Holy Cross Church in Hattula

Holy Cross Church in Hattula serves as one of the churches of the local Lutheran congregation. As a museum church is open 11.5.-18.8.2024 daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Church is closed on Midsummer 20.-21.6.2024 and during church services (dates listed hereLinkki avautuu uudessa välilehdessä). There is no entrance fee to the church.

Guided tours

Guided tours in Finnish daily at 11, 12:30, 14 and 15:30. The price of the guide is 4 €/adult. No advance reservations and not for groups. Guided tours are not organized during church services, dates listed below. Sundays 30.6.-25.8.2024 mass/service in the church at 10 am, so the first tour at 12:30 pm.

Guided tours for groups

Guided tours for groups must be booked in advance. Tours are organized between 15 April and 15 September 2024. Guided tours between 11.5.-18.8.2024 daily at 10 am or 5 pm, the price of the guide is 75 €. Outside the summer season, 15.4.-15.9.2024 and 19.8.-15.9.2024, the price of group guidance is 136 € (including the door opening fee). An opening fee of 75 € is charged for opening the door without guidance. 

The guided tour can be paid for in cash or by card. An invoicing surcharge of 10 euros is charged for invoicing.

Contacts and reservations 044 7474 319 or hattula.seurakunta@evl.fi

Unusual openin hours 2024

The church has pages on Facebook and Instagram, these channels provide up-to-date information on exceptional schedules. Follow @pyhanristinkirkko. List also here.

The Lutheran congregation in Hattula arranges Sunday services and concerts in the Holy Cross Church during the summer. You can find the schedule of the services on the page "Tapahtumat" titled “jumalanpalvelukset ja uskonelämä".

History and Character

Holy Cross Church was built at the end of the 15th century, making it about five hundred years old.  One of the distinctive features of the church is its red brick, as grey stone was the usual material of construction in Finland at the time.  Only three medieval buildings in Finland were made of brick:  the Turku Cathedral, the Castle of Hämeenlinna and this church.

This church was dedicated to the Holy Cross.  The legend of the Holy Cross is pictured on the ceiling of the Church:  St. Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where she found the Cross of Christ.  As the story goes, she indicated the place she believed to be the site of the crucifixion – and so three crosses were found.  One of them cured a woman who was mortally ill, so that cross was taken to be the one on which Christ was crucified.  Pieces of wood believed to be fragments of this cross were common relics in medieval times, and one such piece was kept in Hattula in the Church of Holy Cross. 

The church contains about two hundred paintings.  They were painted at the beginning of the 16th century (1510). The identity of the painters is unknown but they were most likely Finns, possibly nuns.  The technique was called al secco.  The pictures were painted on a dry surface with colors dissolved in lime-water.

After the Reformation, the attitude towards paintings in churches become less favorable.  However, the paintings in the ceiling of this church were never whitewashed as was done in other medieval churches, which is the reason the paintings are so bright.  All the colors are original.

The church contains many wooden sculptures.  The oldest of them is the triumph crucifix, made by the master of Lieto, the first known Finnish sculptor.  There are two pulpits in the church.  The smaller one is the oldest extant pulpit in Finland, donated to the church in 1550.  The other pulpit is from the 18th century.  Both of them are hand made by Finnish artisans.