Vantaa St. Lawrence Church is an interesting example of mixing the Neo-Gothic style to vernacular Gothic style. The church was originally built in the mid-1500th century,  completing year being 1452. It is one of the many late-Medieval stone churches that were built in Southern Finland during that time.

The church was severely destroyed on a fire in 1893. At the time, the heritage value of old stone churches had been recognized. The first regulation of monument protection was laid down in 1883. The decision to reconstruct the St. Lawrence Church was made soon after the fire. It was restored and reconstructed based on the restoration theory of the 19th century so that the original, vernacular Gothic style was improved using contemporary knowledge and methods of construction. One of the leading architects of the time, Theodor Höijer designed the restoration and reconstruction.

The restoration theory that reworked the original style was questioned in the early decades of the 20th century, and the authenticity was adopted as the leading idea of restorations. However, St. Lawrence Church in Vantaa is one of the few reminders of the early period restoration theory, how the Gothic style was re-worked with Neo-Gothic principles.

Location

Kirkkotie 45, Vantaa
60.2831066, 24.9843132

Images

Neo-Gothic details in the interior, St. Lawrence Church
Neo-Gothic details in the interior, St. Lawrence Church (© Wikimedia Commons)
St Lawrence photographed from the west, St. Lawrence Church
St Lawrence photographed from the west, St. Lawrence Church (© Wikimedia Commons)
St Lawrence photographed from the south-west, St. Lawrence Church
St Lawrence photographed from the south-west, St. Lawrence Church (© Wikimedia Commons)
St. Lawrence Church in the 1950s, St. Lawrence Church
St. Lawrence Church in the 1950s, St. Lawrence Church (© Fred Runeberg / HKM)