Pihlajavesi Wilderness Church

Keuruu, Finland

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 admonition from the chapter.

Pihlajavesi Wilderness Church was designed by famous church builder Matti Pärnä-Åkerblom. There are many legends of church, you can for example find figures of people in the inside wall of the church. Remarks are probably originated from the people reclining to the wall during worships.

The cemetery surrounding church was established in 1785 and used until the beginning of the 20th century. Some parts of the church were renovated in 1870s and again in 1930s. It’s open in summertime and popular venue for worships, concerts and weddings.

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1780-1782
Category: Religious sites in Finland
Historical period: The Age of Enlightenment (Finland)

More Information

www.avoinmuseo.fi

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martta Lappalainen (13 months ago)
Lovely place! During the summer, the church has such wonderful services! Sometimes a little cold, but wonderful!
Susanna Hirvenlahti (13 months ago)
Atmospheric wilderness church in the middle of the forest.
Suvi Leikas (14 months ago)
Wonderfully atmospheric church! You should stop here anyway. Also functioned well as a wedding church.
Timi Lehtola (15 months ago)
Great that the building has survived for years. A historic place, definitely worth a visit!
Lassi Sinkkonen (2 years ago)
Really beautiful church
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.