The Church of the Three Crosses

The Church of the Three Crosses (also known as Vuoksenniska Church) is a Lutheran church located in Kaukopää, Imatra. The church was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1958. It is said to be Aalto’s most original church design. The church gets its name from the three crosses at the altar.

The Church of the Three Crosses consists of three consecutive halls which can be separated by sliding walls; this enables parts of the church to be used for parish activities during the week. The exterior of the church is white with a copper roofing, the most noticeable feature is the belfry, which is in the shape of an arrow pointing at the ground. The church has 103 windows, of which only two are the same, and all the windows are high in the building which creates an interesting interplay of light and shadow. The ceiling contains stained glass, which was also designed by Aalto.

The Church of the Three Crosses has been listed as a significant example of modern architecture in Finland. The National Board of Antiquities has also listed it as a nationally significant built heritage site. A committee designated by the National Board of Antiquities in 1998 to commemorate the centenary of Aalto’s birth selected the church as one of the five most important buildings designed by Aalto.