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

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.