Nestled in the serene landscapes of Taivassalo, Finland, Kyynelten kallio stands as a testament to love and cruelty. This captivating site, known as the Rock of tears in English, invites visitors to explore its tragic history. I was driving by the area in November, and I was curious to learn about the history of this place. Why is it known as the Rock of tears?
Kyynelten kallio is an old execution place
There are, in fact, multiple stories connected to this place. Teemu Keskisarja is a Finnish author who has published a book called Kyynelten kallio – Kertomuksia seksistä ja väkivallasta. According to the book, two farmhands Heikki Pekanpoika and Heikki Mikonpoika were executed at this location in 1665. They had been sentenced to death for the sodomitic sin. There is a court document that verifies that the sentence that was given on 14 October, 1665. The two Heikkis were executed with an axe, their bodies were burned and their ashes scattered to the wind. They were the first known people in Finland sentenced to death because of homosexuality.
On the information board at this location, you’ll find another tragic story connected to this location. It’s a folk tale that has been passed down for generations. It is about the execution of two cousins, Heikki Erkinpoika Paastola and Liisa Matintytär Uurna, along with their shared child. According to the tale, these two cousins were sentenced to death for incest, but there are no sources to verify this. Heikki was told to have been decapitated and Liisa burned to death after she had witnessed the death of Heikki. Their child was thrown into a boiling water. Read this story in Finnish: Kahden kihlatun orpanan surma
There was something eerie about the ambiance of this location. I can easily believe it has been an old execution location, probably for many centuries. The way that moss had covered the red rock was like time had passed and made us forget the tragic events that took place here. We can only see a fraction of the truth anymore. We can’t see the blood shed in here, but the rock has seen it all. Forbidden relationships had very cruel consequencies in the past, but how much has the world really changed?
Directions to Kyynelten kallio in Taivassalo
Kyynelten kallio is right by the road and easy to find. There is a small signpost and parking space for one car by Helsingintie road.