St. Lawrence Church
Porvoo Cathedral in Southern Finland town of Porvoo is a cathedral of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. It represents vernacular Gothic style.
The church was mainly built in the 15th century in several stages. The first stage was a small timber-built church. During the 1410s or 1420s a stone-built body was constructed around it. This body located in the north-west corner of the current building. It was extended to east and south in the 1450s. The extension represents a method of construction, which came to Finland in the 15th century with the Pernaja master-builder, who was originally from Northern Germany.
The church has been destroyed several times. The Danes burnt the church in 1508, in 1571 and 1590 it was burnt by the Russians. The church was reconstructed in the 17th century, but during the Great Northern War, in 1708 it was burned again. The arches were reinforced in 1728–1733 and the gallery was built in 1762–1764.
During the Continuation War in 1941, a bomb went through the ceiling but did not explode. The interior restoration was made in 1977–1978. It was designed by architects Nils Erik Wickberg and Heikki Havas. The latest destruction happened in 2006 when arson destroyed the shingle roof. Luckily the arches protected the interior, and the fire didn’t spread to the old wooden town of Porvoo. The shingle roof was reconstructed the next year.
The church has been a cathedral since 1723 when the Viipuri diocese was moved to Porvoo. Today it is the diocese of the Swedish speaking congregations of the region.