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Pohjoismäki Observation Tower
timon kuva tornista.jpgKotaharjulta Werner Ruotsalainen

The 20 metre high observation tower on Pohjoismäki rises a total of 230 metres over the sea level. The observation tower and the nature trails that surround it are always open for visitors. In addition to the observation tower, there is also a lodge that has facilities for making a fire. The numeorous forest roads that cross the area are also suitable for jogging and hiking. The village association of Pohjoismäki runs a kiosk at Kotaharju in summertime.

Kotaharju, Teerimäentie 191, 74300 Sonkajärvi

Village association of Pohjoismäki

Männikkö Bridge
Männikön silta Levähdyspaikka Männikön silta

The Männikkö Bridge crosses Raudanjoki, a river in Sukeva. Built in 1925, renovated and restored in 1999, the bridge was accepted in the national catalogue of museum bridges in 1999. The span of the bridge is 16 metres but two six metres long extensions in the both ends of the bridge raise the total length to 28 metres. The beam bridge is made of reinforced concrete. The bridge was planned in the Finnish Road Administration in 1924 by Harald Backman, an engineer who drew several bridges that have later on got the status of a museum bridge.


In 2000 and 2001 the Road Administration of Savonia and Karelia and the municipalities along the highway 5 carried out an environmental art project LandscapeGallery the results of which are still visible also in Sonkajärvi.

The northern end of the "art road", the portion that goes through Sonkajärvi, features four works of art that play with light, landscape and the movement of the road and nature. The creative lightning of Takkobaari – a building alongside the road –, an old barn at a crossroads and the "Gate of Northern Lights" at an intersection of forest and field enliven the landscape alongside the road during dark.

Additionally, "Landscape Theatre", a white canvas stretched on a big aluminium frame, is located near Sukeva. In Landscape Theatre the leading role is played by the nature. The movements of the forest, wind and oncoming cars create different effects on the canvas. During the daylight, the blank canvas is like an anti-advertisement, a banner without a product, that comments on the advertising placards that are often insensitively placed along the roadsides.

Library of Sonkajärvi
Kirjastotalo rajattu.jpgkirjasto02.jpg

Designed by the architect firm Saara Juola, the library building was built in 1993. The architecturally modern building is a tall and bright landmark that has been likened to a lantern that illuminates the landscape when approaching the centre of Sonkajärvi. The steel structures of the library hall are in continuum with the surrounding nature and form a forest of pillars that borders to the wooden inner roof. The library houses a wooden wall relief “The Course of Life” by Kari Kärkkäinen.

Rutakontie 21, 74300 Sonkajärvi

Rutakko eLibrary

Church of Sonkajärvi
Sonkajärven kirkko Werner Ruotsalainen.jpgKirkko sisältä Werner Ruotsalainen.jpg

The church of Sonkajärvi was built in 1909-1910, designed by architect Josef Stenbäck. Asymmetric floor plan and decorations and details of the façade reflect the distinctive combination of National Romantic and Jugendstil styles. The church is built of black and grey granite quarried from the local bedrock. The church seats approximately 650 persons. The 22-stop organ is made by Sotkamon urkutehdas, a Finnish organ manufacturer. A stained glass window “Alpha and Omega” serves as the altarpiece.

Panoramas from the church (Werner Ruotsalainen):

From the cemetery From the upper floor

Church of Sukeva
Sukevan kirkko kesä.jpgSukevan_kirkko.jpg

The Sukeva church was originally built as chapel. It was inaugurated as church in 1956 for the then independent parish of Sukeva. The small wooden church features a separate bell tower and a small flèche that was originally planned to house the bells as well. The old belfry is still used, nevertheless.

The altarpiece is painted by T.G. Tuhkanen. The organ was made in 1962 by Kangasalan urkutehdas and has seven stops.

For more information on the both churches: Congregation of Sonkajärvi

Eastern Orthodox Chapels
TsasounaTsasounan vihkiminen
Sukevan tsasounaEmpty.png

The Eastern Orthodox population of the municipality grew significantly after the relocation of the evacuees from the mainly Orthodox parts of the Finnish Karelia that were ceded to the Soviet Union at the end of the Continuation War. As a consequence, two Orthodox chapels were built in Sonkajärvi, one in Sonkajärvi, another in Sukeva. Chapel of the Dormition of the Mother of God was built in Sonkajärvi in 1961 and repaired in 2004, Chapel of the apostles Paul and Peter in Sukeva in 1960.

Chapel of Sonkajärvi: Lepokankaantie 6, 74300 Sonkajärvi

Chapel of Sukeva: Vankilantie 52 A, 74340 Sukeva