Sysmä Vaakuna

St. Olof Medieval Church

Kirkkokuja 1,
19700 Sysmä
Tel. +358-3-882 670

Open daily from early June
until Mid August
from 11.00-17.00, during this time there will be a guide in the church.

The earliest information on Sysmä's churches comes from 1398.
The present church of Sysmä is mentioned for the first time in
1442 in King Kristoffer's letter - at that time Sysmä had
become a spiritual center of the Itä-Häme province.

It is impossible to define the exact time when this church
was built. The recent studies tell us that the estimated building time is around 1510-1520.
According to ancient folklore they had started to build the church in Kuokanmäki, Linna village.
The problem was that whatever was built in the daytime, was destroyed at night.
The mutual decision was that the place was unsuitable. Later on
they lifted a stone that was held sacred onto a sledge that was
pulled by an ox. They decided: " Where ever that ox stops, that
will be the place for our church ". And the ox stopped at the
place where the church stands today.

Sysmä's medieval, gothic style church is built of grey stone and
bricks. During its 500 years of existence, it has experienced
many changes and renovations, the Reformation, development and
the passing of time have formed the church. The biggest change
was in 1833, when the church was renovated according to the
design of C.L. Engel, to be a cruciform church.

St. Olof, the eternal king of Norway (995 - 1030) is a patron saint of our church.

Additional information with pictures available at


St. Olof Church cemetery

Old gate from 1837
Iron cross on an old grave

The Museum of Local History and Culture

Makasiininmäentie 4 

The Museum of Local History and Culture gives you an opportunity
to get acquainted with objects from the prehistoric time. The Museum is
situated in an old grain storage house dating back to 1855. It was built on
a sacrificial rock. During the catholic period people celebrated "Uotinpäivät"
there on the 29th of July, to honour the church's patron saint, Olaf, the eternal king of Norway.

Most of the objects in this museum are from late 1800's and early 1900's, but
you can also get familiar with items of church and manor house culture.
There have been many prehistoric discoveries in Sysmä. Sysmä Siivolanpelto
cemetery, dating back to the Iron Age, presents you samples of the Viking age
and the crusades. In the display cabinet there are different glass and
porcelain items such as a Sysmä coffee cup and a bottle from Viiruniemi
glass factory.

The museum is open only in the summer, on Sundays from 11 AM until 2 PM, but if you wish to get in some other time, please contact Mr. Veikko Hyöky, phone +35850 362 9973, or email him

Further information and pictures of the museum available at

Sysmä Theatre Building

Sysmä Theatre Building was originally a bank.  Sysmä Savings Bank had it built in 1898 to be the first bank premises after functioning at Hovila Manorhouse for 18 years.  The building represents national romantic style and it was designed by architects Nyström-Petrelius- Penttilä from Helsinki.
Sysmä Theatre Building gives today a good place to organize different events, for example weddings, birthdays, concerts, plays and movies.

Tours to visit this house inside can be arranged for groups only by Sysmä tour guides, please contact Mrs. Raija Hänninen, +358 44 7134 511 or email


Finland´s Accordeon Museum

Uotintie 4
19700 Sysmä
Mr. Tauno Ylönen +358 50 565 1219

The Finland´s Accordion Museum was established in April 1993, and is
considered unique in its field. Initially the hobby of taxi driver
Tauno Ylönen, the collection includes about 170 accordions
from various periods. The oldest from the 19th century and some of
them true rarities. Accordion music is on offer in the museum along
with performances by visiting artists; even visitors may perform.

In addition to accordeons there is also a little harmonica collection, which consists of about 30 harmonicas.

Entrance fee is 3 € / person. 
The working hours for 2013 will be verified in due course.

Villa Sarkia

Address: Myllymäentie 1, 19700 Sysmä

Villa Sarkia is a house where young authors, poets and translators can stay for free and do their work.  The house was built during the 20´s and was first a home of a bank director as bank used to be in the house next door.  The name Sarkia comes from the fact that a famous Finnish poet Kaarlo Sarkia used to live in Sysmä during 1943-45.

Nuoren Voiman Liitto from Helsinki and the Sysmä Municipality have signed a co-operation agreement, so that Nuoren Voiman Liitto chooses the people to stay at the house and Sysmä Municipality gives accommodation for free.

The authors, poets and translaters have an oblication to tell about their work either at our local school or library.

Further information:
Sysmä Library, phone +358 44 7134 530, or email


-the highest point in Eastern-Häme province

Please click the following link and find more information about Kammiovuori trail and how to get there. trail_Sysma.pdf

Päijätsalo - Päijänne National Park

Päijätsalo is a 300 ha island, about 7 km from Sysmä centre.  It is also a part of Päijänne National Park.
Päijätsalo offers a wonderful place to go hiking.  Click the following link and get acquainted with this beautiful island.

Mynnilä Arboretum

Mynnilä Arboretum was established ion 1998.  You will find different perennials and special trees.  Find out how to grow a curly birch tree "Betula pendula".
A guided tour is the best way to learn about the trees, please call +358 40 830 8993.

Further information is unfortunately only in Finnish, but the pictures tell a lot.

Finnish Curly Birch Society

Curly birch

Curly birch (Betula pendula var. Carelica) is a rarity in the world; its narrow range includes Finland. As a consequence of burn-beating, a method used in cultivation in the old days, naturally reproduced curly birch is now widely distributed in southern Finland. Planted curly birch trees thrive well even in the far north of Finland.

Due to its rarity and decorativness, curly birch has been considered a valuable and interesting specialilty and therefore, when in demand, it fetches a higher price than any other Finnish tree species. Also from the morphological, physiological and genetical point of view, the phenomenon of curly graininess has long attracted the attention of forest scientists and industry alike. In Finland, curly graininess had been found, in addition to Betula pendula, in Betula pubescens, Alnus glutinosa and Sorbus aucuparia.

The occurrence, form, distribution and cultivation of curly birch have been the object of study in Finland since the 1920´s. Apparently, at the present time, the world’s oldest and the most imposing cultivated curly birch stands are found in the experimental areas of Finnish Forest Research Institute. However, in Russia and in some Central-European countries, the interest in curly birch is great.

"Visaseura" - Curly Birch Society -   was founded in Finland in the year 1956. Its purpose was to promote the cultivation and use of curly birch and to coordinate the activities of curly birch cultivators, forest industry and research. The society has listed among its members, in addtion to forest owners interested in curly birch, a large number of most noted in forest scientists, beginning with professor Olli Heikinheimo.

From the start, the society has been very active. It had made excursions and held informative meetings every year. Furthermore, the society has held exhibitions or participated in more extensive agricultural and forestry fairs. Also, it has annually taken part in the "Finnish Forest Week" arranged every spring, and has made a contribution to the program. In connection with the excursions referred to above, numerous model curly birch stands have been established in different parts of Southern Finland.

Curly Birch Society has supported curly birch research in many ways and disseminated information on the cultivation and use of this species, by articles published in press and by research publications. Some investigations, made by members of the society were published in the issue of Silva Fennica in 1978 (Vol. 12, Number 4:241-274) in purpose to mark the 20th anniversary of the society and to make its activities known, beyond the borders of Finland.

Sysmän kunta, Valittulantie 5, 19700 SYSMÄ, puhelin 03 84310, e-mail: