Toivakka Church featuring works of Alvar Aalto and Pellervo Lukumies
The church in Toivakka was built between 1879-1882. The interior was refurbished in 1923 when architect Alvar Aalto designed the ceiling paintings, chandeliers, decoration of the pulpit, two wrought iron candle holders, and some smaller lights and candles. In addition, Alvar Aalto has drawn the motif of the stained glass painting above the altarpiece, which is still in place. Other pieces have nowadays been transferred to Jyväskylä Alvar Aalto museum.
The interior of the church was repainted between 1972 – 1973, when the task of renewing the ceiling’s artwork was given to a local artist called Pellervo Lukumies. The completion of the work in 1973 was preceded by one of the most peculiar art wars ever seen in the Finnish churches. The old Alvar Aalto designed paintings were concealed and the personal interpretation of the bible presented in the paintings by Lukumies was opposed vigorously. During the peak of the battle the church doors were even locked in an attempt to stop Lukumies from continuing his controversial work, but he managed to climb in through the window. In the completed work Lukumies portrays, for example, Jesus in modern fashion clothing. The church artwork by Lukumies is nowadays the most visited sight in Toivakka.
Address: Toivakantie 46, 41660 Toivakka, tel. +358 (0)400 358 834
Open during the summer months from Monday to Friday between 10.00 – 16.00, other times on request.
Trail of traditions “Perinnepolku”
Perinnepolku is about 6 km long walking and cycling path in the parish center. It takes visitors through some interesting natural and cultural sights in Toivakka. The church, Old Vicarage, local history museum, veteran dugout, some farm houses and a traditional garden are located along the trail. Trail is marked with “Perinnepolku” signs.
Start: Church, Toivakantie 46, 41660 Toivakka
Old Vicarage “Vanha Pappila”
Old Vicarage was built in the late 1800s. The Vicarage garden has been a stage for a number of parties and events throughout the history. Nowadays the Vicarage offers a perfect setting for banquets, meetings, exhibitions and events.
Address: Toivakantie 20, 41660 Toivakka, tel. +358 (0)400 646 530
Local History Museum at the Old Vicarage area
The peasant way of life in the early 1900s can be experienced at the local history museum which is located in the Old Vicarage area. The exhibition displays objects from agriculture, forestry, cooking, hunting, fishing and transportation. In addition to the main exhibition, there is a collection of traditional objects used in milk production and making of fabric from flax and wool, as well as a furniture collection that gives a feeling of the housing in the old times. The exhibition is open during the summer season on Mondays between 10 – 13, and during other times by appointment.
Veteran Dugout at the Old Vicarage area
In 2002 the war veterans built a Veteran Dougout, which is located in the Old Vicarage area. The dugout is called Häme-Kangas after a similar dougout built in Rajajoki during the war. There is also a collection of wartime objects and a real cannon on display. The dugout can be rented for small-sized events. Opening hours during the summer on Mondays between 10 – 13, and during other times by appointment.
Elisabeth’s Forest, WWF Heritage Forest named after Queen Elisabeth II
The UPM estate of Metsä-Piililä in Toivakka was for moment at the center stage of the whole world in May 1976. Britain’s Queen Elisabeth II and Prince Philip arrived for a state visit, and as part of the agenda, got acquainted with Finnish forestry and logging site in Toivakka. The Finnish President Urho Kekkonen hosted the visit. The royal visitors experienced an exotic program in the woods. The royal protocol prevented the Queen from wearing a lumberjack helmet but she watched felling of the trees, and enjoyed an outdoors lunch including pancakes and Koskenkorva schnapps. Following the visit UPM marked the lunch spot with a sign and committed to preserving the picnic forest in its natural state.
Below is a link to a TV report, which followed the Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Finland in 1976 and, above all, captivated the people’s enthusiasm surrounding the event. “Hello Elisabeth!” won the second prize in the current affairs category at the Monte Carlo Festival in Monaco in 1977.