The Lohja church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, is due to its exceptionally rich painted ornaments one of the most remarkable architectural monuments of medieval Finnish churches. The church is estimated to have been finished in the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The size of the Lohja church is notable: it is the third largest stone church after the Turku and Naantali Birgitta-style churches. The rich al-secco style paintings of the Lohja church have a unique status as the last medieval art creations of Finland. The primary function of the pictures was to teach the illiterate. The grey stone foot of the bell tower on the southeast corner of the church is probably from the Middle Ages. The wooden parts of the bell tower were given their present form during the vast reparations after the Great Northern War.
1.5.-30.9. 9-16, other dates 12-15
The Lohja Congregation
phone (019) 328 4224, 328 4226.
Group visits and guiding as well as visits outside the opening hours:
The Lohja Tourist Service Centre, phone or mail.
The Chappel Tsasouna of All Saints is designed by architect Sakari Siitonen. The architect has managed to capture some of the most central and beautiful features of Karelian building tradition into this wooden building with a broad axe-finish. The flame cupola is a symbol of prayer and taper fire. The 400 copper scales depict the figure of felt pieces and give a vivid surface to the cupola construction. The Tsasouna exhibits many icons as well as church textiles and cloths. The name Tsasouna comes from the Russian word “tsas” which means an hour or a moment. Every village in Karelia hosted a small tsasouna, in which the laymen held short services, as the clergymen of the villages did not often have time to visit the scattered settlements and hold regular services. There are about a village-full of Russian orthodox inhabitants in Lohja, which is also why there is a tsasouna.
Karjalohja Church, designed by the architect Jean Wilk, is a stone church completed in 1860. The church is located in the centre of Karjalohja and is open to the public during summer.
The Vivamo Quiet Peninsula (Hiljainen niemi) reaching out into the Lohjanjärvi lake hosts the Chapel of St. Birgitta built in the style of a medieval church of grey stone. The church was nearly entirely built by voluntary workforce. Over 100 volunteers participated in the construction throughout the eight years of building. The chapel was consecrated in 2003. Architect Juhani Risku designed the chapel. The chapel is made from Lohja granite stone blocks. The speciality of the chapel is the colourful stained glass. The chapel primarily serves as a place for composing oneself to prayer as well as a site for small weddings and christening ceremonies. The chapel also makes an interesting sight for tourist groups.
Quiet Garden Finland’s first Quiet Garden was opened in 2007 in Vivamo for every visitor to enjoy silence and make good encounters. The garden is part of the international Quiet Garden organization which hosts over 300 gardens for retreat purposes all over the world.
Phone or e-mail
The Sammatti Church is one of the oldest wooden churches still in year round use in Finland. It was constructed by Mickel Jöransson in 1754-55. This is the third church for the Sammatti congregation. First information on Sammatti as a locality dates back to 1406. As a chapel of the Lohja parish, Sammatti has existed since the end of the 16th century. It became its own parish in 1951. Even though the current church looks small, it can house up to 350 people.
The history of Sammatti Church is closely related to the Finnish national awakening in the 19th century and the life of Elias Lönnrot. During his retirement, Lönnrot organised the services in the church for over ten years, delivering the sermon regularly. Lönnrot also took part in the renewing of the Finnish hymn book in Sammatti. The altarpiece, painted by Adolf von Becker, was donated by Lönnrot.
9 June – 12 August 11am–15pm
Other churches in the Lohja parish include: Virkkala Church (1953), Nummi’s neoclassical grey-stone church, designed by A.N. Edelcranz (1822), Pusula’s wooden church (1838) and Kärkölä Church (1842).
For more information visit the website of Lohja Seurakunta.