A Disputed Church

I think I stated in a very recent post, that there are few abandoned churches in Finland. There in fact is another one just 25 kilometres away from the ruin church.

This modernist masterpiece is the church of Valkeakoski. Built in 1969 it isn’t even old yet, and there’s even nothing wrong with it. This is another strange building related story.

In 2017 the local congregation voted to demolish the church. It is basically pretty fit but would need a basic repair, which is estimated to cost around 5 millions. This cost is disputed. Anyway they want to demolish the church because it’s too large and expensive to keep. The church has 1000 seats, but there are often just 10-15 attendees to church services.

The town of Valkeakoski is a paper industry town. This means that it grew very quickly back in the days and has since suffered a decline in population. The congregation has a large medieval church from the late 15th century, and it believes that most important events could be celebrated there.

After several complaints to several institutions the church still stands. But it hasn’t been used since the decision to demolish it was taken.

The building was fenced all around. The fence had fallen, but the location was so central that I didn’t want to approach.

So I had to photograph what I could from behind the fence.

Several people I’ve spoken to think that modern churches are ugly. I strongly disagree, because I find them wonderful. Usually natural light has been used very well in the main halls. And of course details like this are lovely too.

I really would have loved to visit that hall. In fact I think this is one of the most beautiful modern churches in Finland.

A view from the rear side. They really have fenced off the place, though it looks like some graffiti makers have been around.

Highway to heaven?

The pipes are probably for draining the terrace.

The church was pretty much identical from both sides apart from the small annex on the left side of the main entrance.

I believe the annex to have housed church staff at some point.

So the battle for saving the church is still on, and now the museum authorities have woken up to defend it. We’ll see what happens.

Published by desertedfinland

A Finnish Urban explorer & Photographer

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