Saarnakivi is an ancient sermon stone and preaching place from the time when Christianity reached Finland. It is also a beautiful outdoor church if you are a looking for a place to quiet down. Tammela’s Saarnakivi is located in Lautaporras village, next to photogenic Torajärvi lake in Southern Finland. If you happen to be in Tammela in August, you might have a chance to participate in church’s traditional summer service in here.
Saarnakivi has stood here for centuries and heard many sermons
Christianity was introduced to Finland in the early Middle Ages, in the 11th or 12th century. At the time, Finland was under Swedish rule, and Christianity was spread to Finland as part of the Swedish Empire’s efforts to convert its residents to the religion. There were two important roads that passed this location. According to a folklore, priests would get on this large boulder and preach to travelers and local residents. They were told to have done so also to passing soldiers during the Great Wrath from 1714 to 1721. That is probably how Saarnakivi, the sermon stone, got its name.
The forest area surrounding the sermon stone used to be known as the sacred park of old residents. It is currently protected. The stone itself is an erratic boulder, which are common in this area sculpted by the Ice Age. The church benches overlooking Torajärvi lake date back to 2013 when a local youth organization constructed them.
Directions to Saarnakivi in Tammela
- Car: You can find a sign pointing to Saarnakivi on Kuurilantie road. If you arrive by car, you can park it in the crossroad of Kuurilantie and Hautalammintie but avoid blocking the road to a nearby sandpit. The sermon stone is located right next to Kuurilantie road.
- Bicycle: The stone is located about 17 kilometers north from the center of Tammela.
- Public transport: There is no public transport available to this location.
Accessibility: This location is not accessible for all due to a short but uneven trail from the main road.