St Mary´s Church

Sastamalan kirkon tie 119, 38210 Sastamala

The Musical Miracle

St Mary's Church of Sastamala is a hidden gem of a venue for the performance of music that is contemporary with its history. It has been the main venue of Sastamala Gregoriana since the festival's origin.

The church, probably built by the monks of the Dominican Brotherhood in the 15th Century, is located in Karkku of Sastamala.In the 16th century, the church was completely destroyed by fire. The Chapel of St Luke, which was linked to the church, was demolished at the beginning of the 18th Century and at the same time the ceiling of the church was painted, the church's structures were fortified and its interior was painted. During the renovation work of the late 19th century, the church's roof was lowered by about 14 meters, the walls were reinforced and the interior was renewed. Half a century later, the church fell into disuse and decayed. In the 1960s, renovation work began again. The exterior ceiling was raised to its former ridge height, windows were rebuilt and the original wooden floor was demolished and replaced with sand in 1977, since it was destroyed by a rotting fungus.

Its vaulted wooden ceiling, rough-hewn stone walls, dirt floor and quiet location combine to make it one of the finest acoustical environments in the world for solo vocal music and small ensembles. Its peaceful, natural environment gives it a further special character and the surrounding silence deepens the peace and beauty of the musical experience for performers and audiences alike. The acoustics of the church have been studied also scientifically: more about the findings can be read from the thesis of Pyry-Herkko Sadeaho (University of Tampere) over here. (Master's Thesis in Finnish)

Sastamala's Medieval Church of St. Mary
Address: Sastamalan kirkon tie 119, 38210 Sastamala, Finland
The distance from the city center (Vammala) to the church is about 10 km and from the center of Karkku about 9 km. Signs from Sastamalantie (road no. 249).

The concert venue is accessible by wheelchair and there is a easy-access handicap toilet near the church.
A personal assistant can enter the concert for free.

Homepage of St Mary's Church / Congregation of Sastamala (in Finnish)
(on this page you can find a Google Maps -link for further driving instructions)