The first evidence of Pyhtää as an independent parish dates back to 1380. At that time already the parish had a church, but it is not known where it was situated or what it looked like. Until 1600 Pyhtää included, besides its present area, also half of the present city of Kotka, Ruotsinpyhtää, Elimäki, the western parts of Anjalankoski, and a part of Lapinjärvi.
Dedicated to St. Henry, the church is situated where one of the westernmost branches of the river Kymi meets the ancient Turku-Viipuri coast road.
The building resembles the majority of the Finnish medieval stone churches. Pyhtää church, built about 1460, has retained its original medieval appearance almost untouched. There have been few alterations: the porch was converted into a memorial choir during the latter half of the 18th century, and in connection with repairs in 1907, buttresses were built to support the north wall and the sacristy was fitted with the outer entrance.
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.