Petäjävesi Old Church (1994)
Finland

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Petäjävesi Old Church, in central Finland, 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 combines the Renaissance conception of a centrally planned church with older forms deriving from Gothic groin vaults. 

Finland 2005. Stamp #1 from the Old Church at Petäjävesi, Finland. Finland 2005. Stamp #2 from the Old Church at Petäjävesi, Finland. Finland 2005. Stamp #3 from the Old Church at Petäjävesi, Finland. Finland 2005. Stamp #4 from the Old Church at Petäjävesi, Finland.

Finland 2005. Souvenir sheet from the Old Church at Petäjävesi, Finland.

The Royal Charter of the Congregation

Friedrich, the King of Gööt and Wendie etc etc. with the grace of God, and the men of the cloth give our blessing and approval to the bishop and all members of the consistory. 

In your application sent on the 20th day of April the year of our lord 1726, Jämsä, custodians of Petäjävesi, have sought our approval and decision in good faith permission to build a cemetery and small church with your own funds, in which the custodian's priests can, according to the old ways, hold services on every fourth Sunday as well as bury their dead due to the fact that the inhabitants of Petäjävesi live at least nine new miles from the mother church. 

Given that distance it becomes difficult to transport the dead especially in the summer months.

In grace the answer is thus, We, the above named, on the basis of your application, give our blessing for you to build your church and cemetery. We leave you in the grace of the almighty God.

Stockholm, In the council room the 3rd day of December in the year of our lord 1728.

  • Finland 2005. Souvenir sheet of four stamps featuring the Old Church at Petäjävesi in Western Finland. 

The text on the above souvenir sheet is written in Finnish, Swedish and English. As it may be difficult to read the small print, I have, for your convenience, given the English text here: 

Petäjävesi Old Church, in central Finland, was built between 1763 and 1765 under the leadership of masterbuilder Jaakko Klementinpoika Leppänen. It represents Nordic Lutheran timber architecture and a long tradition of log building. The church has been preserved well in its original form, and it is still in use in summertime. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Finland (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Finland for further information about the individual properties.   

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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