: Vaala, Finland

Luoto Church

Luoto Church was built in between 1785 and 1789 by Jacob Rijf, the church builder from Pietarsaari. The nearby Marieholm manse dates back to the 19th century. There has been also one of the first post offices in Finland.Luoto church environment is exceptionally well-preserved milieu in the Ostrobothnia area. It is defined as a national built heritage by National Board of Antiques.
Founded: 1785-1789 | Location: Luoto, Finland

Maakalla Church

Maakalla and Ulkokalla islands have been important fisheries since the 16th century. The simple wooden church was built in 1780 and is still used for weddings and worships. There are also the smallest vicarage in Finland and fishing museum in the village.
Founded: 1780 | Location: Kalajoki, Finland

Temmes Church

Temmes Church is is a wooden church completed in 1767. It was designed and built by Antti Louet. According the legend he was permitted to build a small chapel, but built anyway the church without permission.The three-part altarpiece was painted by Carl Christoffer Stadig in 1847. At the bottom of the altarpiece is an adaptation of the Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Next to the church gate stands the largest va ...
Founded: 1767 | Location: Tyrnävä, Finland

Siikajoki Church

Siikajoki parish was established in 1590, but the Russian army burnt the first chapel already in 1591. The current church, completed in 1701, is third in Siikajoki. The wooden church was renovated in 1765 and Mikael Toppelius painted beautiful mural paintings and altarpiece in 1771-1772. The present appearance originate mainly from the restoration made in 1852.
Founded: 1701 | Location: Raahe, Finland

Rantsila Church

The wooden cruciform church of Rantsila was completed in 1785 according the design of Simon Silvén-Jynkkä. The belfry originates from the previous church. The interior is covered with paintings of Mikael Toppelius. He has also painted the altarpiece triptych.
Founded: 1785 | Location: Siikalatva, Finland

Oulainen Church

Oulainen Church was built by the building master Matti Honka and it completed in 1753. The bell tower was added in 1758. The interior is decorated with wall paintings made by Erik Westzynthius between 1779-1782. The present appearance is mainly from the restoration made In 1882.
Founded: 1753 | Location: Oulainen, Finland

Vimpeli Church

The church of Vimpeli was completed in 1807, but not inaugurated until 1811. The exterior of the wooden church is unique: it has twelve corners and looks like round church. The architect was Jacob Rifj, who was inspired of Pantheon temple in Rome. The interior is also interesting. The altarpiece was painted by R. W. Ekman in 1872.
Founded: 1807 | Location: Vimpeli, Finland

Maksamaa Church

The wooden church of Maksamaa was built between 1824-1825. The cruciform-shaped church represents the Neo-classicism style. The wooden belfry was built 1729-1730 as a tower of previous church.
Founded: 1824-1825 | Location: Vöyri, Finland

Korsnäs Church

The wooden church of Korsnäs was designed by famous architect Carl Ludvig Engel and it was built in 1831. The belfry dates already from the previous church, and it is built in 1747 (the current appearance dates from the restoration made around 1860s). The adjacent parsonage, also built in 1831, is today a parish museum.
Founded: 1831 | Location: Korsnäs, Finland

Ilmajoki Church

The current wooden church is the third one in Ilmajoki and it was inaugurated in 1766. The large cruciform church has 1000 seats and it was built by Matti Honka. The belfry dates from 1804. The altarpiece has been painted by Alexandra Frosterus-Såltin in 1879. The original altarpiece, painted by Johan Alm, is today in Ilmajoki Church Museum. Next to the church there is a beautiful churchyard and a mausoleum of local Kön ...
Founded: 1766 | Location: Ilmajoki, Finland

Pirttikylä Church

Pirttikylä Church was completed in 1783 and it is designed by J. Elfström. The wooden church is built in neo-Classical style.
Founded: 1783 | Location: Närpes, Finland

Raippaluoto Church

The wooden Raippaluoto church and the adjacent bell tower were built between 1778-1781. The altarpiece and pulpit are historically remarkable details; both were made in the 17th century and represent fine handicraft work. Both were donated by Mustasaari church in the 1840s. The altarpiece, made in Dutch Baroque style, dates from 1673.
Founded: 1778-1781 | Location: Raippaluoto, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.