Religious sites in Finland

Houtskari Church

The wooden Houtskari Church was built in 1703-1704 and designed by E. Nilsson. The bell tower dates back to 1753 and altarpiece was made in 1887. The church, near vicarage (1860) and old cottage are named as National Built Herigate by National Board of Antiques.
Founded: 1703-1704 | Location: Länsi-Turunmaa, Finland

Savonlinna Cathedral

The people of Savonlinna had to go to the Sääminki church when they didn't have their own church. In 1850 governor Aleksander Thesleff gave order to build a church in Savonniemi. The actual construction began in 1874 and was completed in 1878. The church was designed by architect Axel Hampus Dahlström in the Gothic Revival style and it has room for 1000 people.In 1896 the new diocese of Savonlinna was found ...
Founded: 1874-1878 | Location: Savonlinna, Finland

Nurmo Church

There was originally a small chapel in Nurmo built in 1727. After couple of decades it became too small for increasing population. The chapter denied the building of new church, but local people started however to construct it illegally in 1777. The building master was Antti Hakola, but he accidentally drowned to Nurmo river in 1778. His son, Kaappo Hakola, continued the construction and the church completed in 1779. The ...
Founded: 1777-1779 | Location: Seinäjoki, Finland

Mikkeli Cathedral

Mikkeli Cathedral was built in 1896-1897. The large red-brick church is designed by Finnish church architect Josef Stenbäck. It represents the Gothic Revival style like many other churches designed by Stenbäck. The bell tower is in the western gable of the church. The church has 1,200 seats. The organ was built in 1956 by Kangasala Organ Factory and has 51 stops. The altar painting "Crucified" was made by Pekka ...
Founded: 1896-1897 | Location: Mikkeli, Finland

The Church of St. Michael

Pernaja medieval stone church was built between years 1410 and 1440 to the place of previous wooden church. The interior was completed during centuries: there are for example a christening pool from the 1300s, a crusifix from 1400s and pulpit from the 17th century. Beautiful chalk paintings in walls are dated back to 1440s.
Founded: 1410-1440 | Location: Pernaja, Finland

Iniö Church

Iniö stone church was built in 1797-1800 by architect Mikael Piimänen. It’s named after Sophia Wilhelmina, the princess of Sweden. In 1880 the church was damaged badly by fire, but it was restored soon. The altarpiece was made by Wivi Munsterhjelm (1907). Iniö church and the village are defined as national built heritage.
Founded: 1797-1800 | Location: Kustavi, Finland

St. Nicholas Church

The Orthodox St. Nicholas Church of Joensuu was completed in 1887. It’s one of the most significant samples of Orthodox wooden church architecture in Finland. The most valuable artefact is the iconostasis painted in St. Petersburg. The original six bells are also casted there.
Founded: 1887 | Location: Joensuu, Finland

Central Pori Church

The Central Pori Church is a church in Gothic Revival style. It is the largest church in region of Satakunta, and one of the largest in Finland. The church was built in between 1859 and 1863, when it was inaugurated. It is known for its unique church tower, which is made of cast iron. The tower is 72 metres (236 ft) tall. The church was designed by T. Chiewitz and C.J. von Heideken. Glass paintings in the church are made ...
Founded: 1859-1863 | Location: Pori, Finland

St. Katherine's Church

The Karjaa church is a typical medieval stone church in Southern Finland. Building time has been dated to the last half of the 15th century, probably 1465-1470. The bell tower was built in 1768. There are some wooden statues, coat of arms and chalk paintings visible inside the church.
Founded: 1465-1470 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

The Church of St. Mary

The Pohja Church was built between years 1475-1480 to replace a previous wooden church which was destroyed by fire. There are 12 medieval statues, 11 coat of arms and some chalk paintings inside the church.
Founded: 1475-1480 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

St. Henry's Church

The first evidence of Pyhtää as an independent parish dates back to 1380. At that time already the parish had a church, but it is not known where it was situated or what it looked like. Until 1600 Pyhtää included, besides its present area, also half of the present city of Kotka, Ruotsinpyhtää, Elimäki, the western parts of Anjalankoski, and a part of Lapinjärvi.Dedicated to St. Henr ...
Founded: 1460 | Location: Pyhtää, Finland

Loppi Old Church

The Old Church of Loppi, also known as Santa Pirjo (St. Birgit), was built in 1660s. The history of simple and bare wooden church is quite unknown because documents of building were destroyed by fire. According some investigations the church could be completed already in the tide of 15th and 16th centuries, but the age of wall logs is dated to the year 1666.Only couple of tombs remain of the old cemetery near the church. ...
Founded: 1660 | Location: Loppi, Finland

Sodankylä Old Church

Built in 1689 for the people of central Lapland, the old timber church in Sodankylä is one of the wooden churches to survive in Lapland and one of the oldest in Finland. Following the completion of the new stone church, the old church was decommissioned in 1859. In terms of style, the church is a sample of Finnish medieval ecclesiastic architecture and Ostrobothnian wooden church designs. The church was restored in 1 ...
Founded: 1689 | Location: Sodankylä, Finland

Kempele Old Church

The inhabitants of Kempele were permitted to build their own prayer room in 1688. Despite of restrictions they constructed a real church which was completed in 1691. The building master was Matti Härmä. The wooden church has some gothic features. The belfry was built in 1769.The interior is decorated by the famous church painter Mikael Toppelius between 1785 and 1795. The French-style pulpit is very personal dec ...
Founded: 1691 | Location: Kempele, Finland

The Church Hill

The church hill of Ruokolahti is situated in a beautiful site just near the Lake Saimaa. The wooden church was completed in 1854. The bell tower is perhaps the most well known building in Ruokolahti and it is also one of the oldest ones. This shingle-roofed bell tower was built by a local carpenter, Tuomas Suikkanen, who completed it in 1752.Opposite to the bell tower is the Ruokolahti Parish Museum. It was founded in 195 ...
Founded: 1752-1861 | Location: Ruokolahti, Finland

Mustasaari Church

Mustasaari (Korsholm) Church was originally built for the Court of Appeal between 1776 and 1786, and designed by Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz. After the city, including the church, burnt down in 1852, the building was rebuilt as a church under the direction of Carl Axel Setterberg, who worked as a county architect for the county of Vasa.The church is the most significant sample of early Gustavian style in Finland. It has been ...
Founded: 1776-1786 | Location: Vaasa, Finland

Keminmaa New Church

The New Church of Kemimaa was built in 1823 to replace an previous church made in 1793. The previous one had weak structures and it was about to collapse. The new empire style church was designed by the famous architect C.L. Engel. The altarpiece was painted by J. Hedman in 1827.
Founded: 1823 | Location: Keminmaa, Finland

Virolahti Stone Sacristy

The sacristy was part of a wooden church of Virolahti, built probably between 1500-1530. It is supposed to be the first part of a planned stone church. The plan was never finished.
Founded: 1500-1530 | Location: Virolahti, Finland

Rymättylä Church

The greystone church of St. Jacob, built in 1510s, is one of the most attractive churches in Finland. The medieval interior is very well-preserved, including wall paintings and several artefacts. The oldest item, a beautiful wooden statue with original colours from the 1350's is known as the smiling James of Rymättylä. Finnish National Board of Antiques has named the church site as national built heritage.
Founded: 1510 | Location: Naantali, Finland

Askainen Church

The neoclassical church of Askainen was built by the owner of Louhisaari Manor, Governor-general Herman Claes'son Fleming in 1653 as the chapel church of Louhisaari Manor. It’s one of the rare stone churches in Finland built after the Reformation in the 17th century. The belfry was erected in 1772–1779. There is a funeral chapel of the Mannerheim family in the cemetery.The Askainen noblemen's church is part of the old ...
Founded: 1653 | Location: Masku , 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.