Old Church of Sodankylä (Lapp Church)

Old Church of Sodankylä (Lapp Church) in Sodankylä, Lapland Finland / Copyright http://lifeinlapland.com

(The Chuch is one of the oldest wooden churches in Finland)

The "Lapp Church" of Sodankylä is one of Finland's oldest wooden churches and has features in its construction that date all the way back to the Middle Ages. The church was built in 1689 for the villages of Sodankylä, Kittilä, Sompio, and Keminkylä (Savukoski), and is considered one of the best preserved wooden churches in all of Finland, with its log walls, pulpit, altar and benches all from the 17th century.

The church almost fell into ruins as it was not maintained after the building of the nearby new stone church in 1859 (you can see the “new” church from the grounds). Until it was fully repaired in 1926, the church actually leaned over on a slant as its wood rotted, yet these issues were corrected in accordance with suggestions from the Finnish National Board of Antiquities. More restoration work took place in 1995 as the facades and roof were refurbished to fit the conditions of how they existed in the 18th century.

The church is open most days and entry is FREE. It's worth stopping by if passing through Sodankylä as its construction (including the fence surrounding the church yard) and interior are quite well preserved, offering a glimpse into Lapland's past.