Petäjävesi Old Church was built of logs between 1763 and 1765. This Lutheran country church is a typical example of an architectural tradition that is unique to eastern Scandinavia. It was marked as a UNESCO World Heritage landmark in 1994.
Built for a small Lutheran parish in central Finland, Petäjävesi Old Church is located on a peninsula at Lake Solikkojärvi and is surrounded by an agricultural landscape with lakes and forests, typical of the region.
(Photo Nick Haswell-Mantere)
Construction of this wooden church was led by a local master builder, Jaakko Leppänen. The bell tower was added to the western part of the church in 1821 by the master’s grandson, Erkki Leppänen.
Petäjävesi Old Church is representative of the architectural tradition of wooden churches in northern Europe. The Old Church is a unique example of traditional log construction techniques applied by the local peasant population in northern coniferous forest areas. European architectural trends, which have influenced the external form and layout of the church, have been masterfully applied to traditional log construction.
(Photo: Risto Jutila)
The adaption of forms and techniques of varied provenance makes this church a multi-layered landmark and an outstanding example of Nordic church architecture. The church is built entirely of pine wood, worked in a constructive and economical manner.
More information: UNESCO World Heritage list