Turku Cathedral

Considered Finland’s preeminent religious monument, this ancient cathedral in the heart of Turku has a history that dates back to the 13th century. It was Finland’s main church during the Catholic Middle Ages and the Protestant period following the Reformation. Originally built of wood, it was later fortified in stone in the 14th and 15th centuries, but the Great Fire of Turku in 1827 destroyed much of the building. It was rebuilt, and in the 1830s a new clock tower was added, measuring 101 meters (331 feet) above sea level, and the interior entirely reconstructed with Gothic arches, Romantic-style frescoes and a magnificent altarpiece depicting the Transfiguration of Christ by Swedish artist Fredrik Westin. Buried in the Kankainen Chapel in a large stone sarcophagus is Karin Månsdotter, the Queen of Sweden in the mid-16th century. A museum on the upper level showcases statues of saints and sacred vessels from the Catholic Middle Ages and vestments and silver artifacts from the Protestant Reformation.

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