Religious sites in 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

Hiittinen Church

St Andrea's Church in Hiittinen (Hitis) was built in 1686 and it’s the second oldest cross shape church in Finland. There was a chapel in Hiittinen already in the 13th century. Some stone wall ruins of that building are remaining in the small cemetery.The altarpiece is painted by A.F.Ahlstedt, and the pulpit is a late plainer replica of the one in the Dome of Turku from 1650.
Founded: 1686 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

St. Henry's Chapel

The St. Henry's Chapel is a medieval wooden barn, which was surrounded by the present brick chapel in 1857. According the legend St. Henry, the first bishop of Finland, spent his last night in the barn before local peasant Lalli murdered him in 1156. Although according modern archeological investigations oldest parts of the barn were made in 1472-1473. Oldest records from the 17th century tells that the barn has been a de ...
Founded: 1857 (the Chapel) | Location: Kokemäki, 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

Snappertuna Church

The cruciform-shape, wooden church of Snappertuna was built originally in 1688-1689 and renovated in 1797. The belfry was erected in 1776. Nearby the church are wooden magazine and the tomb added in 1778. Snappertuna church and surroundings are one of the most well-preserved church sites in Finland. In summertime the church is open every day.
Founded: 1688-1699 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

Kanta-Loimaa Church

The red-brick Kanta-Loimaa Church was completed in 1837. A fire ignited by a lightning strike destroyed all its wood components, but the church was repaired according to a plan by Josef Stenbäck in 1891. The altarpiece was completed in 1850 and organs in 1895.
Founded: 1837 (renovated 1891) | Location: Loimaa, Finland

Iisalmi Old Church

The parish of Iisalmi area was founded in 1627, and the parish church was built in the same year. Kustaa Aadolf Church, which was built in 1779, is not, however, the original one as two churches were previously built on the same site. The oldest artefacts in the church are the small 17th century chandeliers above the galleries. The other chandeliers were purchased later.The paintings which decorate the galleries date from ...
Founded: 1779 | Location: Iisalmi, Finland

Luhanka Church

The wooden church of Luhanka was inaugurated in 1893 and is designed by Josef Stenbäck. Stenbäck was one of the leading church architects in the tide of 19th and 20 centuries. Luhanka church epresents the Neo-Gothic style and its interior is unpainted.Because there are no heating or electric lights, the church is only used in summer season. It ish is popular for concerts.
Founded: 1893 | Location: Luhanka, Finland

Ylikiiminki Church

Ylikiiminki Church was probably completed in 1786. The cruciform church was designed by Jacob Rijf, the famous church builder from Pietarsaari. The altarpiece was painted by Gustav Holmqvist in 1839.
Founded: 1786 | Location: Oulu, Finland

Soini Church

The wooden church of Soini municipality was built by Yrjö Lepistö and in completed in 1793. The present appearance date mainly from the restoration made in 1885. The bell tower was erected in 1795. There is an old cemetery surrounding the church with a monument erected for people died of starvation in the 19th century. National Board of Antiques has defined Soini church site as a national built heritage. The un ...
Founded: 1793 | Location: Soini, Finland

Ikaalinen Church

Ikaalinen Church was completed and inaugrated on 4 August 1801. Architect was Thure Wennberg and builder Salomon Köhlström (Köykkä). It is a wooden cruciform church and seats approximately 1,100 people. The altarpiece is Berndt Godenhjelm's 'Glorification of the Christ' from 1874. During the summer, Ikaalinen Church functions as a road church. The rugged belfry was built in conjunction with the renovation of the churc ...
Founded: 1801 | Location: Ikaalinen, 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

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

Parikkala Church

The construction of Parikkala church started in 1813. It was designed by the government architect C. Bassi and built by the local master Matti Salonen. The church has been in use since 1817, but it wasn’t finally completed until 1840. The interior dates mainly from the 1830s.
Founded: 1813-1840 | Location: Parikkala, Finland

Maalahti Church

The current wooden Maalahti church was built in 1829 and it is designed by C. Bassi. The belfry was erected in 1832 according the design of famous C. K. Engel. The altarpiece was painted by A. Såltin in 1881 and organs date from 1875.
Founded: 1829 | Location: Maalahti, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz

The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz, located in Saxony-Anhalt in the Middle Elbe Region, is an exceptional example of landscape design and planning from the Age of the Enlightenment in the 18th century. Its diverse components – the outstanding buildings, English-style landscaped parks and gardens, and subtly modified expanses of agricultural land – served aesthetic, educational, and economic purposes in an exemplary manner.

The grounds, which had been divided into four parts since the constructions of a railway line and the Bundesautobahn 9 in the 1930s, were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

For Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817) and his friend and adviser Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff (1736-1800), the study of landscape gardens in England and ancient buildings in Italy during several tours was the impetus for their own creative programme in the little principality by the rivers Elbe and Mulde. As a result, the first landscape garden in continental Europe was created here, with Wörlitz as its focus. Over a period of forty years a network of visual and stylistic relationships was developed with other landscape gardens in the region, leading to the creation of a garden landscape on a unique scale in Europe. In the making of this landscape, the designers strove to go beyond the mere copying of garden scenery and buildings from other sites, but instead to generate a synthesis of a wide range of artistic relationships. Among new and characteristic components of this garden landscape was the integration of a didactic element, arising from the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the thinking of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), and the aesthetics of Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-1779). The notion of public access to the buildings and grounds was a reflection of the pedagogic concept of the humanisation of society.

Proceeding from the idea of the ferme ornée, agriculture as the basis for everyday life found its place in the garden landscape. In a Rousseauian sense, agriculture also had to perform a pedagogic function in Anhalt-Dessau. Through the deliberate demonstration of new farming methods in the landscape garden, developments in Anhalt-Dessau were not merely theoretical, but a practical demonstration of their models in England. It is noteworthy that these objectives - the integration of aesthetics and education into the landscape – were implemented with outstanding artistic quality. Thus, for instance, the buildings of Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff provided important models for the architectural development of Germany and central Europe. Schloss Wörlitz (1769-73) was the first Neoclassical building in German architectural history. The Gothic House (from 1774) was a decisive influence on the development of Gothic Revival architecture in central Europe. Here, for the first time, the Gothic style was used to carry a political message, namely the desire for the retention of sovereignty among the smaller Imperial territories. The churches in Riesigk (1800), Wörlitz (1804-09), and Vockerode (1810-11) were the first Neoclassical, ecclesiastical buildings in Germany, their towers enlivening the marshland, floodplain landscape in which they served as waymarkers. In parts of the Baroque park of Oranienbaum, an Anglo-Chinese garden was laid out, now the sole surviving example in Europe of such a garden in its original form from the period before 1800. The development of stylistic eclecticism in the 19th century had its roots in the closing years of the 18th century.

Another feature of the landscape is the integration of new technological achievements, such as the building of bridges, an expression of a continuing quest for modernity. Through the conscious incorporation of the older layouts at Oranienbaum and Mosigkau into a pantheon of styles, the landscape became an architectural encyclopaedia featuring examples from ancient times to the latest developments. Nowhere else in Germany or Europe had a prince brought such an all-embracing and extensive programme of landscape reform into being, particularly one so deeply rooted in philosophical and educational theory. With the unique density of its landscape of monuments, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is an expression of the enlightened outlook of the court at Dessau, in which the landscape became the idealised world of its day.

Through the conscious and structured incorporation of economic, technological, and functional buildings and parks into the artistically designed landscape, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz became an important concourse of ideas, in that it facilitated the convergence of 18th century grandeur of design with the beginnings of 19th century industrial society. The reforming outlook of this period brought about a huge diversity of change in the garden layout, and this legacy can still be experienced today.