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Devil’s church cave (Pirunkirkko)

Devil’s church is a large cave located in Torsansalo, Rautjärvi. The cave is a part of Linnavuori hilltop Linnavuori stands right next to Etelä-Karjalas highest point, Haukkavuori hilltop.

The cave is approximately 9 meters long, 3-12 meters wide and 1-3 meters high. The caves name “Devil’s church” comes from the caves arched ceiling that reminds that of a churches vaulted ceiling.

Devil’s church and Rautjärvis local history are deeply intertwined. The cave was a hideaway for the locals during the Greater Wrath (1713-1721). The locals also trusted the cave with their possessions during the Continuation War (1941-1944). Because of the war, people hid their valuables in the cave as they had to flee their homes.

There is a lot of local traditions, beliefs and folk tales surrounding the ominous looking cave. People believed that the devil himself built the cave as a place for people to worship him. Stories tell that there’s a hidden treasure buried by the Devils church during the Greater Wrath.

Possibly the best-known stories are the stories told about a healer that lived in Rautjärvi in the 1800’s called Pohu-Matti. His real name was Matti Hinkkanen and he was a well-known naturopath. According to folk tales, Pohu-Matti cooked his healing concoctions inside the Devil’s church, as the cave was believed to have magical properties. It is said that Pohu-Matti’s skills were so trusted, that sick people came to see him from as far as St. Petersburg.

Driving instructions

Coming from south, drive along highway 6 until turning left to Torsansalontie (Torsansalo 13). Drive forward for about 7 km until turning right to road Kangaslammentie. Drive forward about 1 km, Pirunkirkko is on the left side of the road.
Devil’s church cave (Pirunkirkko)


Lake Saimaa, Purest Finland Regional Council of South Karelia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment Rural 2020 The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas
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