Porvoo Cathedral

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Porvoo Cathedral in January 2006
Porvoo Cathedral after arson in May 2006; the cathedral's roof has been reconstructed

Porvoo Cathedral (Finnish: Porvoon tuomiokirkko; Swedish: Borgå domkyrka) is a cathedral of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in Porvoo, Finland. It was built in the 15th century, although the oldest parts date from the 13th century.[1] It is the seat of the Diocese of Borgå, Finland's Swedish-speaking diocese (Borgå is the Swedish language form of Porvoo). The cathedral is also used for services by the Porvoo Finnish-speaking parish, which is administratively part of the Diocese of Helsinki. The church first became a cathedral in 1723, when the diocese of Viipuri (Viborg) (now the Diocese of Tampere) moved to Porvoo, after Vyborg was ceded to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad.


The church was originally made of wood. The first stone walls were built between 1410 and 1420, and in about 1450, the church was expanded 4 meters (13 ft) towards the east and 6 meters (20 ft) towards the south.

The church has been destroyed by fire numerous times; in 1508 by Danish forces and in 1571, 1590 and 1708 by Russian forces. On May 29, 2006, the outer roof collapsed in a fire, but with the inner ceiling undamaged and the cathedral interiors intact.[2] An 18-year-old man was convicted of arson and sentenced to six and a half years in prison.[3] The cathedral was reopened on 2 July 2008.[4]

The separate belltower
Tsar Alexander I opens the Diet of Porvoo in the cathedral, 1809

The cathedral was the site of the opening of the first Diet of Finland on 28 March 1809, at which Finland was declared an autonomous Grand Duchy, with the Emperor of Russia (Czar / Tsar) as the Grand Duke of Finland.[5]

The cathedral hosted the joint celebration Eucharist to mark the signing of a formal agreement between the British and Irish Anglican churches and the Nordic (Scandinavian) and Baltic Lutheran churches (completed in 1992), which took its name from Porvoo as the Porvoo Common Statement theological agreement, forming the Porvoo Communion was adopted.


  1. ^ Porvoon matkailu - Porvoo Cathedral Archived 2010-02-25 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Arson Likely Cause of Porvoo Cathedral Fire". Yle. 29 May 2006.
  3. ^ "Porvoo Church Arsonist Seeks Fine Reduction". Yle. 25 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Historic Porvoo Cathedral Reopens Post-Restoration". Yle. 2 July 2008.
  5. ^ Porvoo Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°23′50″N 25°39′27″E / 60.39722°N 25.65750°E / 60.39722; 25.65750