See and experience,
Naantali church was built in 1443 in accordance with the vision of St. Bridget, where the church should be situated so that there is a flicker of quiet water behind the church.
The beautiful white stone church is a capturing sight in the skyline of Naantali. The church was built between the 1460s and 80s as a church for a Catholic St. Bridget’s convent. At that time, Ailostenniemi point, which was located in the Raisio parish area, was chosen as the location because it met the requirements set for the St. Bridget’s church. In accordance with the vision of St. Bridget, the church should be situated so that there is a flicker of quiet water behind the church.
King Kristoffer of Sweden-Finland approved the establishment of a St. Bridget’s convent and its building permit was signed on August 23, 1443. The year of completion of Naantali Church is 1462, when the convent buildings were consecrated by Bishop Konrad Bitz. The magnificent baroque tower, which is an integral part of the Naantali silhouette, was completed in 1797.
Nowadays the Naantali Church is the only building that remains of the convent. The most recent renovation of the church took place in 2011- 2012, led by architect Virpi Tervonen. The lighting, interior windows, altar and some of the church textiles were repaired. The walls and vaults were cleaned, the vaults were whitewashed and old items were preserved.
Please check the current opening hours of Naantali church on the website of Naantalin congregation.
After the Reformation, the convent was closed in 1544, after which the spiritual activities were transferred to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Today, Naantali Church is the only building remaining from the convent times and is the second largest medieval stone church in Finland after Turku Cathedral. Naantali convent church is a popular tourist attraction, but it also serves as the center of the Naantali parish and as a road church in summer.
In the St. Bridget’s convent, liturgical songs and tunes set the pace for the day and the year. For this reason, the acoustics of the church are excellent and today several concerts are held in the church every year. The medieval convent church of Naantali is also the main venue for the Naantali Music Festival.
Visit Naantali organizes popular guided tours in Naantali Church during the summertime. Explore the fascinating history of the monastery during the Secrets of the Medieval Convent Church tour. It is possible for groups to book a private guided visit to the church from Visit Naantali. Those interested in the convent and the liturgical songs of the St Bridget’s sisters have the opportunity to book a special group tour, Song of the Sisters, to the church. During the tour, the participants will hear about church history and sing an ancient tune with the guide.
At the Naantali Museum you can see the miniature model of convent life. After the entrance hall of the Naantali Church, there is also a miniature model of the convent buildings on Ailostenniemi on the left.
Naantali’s traditions include a beautiful evening vesper from the church tower in June-August. Vesper is played at eight o’clock in the evening. Traditionally, the vesper play is preceded by the traditional Drummer’s drumming and evening rhyme asking residents to stop the day’s chores and settle down for the night. The evening vesper is a reminder from the prayer time of the convent and is played in three directions; to the president, the city and the sea.
Naantali holds many things to see and experience for the culture lovers. Book a memorable tour for your group in one of the Naantali’s galleries, artists’ studios, Axel Haartman’s residence or in Naantali church.