St. Henry's Church

Pyhtää, Finland

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.


Your name


Founded: 1460
Category: Religious sites in Finland
Historical period: Middle Ages (Finland)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

es ällä (3 years ago)
Asko Poikkimäki (3 years ago)
Kaunis kivikirkko.
Kari Kangas (3 years ago)
Pyhtään Pyhän henrikin kirkko on hieno, arvokas nähtävyys. Jotta kirkkorakennuksella olisi matkailullista arvoa ja/tai kirkolla arvoa hiljentymispaikkana - mikä lienee sen tärkein tehtävä - olisi suotavaa päästä sinne sisälle. Etenkin kauempaa kirkkoa katsomaan saapuvien olisi hyvä tietää, milloin kirkko on avoinna. Pyhtään vanhalle kirkolle on ilmoitettu aukioloajat sekä seurakunnan sivuilla yhteystiedoissa (sieltä niitä ei tosin heti arvaisi hakea) että kirkon tiekirkkolistalla, ne vahvistaa myös lappu kirkon ovella: avoinna ma-su kello 10-15. Vaan eipä aina ole. Sunnuntaina 24.6. kirkko oli tiukasti suljettu jo kello 14:20. Myöhemmin sitten seurakunnasta kerrottiin, että verkkosivujen kirkollisten ilmoitusten joukossa on tieto kirkon kiinni olemisesta koko juhannusviikonlopun. Sen olisi toki voinut kertoa aukioloaikalistassakin, sieltä tiedon olisi joku voinut jopa löytää. Satunnaisia poikkeuksia lukuun ottamatta voi siis olettaa kirkon olevan auki silloin, kun se luvataan. Seurakunnasta kerrottiin myös, että maksullisen opastuksenkin voi tilata. Puolisen tuntia kestävä opastus maksaa 20 €, mitä itse pidän kohtuullisena (vaikka Espoossa tuomiokirkon vajaan tunnin opastus ei maksakaan mitään...). Seurakunnasta vastattiin nopeasti asiaa koskeneeseen sähköpostiini, mikä kasvatti arvosanaa yhdestä tähdestä peräti neljään, juuri tuon palvelun ja suuren odotusarvon vuoksi. Muokkaan sitten arvosteliua, kun joskus olen päässyt kirkkoon sisäänkin.
Ivan Bendich (3 years ago)
Люблю старые финские кирхи, ничего не могу с собой поделать. Ну вот почему любая церковь не может быть такой же лаконичной?
Михаил Мирошниченко (4 years ago)
Beautiful old church with garden.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.


The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.