Mårtens & Kullens kyrkstigar

The church-paths of Mårtens and Kullens, two old Finnish villages.

 

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Walks, Forests, Paths, Nature, Rapids, Villages, Cottages, Church

 

These church paths are ancient rights of way or trails within the parish of Grangärde. They provide a link between the forest villages and the parish village. In the summer, the paths were used to get to the church or to work—in the smelting houses and ironworks, or in the forest.

 

In the past, attending church in Sweden was mandatory. This meant that every family had to attend the parish church at least once a month. They were also expected to attend on the occasion of weddings, christenings and funerals.

 

The church pathways were always kept open for horse-drawn “sleds” that were needed in case of accidents, illness or the final journey. In winter, people travelled along snow-ploughed tracks. These generally ran over frozen marshland, rivers or lakes, and therefore followed a different course to the summer church paths.

 

These two church paths run from the parish’s most northerly Finnmark village of Kullen, and from the Finnmark village of Dalkarlsberg to the west. Both paths lead through the village of Norrbo and on to Grangärde church. The entire length of the paths are kept clear, and they are also well marked out, sometimes with orange paint on tree trunks and at other times by specially erected signposts. There are also signboards giving information on places of interest etc. There is a shelter with facilities for walkers in the village of Mårtens.

 

 

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