View Full Version : Borgå Domkyrka burning!

29-05-06, 08:34
The medieval Borgå Domkyrka suffered severe damage last night in a fire. You may see pictures on the web pages of the Borgåbladet newspaper here (http://www.bbl.fi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=429&Itemid=36)

Kaj Granlund
29-05-06, 22:25
Last night (29 May) the medevial cathedral of Borgå was on fire. Probably someone did it on purpose. All of the wooden roof burnt. But the inside was saved.
This church of Borgå is the cathedral of the swedish speaking lutherans in Finland. And also historically importnat as this is the place where the Russian emperor in 1809 started the process that made Finland in independent nation.

The decorated wall is also a well known symbole in many churches througout Europe due to the Porvoo common agreement, an ecumenical document between the anglican churches and the lutherans in the Nordic and Baltic states. This agreement establishes total fellowship between the involved churches without making them one.

www.bbl.fi and www.hbl.fi
Hope Sune could write some more.

30-05-06, 13:36
Thefire was a result of arson. The police have already taken in "a few" persons for questioning. The authorities won't reveal antyhing about the cicumstances yet, but we (the editorial staff of Borgåbladet) have concluded that there must be at least three persons.

We will probably know more on thursday when they must appear in court if the police want to keep them for a longer time in custody. Our beleif is that they will be charged with arson.

What the motive can be for such a deed escapes me totally.

The burning of the church has created a bunber of poblems starting witn the over 200 weddings that were to be held there this summer.

Soon we will elect a new bishop in the Borgå diocese after Erik Vikström who will retire. Normally the bishop would have been inaugirated at Advent in the cathedral, but that i hardly possible now, so it is an open question where this will happen.


June Pelo
30-05-06, 16:40
When the name Erik Vikström was mentioned, reminded me that I have a distant relationship to him as 5th cousin once removed - and I know that some other Finlander members are also related to him: Hasse and Jaska.


30-05-06, 21:28
I am also related to bishop Erik Vikström as 5th cousin once removed. Not so close, but sometimes good friendship is better than close (and bad) relationship!!!


Kaj Granlund
31-05-06, 00:11
And so is my wife related too.

31-05-06, 08:03
A few years ago there was a TV-program about genealogy, where Erik's elder brother John, former archbishop of Finland was mentioned as an example of the many bishops from the big Kejsar-family.


31-05-06, 17:26
The repairs of the church have already started. At first the vaulted inner ceiling is beeing covered with tarpaulins to shield it from rain. We are expecting heavy rains tomorrow and the inside of the curch, which got remarkably little damage must be protected. This work will continue tonight until it's finished.

Then the whole church will soon be protected with some sort of giant shed that will cover it totally. The planning of the construction of the new roof has already started, but it will take another 18-24 months before we can use the church again.

The fire brigades made an excellent work in putting out the fire. It was difficult because the firemen didn't dare to use too much water. There was a risk that the old inner ceiling would have cracked and collapsed from the combination of heat and cold water.

Instead they let the fire burn itself out and the firemen just controlled it with water, saw to that the neighboring buildings, the bellfry and the little 250 years old wooden church that stands 50 yards from the cathedral didn't catch fire.

The fire was a nightmare for the inhabitants in the old part of Borgå. Almost all the houses are wooden. They stand very close to each other according to the old medieval layout. The main reason why they didn't catch fire is that they have tin roofs.

In the picture below you will see the church without it's roof. There is a truck reversing through the gate of the six feet tick wall. It has only a couple of inches of free space at each side. You can imagine how difficult this was for the firemen, when they drove a big skylift near the burning church while glowing hot flakes of ashes dropped on them and their equipment.


Alice Finnerty
01-06-06, 01:08
My heart ached to hear of the fire at the church. My sympathy to all those in that area.

June Pelo
01-06-06, 01:21
The picture reminded me of the time about 20 years ago when I went to Pedersöre and arrived the day after arsonists burned the roof of the old Pedersöre church. We could smell the stench of burned wood and debris was scattered over the area. People were standing there crying as they stared at the church. But in a few years the church was restored and it's now as beautiful as it ever was, inside and out. My mormor was confirmed there ca 1869.