Religious sites in Finland

Lumparland Church

The wooden church of Lumparland was built in 1728 to replace the earlier church destroyed by fire. First record of church in Lumparland dates back to the year 1540 and it was sanctified to St. Andrew. The current church was originally painted with red, repainted to yellow (in 1870) and once again to white color in 1896. The interior is from the 19th century, the altarpiece for example was made by Victor Westerholm in 1887 ...
Founded: 1728 | Location: Lumparland, Finland

Brändö Church

The wooden church of Brändö was built in 1893. There is an remarkable altarpiece from the late Middle Ages inside the church.
Founded: 1893 | Location: Kustavi, Finland

Piikkiö Church

Piikkiö well-preserved stone church was built in 1752-1755 by Samuel Elmgren to replace the previous wooden church. It was styled after medieval churches in Finland. According the legend church stones were brought from the ruins of near Kuusisto Castle. Near the church are also a parsonage from the 18th century and garden from the 1750s.
Founded: 1752-1755 | Location: Kaarina, Finland

Sottunga Church

The present Sottunga church was built in 1728 to replace older one, which was burnt down in the Great Northern War. Since then the church has been renovated several times, most recently in 1974. Today Sottunga church is smallest wooden church in Finland.
Founded: 1728 | Location: Föglö, Finland

Pihlajavesi Wilderness Church

The wooden church of Pihjalavesi was built between 1780-1782. In 1778 small village of Pihjalavesi requested to build their own church, because it was long distance to nearest church. The parish of Keuruu denied the request, but the building of smaller chapel was allowed without any public funding. Local inhabitant built anyway a church and sold grain and tar to fund it. When the church was completed, local vicar got admo ...
Founded: 1780-1782 | Location: Keuruu, Finland

Elimäki Church

Elimäki Church, built in 1638, is one of the oldest wooden churches in Finland. The cruciform shape is from the extension in 1678. The belfry was added in 1795-1797. The interior is mostly from the 17th century. Most significant artefacts are altarpiece and pulpit donated by Casper Wrede and Sophia Taube.
Founded: 1638 | Location: Kouvola, Finland

Västanfjärd Churches

The Old Church of Västanfjärd was built in 1759-1760. The wooden octagon shaped church was designed by Isak Olin and it’s dedicated to St. Jacob. The belfry was erected in 1763. Interior is mostly from the 19th century.The newer stone church is located near the old church site. It was built 1910-1912 and represents the Romantic Nationalism style. It was designed by Helge Rancken. The altarpiece (painted by ...
Founded: 1759 & 1910 | Location: Kemiönsaari, Finland

Karunki Church

The wooden church in Karunki was built in 1815-1817. The cruciform shape church is designed by A. W. Arppe. The bell tower was erected in 1815. The altarpiece was painted by J. Hedman in 1827. There are also a manse (1861) and couple of wooden outbuidings on the church site.
Founded: 1815-1817 | Location: Tornio, Finland

Simo Church

The empire style church of Simo was completed in 1846. The wooden church is designed by Ernst Bernhard Lohrmann. The older bell tower was built in 1773. The altarpiece is painted by Esaias Svanberg in 1847.
Founded: 1846 | Location: Simo, Finland

Sodankylä Church

The Church of Sodankylä was inaugurated in 1859. It’s the second church in Sodankylä and was built to replace the too small first church. The bare stone church is designed by Ludvig Lindqvist and Ernst Lohrmann. Church bells were brought from the older church.
Founded: 1859 | Location: Sodankylä, Finland

Kuru Church

The wooden church of Kuru was completed in 1781. It is designed and built by Matti Åkerblom and has 700 seats. In 1848 a sacristy was built on the east side of the church. The altarpiece is painted by B. A. Thule in 1852.The Kuru Church is a well-preversed and good sample of wooden church architecture in Southwest Finland.
Founded: 1781 | Location: Ylöjärvi, Finland

Hattuvaara Tsasouna

Tsasounas are small Orthodox chapels in Carelia and the Russian side of the border. They are typically simple wooden buildings with lot of decoration. The tsasouna of Hattuvaara, built in the 1790s, is the oldest still used tsasouna in Western Europe. During the World War II heavy battles were fought in Hattuvaara, but the tsasouna survived with no damages. In tsasouna´s yard, there is also a museum outbuilding and ...
Founded: 1790s | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Ilomantsi Church

The Lutheran church of Ilomantsi is a colorful wooden church and rich in nuances. It was built in 1796 by H. Mechelin. The interior is richly decorated by Samuel Elmgren, who painted inside one hundred angels and several characters from Bible between 1830 and 1832.
Founded: 1796 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Tohmajärvi Church

The wooden church of Tohmajärvi the oldest church in North Carelia. The church was built in 1756 and the bell tower couple of years later. The altarpiece is painted by Mikael Toppelius. The location on the small peninsula is one of the most beautiful church sites in Finland. Other monuments in church grounds are a memorial to those who fell and were left behind in Carelia, (now Russian Republic of Karelia) and Bisho ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Tohmajärvi, Finland

Vihanti Church

The church of Vihanti was completed in 1784 to replace the first one built in 1691. It is designed by Simon Silvén. The interior of the wooden cruciform shape church is decorated by Emanuel Granberg and Erik Westzynthius. The altarpiece is painted directly to the log wall. The bell tower (1752) originates from the earlier church.
Founded: 1784 | Location: Vihanti, Finland

Muhos Church

The church of Muhos was completed in 1634 and is the third church in the parish. Muhos church is the oldest wooden church in Finland, which has been preserved almost in its original shape. It is built in the form of a rectangular basilica, a so called buttress church. Torninrakentaja-Hannu (Hannu the Tower Builder) is regarded as the builder of the church. There are 500 seats in the church. The pulpit was built by Mikael ...
Founded: 1634 | Location: Muhos, Finland

Lohtaja Church

The present church of Lohtaja was completed in 1768 and it is fourth or fifth in Lohtaja. The latest church was located to the higher place as the landmark for seafarers. There are several artefacts originating from the previous church built in 1644.
Founded: 1768 | Location: Kokkola, Finland

Koivulahti Church

Koivulahti church was originally an octagonal shaped wooden church, completed in 1691-1693. In the enlargement made in 1795 it was reconstructed to the cruciform appearance. The belfry dates from 1757. There is also a vicarage from 1782 and former magazine buildings near the church.
Founded: 1691-1693 | Location: Mustasaari, Finland

Kankaanpää Church

The wooden church of Kankaanpää was constructed during the years 1834-39. The church was designed by C.L. Engel and it represents a pure tendence of empire architecture.
Founded: 1834-1839 | Location: Kankaanpää, Finland

Angelniemi Church

Angelniemi Church was built in 1772 by famous church builder Matti Åkerblom. It is oblong in shape, and the belfry is annexed to the church as if it was a bell-tower. The church has been restored several times in the 19th century, and in the 20th century. The altarpiece was painted by Aleksandra Stålt in 1897. There is also a crucifix from the 14th century. The pulpit was made in 1772.
Founded: 1772 | Location: Kemiönsaari, 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.