Religious sites in Finland

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

The Church of St. John

The grey stone church of Hauho was built probably at the beginning of 16th century. The present sacristy made of bricks replaced the old medieval one 1783-1784. The bell tower was built in 1811. The church bells were moved over to the new church in 1885. There are several medieval wooden statues in the church, for example St. Peter and St. Anna.
Founded: 1500-1520 | Location: Hauho, Finland

The Old Church of Isokyrö

One of the major sights in Isokyrö area is the massive grey stone church, which was built probably between 1513-1533. Dedicated to St. Laurence, this church has been the spiritual centre of the greater Pohjankyrö area.
Founded: 1513-1533 | Location: Storkyro, Finland

The Church of St. Peter

The Siuntio Church was built probably between 1460-1489 and it's dedicated to St. Peter. The roof paintings representing stories of Bible were made in the early 16th century by German or Baltic artists. The church is damaged by fire four times, but paintings are fortunately survived.
Founded: 1460-1489 | Location: Siuntio, Finland

Taivassalo Church

Taivassalo Church is the oldest of the three medieval stone churches in Finland that are dedicated to the Holy Cross. The construction of the church is believed to have begun between the years 1425 to 1440. In 1460s, the third aisle was built and the inner walls were decorated with new murals. It was the first time in Finland that frescos were painted to nearly all important surfaces of a church by a group of professi ...
Founded: 1425-1440 | Location: Taivassalo, Finland

Lapua Cathedral

The Lapua Cathedral is one of the nine cathedrals in Finland. The neoclassical cathedral was built in 1827 and designed by famous architect C. L. Engel. The belfry remains from the earlier church building. The cathedral's pipe organ is the largest in Finland.
Founded: 1827 | Location: Lapua, Finland

Uusikaupunki Old Church

Uusikaupunki Old Church was one of the first new churches after the Reformation in Finland. It was built in 1623-1629 and renovated several times in the 18th century. The belfry was added in 1775. The speciality of the church is the star-decorated, barrel vaulted ceiling. The church is open to the public in summer time.
Founded: 1623-1629 | Location: Uusikaupunki, Finland

Keuruu Old Church

The wooden Old Church of Keuruu was built between 1756-1759. It’s very beautiful and well-preserved sample of the wooden church architecture in 18th century. The church was built by Antti Hakola. The original altarpiece was painted by Johan Backman in 1750s or 1760s. Now it’s moved to the National Museum in Helsinki and there’s a copy in the church.
Founded: 1756-1759 | Location: Keuruu, Finland

Uskela Church

The Uskela parish is one of the oldest parishes in Finland. Documents mention it for the first time in 1329. The church hill of Uskela is an old location for the church, with a church at this location since 1440. The small medieval stone chapel, dedicated to St. Anna, was dismantled in 1830.The present church was completed in 1832. IIt was designed by famous architect C. L. Engel. The The belfry was erected in 1860. Insid ...
Founded: 1832 | Location: Salo, Finland

Kaarlela Church

Kaarlela church was built around years 1500-1530. It was modified to the present cross shape during the 18th century by local vicar Anders Chydenius. One of the oldest pulpits in Finland is placed inside the church. It was brought from Sweden by vicar Jacob Skepperus in 1622.
Founded: 1500-1530 | Location: Kokkola, 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

The Church of the Three Crosses

The Church of the Three Crosses (Vuoksenniska chruch), designed by academician Alvar Aalto, is architecturally an interesting building. Its slender, high belfry describes a down shot arrow. Instead of the altar painting there are three crosses. Among the 103 windows only two are identical. Aalto planned the church also for other activities in the parish besides services. Therefore the church can be divided into three part ...
Founded: 1957 | Location: Imatra, 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

St Mary's Church

The St. Mary's Church is a medieval stone church located in Maaria. There are no records as to when the present church was built, but the work was probably started in the mid or late 15th century. According to Markus Hiekkanen, the church was probably built in the 1440s. On the basis of the style of the closets, the gables were constructed about 50 years later. There are medieval limestone paintings on the walls, which a ...
Founded: 1440 | Location: Turku, Finland

Mynämäki Church

The Church of St. Lawrence in Mynämäki is the second biggest medieval church in Finland. The sacristy, oldest part of the church, is dated back to the 13th century. The church itself was quite probably erected in the beginning of 15th century to replace the previous wooden church. It was expanded in 1600s and again in 1770s. There are couple of old artefacts inside the church, for example wooden epitah from year ...
Founded: 1425-1440 | Location: Mynämäki, Finland

Pikkukirkko

Pikkukirkko (Small Church) of Savonlinna was built by the Orthodox parish in 1846 according the design by L. T. J. Visconti. The Lutheran parish bought it in 1938 and used it as the main church until 1950s. Today it is a popular wedding and christening church.
Founded: 1846 | Location: Savonlinna, Finland

The Church of St. Mary

The stone church of Hollola was built between 1495-1510 during the third wave of Finnish grey stone churches. Church is one of the biggest medieval churches in Finland and important medieval landmark in Päijät-Häme area. According to Reformation policies, the interior was remodeled in the 17th century. Archeologists have found remains of the Iron Age settlement around the church. Area has been some kind of administrat ...
Founded: 1495-1510 | Location: Hollola, Finland

St. Peter's church

The Lieto Church was built probably in the end of 15th century. The earliest record of Lieto parish dates back to the year 1331, when local vicar Pietari (Peter) was a witness in tax trial between Turku bishop and Häme (Tavastia) people. The stone church represents simple Finnish church architecture. The belfry was added in 1766 and the Neo-Gothic styled apse in 1902.
Founded: 1470-1500 | Location: Lieto, Finland

Perniö Church

The Perniö Church was built in the 15th century, probably in 1460-1480. It's dedicated to St. Lawrence (as well as many medieval churches in Finland). The interior contains mural paintings made by the school of famous artist Petrus Henriksson from the end of 15th century. There are also seven limestone tombs inside the church. The belfry was erected in 1746.National Board of Antiquities has named the church site as n ...
Founded: 1460-1480 | Location: Perniö, Finland

Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church

Pielpajärvi is the old centre of Inari. In former times, there was a winter village of Inari by the shore of this wilderness lake where people gathered to stay for the winter months. The church, built in the winter village in 1760, is one of the oldest buildings in northern Lapland. The reddish church stands on a stone field lined by a beautiful birch wood. A natural-state meadow now grows on the church grounds.The w ...
Founded: 1760 | Location: Inari, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.