St. Olof Medieval Church in Sysmä
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The earliest information on Sysmä’s churches comes from 1398.
The present church of Sysmä is mentioned for the first time in
1442 in King Kristoffer’s letter – at that time Sysmä had
become a spiritual center of the Itä-Häme province.
It is impossible to define the exact time when this church
was built. The recent studies tell us that the estimated building time is around 1510-1520. According to ancient folklore they had started to build the church in Kuokanmäki, Linna village. The problem was that whatever was built in the daytime, was destroyed at night. The mutual decision was that the place was unsuitable. Later on they lifted a stone that was held sacred onto a sledge that was pulled by an ox. They decided: ” Where ever the ox stops, that will be the place for our church “. And the ox stopped at the place where the church stands today.
Sysmä’s medieval, gothic style church is built of grey stone and bricks. During its more than 500 years of existence, it has experienced many changes and renovations, the Reformation, development and the passing of time have formed the church. The biggest change was in 1833, when the church was renovated according to the design of C.L. Engel, to be a cruciform church.
St. Olof, the eternal king of Norway (995 – 1030) is the patron saint of the church.
St.Olof’s church is a roadside church. It´s open daily at 11 am-5 pm during the holiday season in Finland (mid June – early August). Church service is mainly at 10 am every Sunday.