Did you know that there are seven World Heritage Sites in Finland?
These are Suomenlinna, Old Rauma, Petäjävesi Old Church, Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, Sammallahdenmäki Bronze Age Burial Site, Struve Geodetic Arc and Kvarken Archipelago. Kvarken Archipelago is the only natural heritage site, all the others are cultural heritage sites.
World Heritage Sites in Finland
1. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
Suomenlinna sea fortress is sometimes called the “Gibraltar of the North”. Construction of this mighty sea fortress began in 1748. Built on group of islands, there are about 200 buildings in an area of 80 hectares. The total lenght of the defensive walls is about six kilometres. Suomenlinna became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Visit the Suomenlinna website for more information
2. Verla Groundwood and Board Mill
The Verla Groundwood and Board Mill (Verlan puuhiomo ja pahvitehdas in Finnish) is a well-preserved example of small-scale rural industrial settlement. The Groundwood Mill was established in 1872 and the Board Mill in 1882. Production ended at the mill in 1964, and in 1972 the Verla Mill became Finland’s first factory museum. It became a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Visit the Verla Mill Museum website for more information.
3. Petäjävesi Old Church
Petäjävesi Old Church (Petäjäveden Vanha Kirkko in Finnish) is a representative of the architectural tradition of wooden churches in northern Europe. The church was built between 1763 and 1765 and has been preserved as a monument since the 1950s. It was added to the World Heritage List in 1994. You can visit this unique building in Petäjävesi, about 30 kilometres from Jyväskylä.
Visit the Petäjävesi Old Church website for more information.
4. Old Rauma
Old Rauma is a typical Scandinavian wooden town. It forms a unified area of historical, single-storey buildings, a partly medieval street network and a viable urban community. Old Rauma became a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Visit Old Rauma website for more information.
5. Sammallahdenmäki Bronze Age Burial Site
About 20 km from Old Rauma is located another World Heritage Site. The Sammallahdenmäki Bronze Age Burial Site (Sammallahdenmäen pronssikautinen hautaröykkiöalue in Finnish) forms the largest and most varied burial site on the Gulf of Bothnia. In the area there are 36 burial cairns at the rugged and rocky World Heritage Site.
Visit the Sammallahdenmäki website for more information.
6. Struve Geodetic Arc
The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching 2820 km from Norway to the Black Sea. They were laid between 1816 and 1855 under the direction of German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, with the aim of determining the size and shape of the Earth. This marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. In Finland there are six station points. These are located in Pyhtää, Lapinjärvi, Korpilahti, Tornio, Ylitornio and Enontekiö.
7. Kvarken Archipelago
The Kvarken Archipelago is the only natural heritage site in Finland. As the land uplift in the Kvarken is very intense, the archipelago is constantly changing shape. This is the best place in the world to experience and understand the land uplift phenomenon caused by the last Ice Age.
For more info about the World Heritage Sites in Finland
visit Finnish Heritage Agency’s website
Image of Suomenlinna by Jussi Hellsten / Visit Finland