The Old Church of Petäjävesi in the heart of Finland is a remarkable World Heritage Site.
I have visited this church in the summer of 2013 on a trip through Finland. It is located in the heart of Finland some 300 km north of Helsinki and some 30 km west of Jyväskylä. This town is well known for the architectural works of Alvar Aalto (who's famous Paimio Sanatorium near Turku is on the Tentative List of Unesco).
The church of Petäjävesi is located just west of the town near one of the many many Finnish lakes. The parking lot is several hundred of meters from the church so you will get unspoiled views of the church. The church is relatively small but very charming and has its own approach from the lakeside.
It is beautiful to see the old woodwork both on the outside and the inside of the church. The belltower was added later on, which can be clearly seen as it is really separated from the church. The woodwork on the inside is unfinished wood, remarkable that this will survive in the Finnish climate. The best part of the church for me are the angels on the pulpit. They look very simple but very real and are really something else compared the artwork in the great cathedrals of Europe. You can buy copies of these angels in the small boutique in the corridor.
As the only visitor at that time I was granted access to the top of the church and could see the church from the balcony. The woodwork is crooked and slanting, it is tiny and small and it gives you a wonderful view of the low-key beauty of this intimate old church. The church dates back to 1763 and is on the Unesco list since 1994. It makes a great comparison to the wooden churches and Tserkvas in southern Poland.
When in the region another World Heritage Site is not too far away. One of the measuring points of the Struve Geodetic Arc is located in Oravivuori, near Korpilahti, it is signposted on the E63. The point is on the top of a hill and after climbing the tower you will receive an astonishing view over the Finnish lakes.