The St Olav’s Mainland Route is a part of the St. Olav’s Ways pilgrimage paths
In the future, St Olav’s pilgrimage ways extend from Novgorod to Trondheim. In the St Olav’s Mainland Route -project the route passes through the Continental Finland. The St Olav Mainland Route -project started in September 2017.
The two-year lasting project is coordinated by the Brahea Centre at the University of Turku. The aim of the project is to create a St Olav Pilgrimage Way that runs from the eastern edge of Finland through inland to Turku. At some point a route will probably be created from Novgorod (Rushia) to Finland as well, but this will take place within another project.
The pilgrimage way continues from Turku and passes through the Archipelago Sea to Grislehamn. This route is being prepared under the St Olav Waterway project. In Sweden the route joins the existing Olaf route (Helgonleden). Along this way you can go all the way to Trondheim, Norway.
The project promotes Finnish rural development and national and international cooperation
The St Olav Mainland Route -project is funded by Mainland’s Rural Development Program 2014-2020. The program runs in eight Leader groups: Varsin Hyvä ry, Varsinais-Suomen Jokivarsikumppanit ry, Ravakka ry, Karhuseutu ry, Joutsentenreitti ry, Linnaseutu ry, Päijänne-Leader ry and Veej’jakaja ry. The main points of the route are the St. Olav’s Churches: Lemu (Masku), Yläne (Pitäjä), Kalanti (Uusikaupunki), Rauma, Ulvila, Tyrvää (Sastamala), Kalvola (Hämeenlinna) and Sysmä.
St Olav’s Mainland Route completes one of the most extensive and versatile pilgrimage routes in the Nordic countries. At the same time Finland will become close part of the European pilgrimage paths. This also enables the development of the new working possibilities and services for the Finnish countryside. Once completed, the St Olav’s route will have both the logos and the signposts, and the international cooperation and recognition in common with the Nordic network.
In February 2018 a new bilingual association was set up to manage the St Olav’s ways in Finland and Åland. Olavsleder and Finland rf – The Finnish Olavinreitit ry is now part of the Olav’s Ways network of Nordic Olav’s routes.