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27.08.2020

Oulu Cathedral

Oulu Cathedral is the Oulu Cathedral and the Oulu Parish Church. The current plan of the church is the handwriting of Karl Ludwig Engel in 1832. The stone walls of the church are taken from the church, built in 1777, which was destroyed by a wooden fire in Oulu in 1822. Church furniture was saved from the fire.

In place of the cathedral from 1610-ies is a wooden church. The church, ruined by great hatred and time, ultimately irreparable, just dangerous. A new church began to be purchased in the 1750s, but construction could have been expected in the 1770s.

The residents of Muhosa and Oulunsalo gathered in 1750 to discuss plans to build a new church. Pastor Johan M. Junnelius suggested that the community would need a new and larger church. Mayor Mollin, for his part, emphasized the advantages of the stone church building. Everyone who came to the scene believed that the city needed a new church. The construction of the new church began in 1771. The townspeople wanted to build a church from wood, because the stone church was considered too expensive. However, King Adolf Fredrick in 1763 decided that the church should be built of stone. The church was designed and managed by Sundsvall builder Daniel Hagman. The church was put into operation at Christmas 1777 . Upon completion of construction, the new stone church was the second largest church in Finland after the Cathedral of Turku . The church could accommodate 1500 listeners. The new church was named the Church of Sophia Magdalene after the wife of King Gustav III.

Although the church was commissioned in 1777, the construction for a long time remained unfinished. For example, the planned vaults were made under the guidance of master builder Jacob Wraith only in 1794-1797. Most of the artifacts were transferred from the old wooden church, but new artifacts were also transferred. The altar of Christ on the cross was painted by the master builder Henrik Waklin, and although it was not considered a very successful work, the painting remained the altar of the church until 1860. 

The church burned down in the Oulu fire in the spring of 1822. In the vertical position remained only the stone walls. All furniture has been preserved, except for the church bells. Church guard and locksmith even managed to remove the chandeliers that served as lamps of the church. The bell tower, built by Knubb in 1728, also burned down.

Due to financial and other problems caused by the fire, the church could not be restored immediately after the fire, so near the ruins of the church was built a temporary wooden church of smaller size. This temporary church was built in November 1822, six months after the fire. The building was located at the corner of Kirkkokatu and Linnankatu, so it partially expanded to the present street from the side of Kirkkokatu. With the permission of the governor, the temporary church was allowed to serve as a warehouse even after the completion of the new church tower until the bell tower was completed, although the magistrate ordered the demolition of the temporary building after the commissioning of the new church.

Drawings of the reconstruction of the church were ordered by the Office of the curator of public buildings in 1826. Curator Carl Ludwig Engel's drawings of the curriculum were completed in March 1827. Although the appearance of the church changed significantly, the drawings were approved by both the Senate and the Oulu parish. The original stone walls of the Sophia Magdalena Church serve as a framework; the central dome, roof and bell tower were new. Restoration work in the church was completed in 1832, and in 1845 the bell tower rose to the height of the crest. The height of the bell tower from street level to the top of the cross is 56.5 meters. 

The status of the church cathedral received in 1900, when the bishop's residence was moved to Kuopio, Oulu, although until 1923 the name of the diocese was changed to Kuopio, Diocese of Oulu. Oulu Cathedral is the diocese of Oulu, the northernmost and largest area of the diocesan cathedral of Finland.

The most recent major interior reconstruction took place in 1996-1997, when in the basement of the church was built a crypt, which can accommodate about 50 people. In 2002-2003, the church was built in the basement of the cathedral. Reconstructed the cathedral pogost, renovated the roof of the stairs and gilded the cross tower.

The church is a characteristic of Engel neoclassical style. Straight lines, light surfaces, marble and gilding create a festive atmosphere and dignity. The church today has more than a thousand seats. The cathedral is still an easily recognizable landmark, an integral part of the Oulu cityscape and a popular tourist destination.

Artefacts and art of the cathedral intersect with the layers of different centuries. Many of the objects were donated. The communion bowl and two tombstones have been preserved from the 17th century to the present day. The oldest exhibition socks, chandeliers and sconces date back to the 18th century.

The main organ, built at the Kangasala Organ Factory, dates back to 1938. It has 62 votes. Facade - from the previous instrument, built in 1842. Organ building 18-voiced choir organ Veikko Virtanen is dated 1983. In 1999, for the cathedral was purchased harpsichord, made by Stig Lundmark from Sweden.

The current church has been replaced by the church since the early 1610s. The first church was a log church. There are no surviving drawings of the church, except for a small drawing on a map of the city in 1705, made by surveyor Gustav Ulstadius. Frescoes in the old church were made by the church artist from Vaasa Christian Wilbrandt in 1639 and 1658. The organ was built in the church in 1650-1652. In addition to frescoes, there were other paintings in the church, the most important and only one of which has survived to this day is the portrait of Johannes Messenius painted by Cornelius Arendz. The Messenius presented the painting to the church in 1634. The memorial plaque is still in the cathedral.

During the Great Wrath, the old church was in decline, so it could not be repaired later. In 1750, Bishop of Turku Johan Brovallius stated that the church was in poor condition. Although the half-destroyed church was even dangerous for life, it was only possible to build a new church after 20 years.

Church bells were placed on the bell tower, located on the pogost near the church. Tapuli must have been built at the same time as the church. The style of tapouli was striking. The first watch of Tapula was a watch for 850 pounds, bought from Jacob De la Gardi, a Swedish military commander. The bell was from the military production of Novgorod, where it was cast in 1175. The old tapul was demolished in 1728, and the new builder Johan Knubb in the same year built a new tapul, which was similar to the rest of Ostrobothnia. The stone church, built in 1777, was never built with the bell tower designed for it, so the bell tower built by Knubb served until the fire in Oulu.

In Kirkkopuisto is the Tomb of Heroes of the Civil War in Finland. The area was designed by architect Hildings Ekelund . Monument to the fallen in the Civil War Pro Patria mortui was opened September 29, 1922. The relief of the granite memorial stone was made by the sculptor Väine Aaltonen.

 

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