Tyrvään Pyhän Olavin kirkko

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St Olaf’s Church in Tyrvää

St Olaf’s Church in Tyrvää is a late medieval stone church that was recently rebuilt after a fire in 1997. The church stands in a beautiful surrounding of Lake Rautavesi in the middle of the Finnish countryside. The congregation of Sastamala is applying for UNESCO World Heritage Site status for St Olaf’s Church in Tyrvää.

Getting here

Address: Kallialan kirkkotie 50, Sastamala
St Olaf’s church in Tyrvää is located in the town of Sastamala approximately 60 kilometres west of Tampere. The church is about 4 kilometres outside of Sastamala town centre. There is no public transport from the town centre to the church.

Opening Hours and Admissions in 2021
Exceptions to Opening Hours
Guided Tours
A Brief History of St Olaf’s Church in Tyrvää

Opening Hours and Admissions in 2021

Open 23th of May – 31st of August 2021
Sunday – Friday 11 am – 4 pm
and in September only on Sundays

Closed during the winter season.

There is a voluntary 2 € admission fee for access to the church during opening hours.

We kindly ask visitors not to bring in to the church any umbrellas, drinks, food or any other items that could cause damage to the valuable artwork in the church.

Exceptions to Opening Hours

Friday 25th of June church is reserved for religious services.
Saturday 26th of June the church is open from noon to 4 pm.
On Sunday 27th the church is open 11 am – 4 pm, a service is held at 6 pm.

On Friday 30th July the church is open10 am – 6 pm and on Saturday 31st 10 am – 5 pm.


Open for groups from mid April until end of September in 2021. All groups planning to visit the church should contact the church office prior to the visit.

As several reservations for groups have already been made for summer 2021, please contact the church office as soon as possible to find out if there is availability and to avoid a disappointment. For contact in English, we would prefer that you use email: kirkkoherranvirasto.sastamala@evl.fi.

Guided Tours

Between 23th of May and 31st of August in 2021 regular guided tours in Finnish are held from Sunday to Friday at 2 pm.

If you would like to have a guided tour in English or Swedish, please contact the church office to find out if there is availability.

A Brief History of St Olaf’s Church in Tyrvää

St Olaf’s Church, is thought to have been built at the beginning of the 16th century, possibly between 1506-1516. The church was initially Catholic, but following the Reformation the congregation became Lutheran shortly after the building was completed. The church was in active use by the congregation until 1855 when a new church was built in Tyrvää and St Olaf’s Church was left vacant.

Towards the end of the 20th century, St Olaf’s church became a popular wedding church and the value of the church was rediscovered. With an increasing interest in the church renovations were made, including a large restoration of the 18th century shingle roof, originally designed by Antti Piimänen. Volunteers completed the work, including hand carved 17,000 aspen shingles for the roof. The renovation was finished in 1997, but later same year in September the church was almost entirely destroyed by arson.

Shortly after the fire a decision was taken to rebuild the church. Volunteers were again called to the building work. Over the following years (1997 - 2003) more than 1,000 volunteers participated in the building process, with a small core group of volunteers working every day.

Today the style of the exterior is still very similar to the original medieval church, with a shingle roof reconstructed to the appearance of the 18th century roof. Reconstruction of the exterior was finished in the autumn of 2000 and building of the interior started the same year.

Architect Ulla Rahola was chosen to design the interior of the church, the plans being made in close coordination with National Board of Antiquities. The objective was not to fully reconstruct the previous interior but to re-establish the prior to the fire ambiance. During the centuries several changes had been made inside the church, but the interior mainly dated from 17th and 18th centuries. The rebuilding was finished in 2003 and St Olaf’s church was open to the public until 2005 when it was closed again for painting project.


Artists Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala were selected to create the new artwork of the church. Prior to the fire in 1997 interior artist, Anders Löfmark, had illustrated the panels of the galleries in the 18th century. However, it is not known who had done the other artwork in the area of altar originating from the 17th century.

As a whole, the artwork of the church consists of 101 paintings today. Kuutti Lavonen’s work is situated in the panels of the galleries and Osmo Rauhala’s is in the altar area. Osmo Rauhala created also the paintings in the pulpit.

The themes that previously existed, prior to the fire, were utilised when new artwork was planned. Genesis, Garden of Eden and the Fall are the themes of Rauhala’s artwork in the altar area. The general theme in the pulpit is the first phrase of the Gospel according to St John: “In the beginning was the Word”. In the panels of the west gallery are found, among other things, Lavonen’s paintings of writers of the Gospels and the Last Judgement. Lavonen’s artwork extends to the panels of the north gallery where he has depicted a series of Via Crucis.

Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala completed the artwork in August 2009 and St Olaf’s church was reopened to the public again. In 2009 from mid August until end of September over 35,000 visitors came to see the reopened church and its contemporary art.

- Back.

Lauantaina 15. elokuuta 2009 Tyrvään Pyhän Olavin kirkon ovet avautuvat taas yleisölle. Kuva Pirjo Silveri.

Nyt se on valmis. Taiteilijoiden 101 teoksen suururakka on saatu päätökseen. Kuva: Reijo Keskikiikonen.

Arkkipiispa emeritus John Vikströmin saarna käsitteli etsikkoaikaa. Kuva: Reijo Keskikiikonen.

Kuutti Lavonen: Enkeli. Kuva Rauno Träskelin.

Messun päätyttyä on aika tutustua kirkkotaiteeseen. Kuva: Reijo Keskikiikonen.

Tunnelmaa silloin ennen. Vanha sisustus arvokkaine maalauksineen tuhoutui täysin 1997.

Kirkon sisätilat ja kattorakenteet tuhoutuivat palossa täysin.

Väinö Paunuvuori löi ensimmäisen paanun kattoon heinäkuussa 2000.

Taidemaalarit Osmo Rauhala ja Kuutti Lavonen seisovat yhteisesti suunnitellun ja maalatun, taiteilijoiden alueita yhdistävän pylvään juurella. Kuva: Reijo Keskikiikonen.

Osmo Rauhala, Luomiskertomus – Ensimmäinen päivä, valon synty. Kuvaaja: Reijo Keskikiikonen.

Sivun alalaita.