List of World Heritage Sites in Finland

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Location of World Heritage Sites in Finland. The green dot indicates the natural site while the blue dots indicate the sites of the Struve Geodetic Arc.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] Finland accepted the convention on 4 March 1987, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list. The first two sites added to the list were Old Rauma and the Fortress of Suomenlinna, both in 1991, at the 15th Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Carthage, Tunisia.[2] Further sites were added in 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005, and 2006.[3]

As of 2020, there are seven World Heritage Sites in Finland,[3][4] six of which are classified as cultural sites according to the UNESCO criteria, and one natural site, the High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago. This is a transnational site and is shared with Sweden. The Swedish part, the High Coast, was listed individually in 2000; the Kvarken Archipelago was added in 2006. There is another transnational site in Finland, the Struve Geodetic Arc, a cultural site listed in 2005, which is shared with nine other countries.[3]

In addition to its World Heritage Sites, Finland also maintains six properties on its tentative list.[3]

World Heritage Sites[edit]

UNESCO lists sites under ten criteria; each entry must meet at least one of the criteria. Criteria i through vi are cultural, whereas vii through x are natural.[5]

  * Transnational site
Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO data Description
Old Rauma A square and cobblestone streets in Old Rauma Rauma 1991 582; iv, v
(cultural)
Old Rauma is the medieval central part of the town of Rauma at the Gulf of Bothnia. It consists of around 600 wooden houses which are now used both for residential and commercial purposes. The Church of the Holy Cross dates to the 16th century while the rest of the urban area has been rebuilt after fires and dates to the 17th to 19th centuries. Minor boundary modifications took place in 2009.[6][7]
Fortress of Suomenlinna Fortress of Suomenlinna from above Helsinki 1991 583; iv
(cultural)
The fortress, which is built on six islands at the entrance to the port of Helsinki, was built by Sweden in the 18th century to defend against the Russian Empire. There are 200 buildings and the defensive walls stretch over 6 kilometres (3.7 mi). After World War II, the military role of the fortress declined. It was repurposed for public use and is now a popular tourist destination.[8]
Petäjävesi Old Church Petäjävesi Old Church, bell tower on the left, a cemetery in front. Petäjävesi, Central Finland
1994 584; iv
(cultural)
This church is a typical example of the architectural tradition of wooden churches in northern Europe. It was built between 1763 and 1765 and demonstrates the masterful application of European architectural influences to a structure made of logs. The centrally planned church shows Renaissance influences while the steep roof recalls the Gothic tradition. The bell tower was added in 1821. The church is well preserved due to the fact that it was abandoned in the late 19th century, as the new parish church was built, and did not suffer from major alterations such as the installation of heating systems. It was carefully restored after 1920. The church still holds services regularly in summer.[9]
Verla Groundwood and Board Mill Verla groundwood and board mill museum, built in red brick. Kouvola (Jaala), Kymenlaakso 1996 751; iv
(cultural)
The mill and the surrounding residential area represent a type of small-scale rural industrial settlement common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, associated with pulp, paper, and board production. These types of settlements flourished in northern Europe and North America, where the raw materials were abundant. The Verla Mill operated until 1964, after which it was converted into a museum.[10]
Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki Sammallahdenmäki cairn. Forest in the background. Rauma 1999 579; iii, iv
(cultural)
This burial site dates back to the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age, from 1500 to 500 BCE. The site includes 33 burial cairns in several clusters. The cairns are connected to sun worship, a religion that spread to Finland from Scandinavia. Originally, they were built near the coast but are now further inland due to the rising land.[11]
Struve Geodetic Arc*
Alatornio Church, side view. Cemetery in front.
Enontekiö, Ylitornio, Tornio, Korpilahti, Lapinjärvi, Pyhtää 2005 1187, ii, iii, vi
(cultural)
The Struve Geodetic Arc is a series of triangulation points, stretching over a distance of 2,820 kilometres (1,750 mi) from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea. The points were set up in a survey by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve who first carried out an accurate measurement of a long segment of a meridian, which helped to establish the size and shape of the Earth. Originally, there were 265 station points. The World Heritage Site includes 34 points in ten countries (north to south: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine), six of which are in Finland. Alatornio Church, one of the station points in Finland, is pictured.[12]
High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago* De Geer moraines at Kvarken, sea and surrounding vegetation Kvarken 2006 898; viii
(natural)
This is an extension of the High Coast site in Sweden, originally listed in 2000. Both the High Coast and the Kvarken Archipelago are situated in the Gulf of Bothnia and include thousands of islands. The area shows prominent effects of the post-glacial rebound, the rising of the land following the melting of the continental ice sheet after the Last Glacial Maximum (thus removing the weight of the glaciers), 10,000 to 24,000 years ago. The rising, in some places up to almost 300 metres (980 ft), is constantly changing the landscape.[13]

Tentative list[edit]

In addition to sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage List are only accepted if the site was previously listed on the tentative list.[14] As of 2020, Finland lists six properties on its tentative list.[3]

  * Transnational site
Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO criteria Description
The Carvings from historic time at the island of Gaddtarmen (Hauensuoli) A carving depicting a coat of arms, with the year 1584. Nordland 1990 iii, iv, v (cultural) The island of Gaddtarmen is at the southernmost point of Finland and has been an important stopping place for seafarers for centuries. Since the 15th century, sailors waiting for favourable winds have carved images into the rocks. There are over 600 drawings, mostly heraldic symbols or people's initials.[15]
The large Stone Age ruin of Kastelli at Pattijoki Kastelli Giant's church, a large stone ruin. Forest in the background. Pattijoki 1990 i, iv (cultural) This prehistoric stone enclosure, the largest of about 30 "Giant's Churches" in the area, was built around 2000 BCE. It is likely that a hunter-gatherer society built the structure to help them with seal hunting activities, such as storing the seal carcasses.[16]
The Rock paintings of Astuvansalmi at Ristiina Astuvansalmi prehistoric rock paintings depicting humans and animals Ristiina 1990 i, iv (cultural) The paintings in red ochre on a steep bedrock above the lake Yövesi depict humans, moose and boats. Hand prints are also visible. They were painted over a long period, from 3800 to 2200 BCE, when the bedrock emerged from the draining lake.[17]
The Holy place of worship of Ukonsaari by the Sami people at Inari Ukonkivi (Ukonsaari) island in the lake. Trees grow on the island and there is a walkign path to the top. Inari 1990 iii, vi (cultural) Ukonsaari is an island in Lake Inari. It is considered a sacred place by the local Inari Sámi people. There is a cave on the island that was used for sacrificial purposes.[18]
Paimio Hospital (formerly Paimio Sanatorium) Paimio Sanatorium building Ristiina 2004 i, ii, iv (cultural) The sanatorium, situated in the middle of a pine forest, was built between 1930 and 1933 following the design of Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino. Aalto designed the entire complex, down to the furniture. It was initially used for tuberculosis patients.[19][20]
Saimaa-Pielinen Lake System* Sunset at the Lake Saimaa Ristiina 2004 vii, viii, ix (natural) This is a part of a serial nomination consisting of a cluster of legally established national parks and areas under national conservation programmes.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World Heritage Convention". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  2. ^ "15th session of the World Heritage Committee". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Finland". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Treasure trove: Finnish Unesco sites - thisisFINLAND". Finland.fi. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  5. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 12 June 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Old Rauma". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Old Rauma" (PDF). UNESCO World Heritage Centre. p. 52. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Fortress of Suomenlinna". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Petäjävesi Old Church". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Verla Groundwood and Board Mill". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Struve Geodetic Arc". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  13. ^ "High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Tentative Lists". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  15. ^ "The Carvings from historic time at the island of Gaddtarmen (Hauensuoli)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  16. ^ "The large Stone Age ruin of Kastelli at Pattijoki". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  17. ^ "The Rock paintings of Astuvansalmi at Ristiina". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  18. ^ "The Holy place of worship of Ukonsaari by the Sami people at Inari". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Paimio Hospital (formerly Paimio Sanatorium)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Paimio Sanatorium - Alvar Aalto Foundation | Alvar Aalto -säätiö". Alvaraalto.fi. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Saimaa-Pielinen Lake System". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.