On Ristimäki hill in Ravattula, remains of an early medieval church were found in 2013. The remains have been dated to the late 12th century–early 13th century, in other words to the end of the Finnish Crusade period and the Early Middle Ages. The church is so far the oldest in Finland and also the only one dating from the period before the establishment of Finnish parish system. Ristimäki is exceptionally well preserved: the site comprises a church, a churchyard that served as burial ground, and a fence surrounding the churchyard.
Ristimäki (lit. Cross Hill) church was a wooden building that was constructed on a stone footing. The church consisted of two rooms: in the western end, there was a square nave and in the eastern end, a slightly smaller narrow choir in which the altar was located. The walls were presumably built by using a horizontal timbering technique and the floor was covered with planks. Today, only the stone footing and the foundation of the altar remain of the Ristimäki church. The corners of the church building and the location of the altar have been marked on the ground.
The church remains are surrounded by a churchyard with dozens of graves. Thus far only a few graves have been archaeologically examined. Most graves are located right in the vicinity of the church as it was regarded as the most valuable place for burying. According to radiocarbon datings, the burial ground may have already been in use a century before the construction of the church begun. Remains of a stone setting of a fence that surrounded the churchyard have so far been found on the south-western side of the hill.
On the basis of natural scientific datings and finds, it seems that the use of the church and the churchyard ceased during the second quarter of the 13th century. Perhaps the church was destroyed by fire, or it was abandoned and left to decay. Around that time, the parochial organisation in Finland began and the religious life appears to have concentrated in the newly established parish centre.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.