Located in the municipality of Petäjävesi, approximately 30 kilometres from Jyväskylä, Petäjävesi Old Church as we now know it was built between 1763 and 1765 by Jaakko Klementinpoika Leppänen. The grandson of Klementinpoika, Erik Jaakonpoika Leppänen, was in charge of the construction of the belfry in 1821. In 1879, a new church was built on the other side of a nearby strait and the Old Church went out of use. The Old Church has been preserved as a monument since the 1950s.
Added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994, Petäjävesi Old Church is representative of the architectural tradition of wooden churches in northern Europe and a unique example of traditional log construction techniques. The church exemplifies how local master builders skilfully adapted the styles of European ecclesiastical architecture to the vernacular technique of log jointing at the far reaches of the influence of Lutheranism and Western culture.
Approximately 14,000 tourists visit Petäjävesi Old Church every year, and about 12,000 of them visit the site in the summer. The church hosts religious services and concerts, and it is open to visitors every day in June, July and August. In the winter season, the church is open only by appointment.