Religious sites in Finland

The Church of St. Michael

Keminmaa old church is northest medieval church in Finland (built in 1520-1553) and one of the latest ones built before Reformation. The paintings on the ceiling depict the sufferings of Christ; they date from 1650. The pictures of saints on the walls, the baptismal font and the holy-water font date from the Catholic times. The bier and stocks located in the church porch as well as the black pew standing inside the churc ...
Founded: 1520-1553 | Location: Keminmaa, Finland

Ulvila Church

The Ulvila Church, dedicated to St. Olaf, is one of the most significant medieval buildings in Finland. The first church was built probably in 13th century to Liikistö, which was a local trade centre. According old documents the graveyard around the church was consecrated in 1347 and church was burnt badly in 1429. Historians believe that the present stone church was built after that between 1495-1510.There are sever ...
Founded: 1495-1510 | Location: Ulvila, Finland

Sauvo Church

The medieval church of St. Clemens in Sauvo was built to present three-aisle outfit probably in 1460s or 1470s. First record of the Sauvo Church in Turku Cathedral documents dates back to the year 1346, but there have been several wooden churches before even from the beginning of 13th century. Many renovations were made to the church during 17th century, but the interior is very well-preserved. Mural paintings are from th ...
Founded: 1460-1480 | Location: Sauvo, Finland

Church of St. Michael

Paimio parish dates back to the 14th century. The present church was built in 1681-1689 to replace the previous wooden church. It’s one of the rare stone churches built in the 17th century in Finland. The interior was renewed in 1748-1756 and partly again in 1863. The central altarpiece was painted by R.W. Ekman in 1865, and the paintings of the Apostles near the organ were painted in 1751. The present vicarage was ...
Founded: 1681-1689 | Location: Paimio, Finland

Kokemäki Church

Kokemäki Church was built between 1780-1786 and named after Gustav III, the King of Sweden. It was designed by J. Sytti an C. F. Adercrantz. The original church was expanded to the present cruciform shape in 1886. The altarpiece is painted by S. Tvoroschnikoff and it’s based on Rafael’s (1483-1520) masterpiece with the same name.On Christmas eve 1882 Kokemäki church was full of people when suddenly a ...
Founded: 1780-1786 | Location: Kokemäki, Finland

Jurmo Chapel

First seaman chapel was built to Jurmo probably in the 12th century and it has been a center of near archipelago people for centuries. According the legend Jurmo residents assisted ships to wreck purposely and robbed their cargo in the 16th century. That’s why Gustav Vasa, the king of Sweden, ordered to destroy the whole island and all inhabitants. All forests were burnt and only couple of local people survived aliv ...
Founded: 1846 | Location: Länsi-Turunmaa, Finland

The Church of the Rural Congregation of Heinola

The cruciform-shaped church of the Heinola Rural Congregation dates back to the year 1755. The wooden church was probably built by August Sorsa. The bell tower was completed in 1834.
Founded: 1755 | Location: Heinola, Finland

Haukipudas Church

The first church in Haukipudas was probably built in the Middle Ages and it was located to the Kello village. The church or chapel was mentioned in the letter dated back to the year 1488 (found from the Vatican archives of Pope Innocent VIII).The present wooden cruciform church was completed in 1764. It is designed by Matti Honka and built by Jaakko Suonperä. Originally Haukipudas church was named as Ulrika’s C ...
Founded: 1762-1764 | Location: Haukipudas, Finland

Vöyri Church

Vöyri church is the oldest still used wooden church in Finland. It was completed in 1626 and enlarged to the cruciform shape in 1777. The most well-known artefact is a medieval crucifix made probably in Lübeck between 1375 and 1400. There's also an altar made in in the late 1400's.According archaelogical excavations there has been a medieval stone sacristy situated in the same site as the current church. There are also ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Vöyri-Maksamaa, Finland

Himanka Church

Himanka church is designed by church master Jacob Rijf and it was completed in 1794. The present appearance of this wooden cruciform church dates from the restoration made in 1897. The altarpiece was painted by Johan Gustav Hedman in 1845.
Founded: 1794 | Location: Kalajoki, Finland

Sammatti Church

The Sammatti Church is one of the oldest wooden churches still in year round use in Finland. It was constructed by Mickel Jöransson in 1754-55. This is the third church for the Sammatti congregation. First information on Sammatti as a locality dates back to 1406. As a chapel of the Lohja parish, Sammatti has existed since the end of the 16th century. It became its own parish in 1951. Even though the current church looks ...
Founded: 1754-1755 | Location: Lohja, Finland

The Church of St. Lawrence

The Church of St. Lawrence was built in the 1380s to replace an earlier wooden church. The tower has been added in 1467, and the wall paintings are from the beginning of the 16th century. The church has been reconstructed in the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The remodeling has been done in the 19th century. The altarpiece was painted by B. Reinhold in 1876. The bell dates from the beginning of the 13 ...
Founded: 1380-1420 | Location: Eckerö, Finland

The Church of St. Olaf

The Church of St. Olaf in Sysmä was built during the first two decades of 16th century. First records of the church in Sysmä date back to the year 1398. There may have been two churches before the present one. The north and south walls were dismantled in 1832-1835 when the church was converted into cruciform plan according to design by C.L. Engel. The belfry was built in 1845.
Founded: 1510-1520 | Location: Sysmä, Finland

Vanaja Church

The Church of Vanaja is one of the smallest medieval churches in Finland. It was built probably between 1490-1510. Vanaja is one of the oldest parishes in Häme and it's quite probable there have been couple of wooden churches before the present one. There are many beautiful details and decorations inside the church, for example an exterior pulpit in stone wall and arm paintings of two noble families.
Founded: 1490-1510 | Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland

Kokemäki Stone Sacristy

The sacristy (built probably between 1500-1540 or 1540-1560) was supposed to be the first part of a planned stone church. The plan was never finished.
Founded: 1500-1560 | Location: Kokemäki, Finland

Tenhola Church

The first record of Tenhola parish is from the year 1329. Tenhola medieval stone church was built probably in 1460-1480. It has a richly furnished interior, for example crucifix of about 1470, 14th century triumphal cross and 17th century wall paintings.
Founded: 1460-1480 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

Kalanti Church

The Kalanti stone church, today part of Uusikaupunki city, was built between years 1430 and 1450. The interior is covered with famous wall paintings signed by Petrus Henriksson in 1470s. The oldest altarpiece in Finland was originally in the church of Kalanti. It was made by German master Francke in the beginning of 15th century and stood in Kalanti church until 1883. According the local legend, collected in the 19th cent ...
Founded: 1430-1450 | Location: Uusikaupunki, 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

Raisio Church

The Raisio Church was built between years 1500 and 1520. The church is dedicated St. Martin, a medieval Catholic saint. His picture is also placed in the Raisio city coat of arms. The oldest artefact in church is the triumph crucifix from the 14th century. The wall paintings are mostly from the 17th century.
Founded: 1500-1520 | Location: Raisio, Finland

Pyhämaa Churches

The Sacrification Church of Pyhämaa was built in 1642-1650. It’s one of the oldest still existing wooden churches in Finland. Inside the church the walls are decorated with paintings (made in the 17th century) relating to biblical events. Next to the Sacrification Church is the New Church of Pyhämaa, which was built of stone in 1804. Both churches are open to the public in summertime.
Founded: 1642-1650 | Location: Uusikaupunki, 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.