There are lots of wooden churches in Finland, but just few of them are so impressive as this one – Kerimäki church – the largest wooden church in the world. It was built in 1847 with more than 3000 seats and can accommodate up to 5,000 visitors. It dominates the small village Kerimäki which is located in the south-eastern part of Finland.
The excessively large church was built deliberately according to original plans of local residents. At a time when the church was being built, in the parish Kerimäki were 12,000 residents and pastor thought that at least half of them should be in the church on Sundays. However there are also some other theories that the architect made a project in inches and builder worked with centimetres, and thus built 2.54 times larger church.
Believers went to Kerimäki church from the entire region, across the lake they used the kirkkovene (church long ship).
This stunning white-ocher church will stun you already from the outside, but you cannot realize its size as much until you get inside and see its vast interior – the height of the nave is 27 meters. You’ll soon understand that it must have been impossible to heat the building. Originally there were eight stoves inside (now there are four), but it was still not enough, and thus they had to built a smaller, winter chapel for 300 people.
You can take part in the liturgy that is still held here in the main church in summer.
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