Welcome to the Rosenlund vicarage



The Rosenlund vicarage as a whole is a striking example of how strongly a well-protected and well-kept cultural heritage area speaks to a visitor interested in local history – both the built and narrative culture. Already in the 1930s, it was said that the ‘Aspegren spirit’ lingered among the buildings of the courtyard area and the neglected garden.


Today, the garden is in excellent condition and follows the design of the 1700s, which Aspegren carried out and paid for himself over a period of about twenty years. Many details in the garden comply with Aspegren’s original design, so there is every reason to talk about the ‘Aspegren spirit’ still floating around the area.


Several vicars have lived and worked in the Rosenlund vicarage, but Aspegren has a special place among them because of his enormous contribution to the vicarage and its surroundings. The large cowshed in the yard, built in Aspegren’s term in the 1770s, is also an interesting place to visit. In those days, it represented progressive agriculture.


In addition to offering exciting historical experiences, the Rosenlund vicarage is an ideal venue for cultural events, parties, meetings and culinary experiences.


Welcome to the Rosenlund vicarage!


Rosenlund vicarage

Puutarhakatu 6 A-C Pietarsaari


Vicar Gabriel Aspegren (who also received the Finnish honorary title of rovasti) ordered the building of the vicarage. The house was completed in 1765, but it soon fell into decay and was torn down in 1797. Vicar Erik Brunnius contracted local carpenters and artisans to build a new two-storey main building in 1798, financing it partly with money received from the parish and the city. The stone cellar of the former vicarage was preserved under the new vicarage. In 1817, the building was covered with board cladding, given a tile roof and painted yellow.


During his term, Gabriel Aspegren managed to establish a large garden on the barren and rocky Rosenlund hill. The garden was symmetrically divided into sections and surrounded by a stone fence. Aspegren used his own funds to build the garden. He was apparently among the first in the region to cultivate potatoes. Aspegren also ordered the building of a cowshed in the 1770s. The large grey-stone byre for cows, horses and sheep was progressive in those days. The Rosenlund vicarage yard is bordered by workers’ cottages, also from the 1700s. Aspegren extended the farmlands and had crofters on his lands, who provided him with additional income. Aspegren died after a short illness in the spring of 1784.


In the first half of the 1800s, Johan Höckert, a former trivial school teacher and principal from Oulu, served as vicar at Rosenlund. One of his students was J.V. Snellman, who characterised his teacher as an ‘exceptionally fine man of the world’. Maria Aspegren, Höckert’s grandmother, was Gabriel Aspegren’s half-sister. Höckert served as vicar for 34 years. He often expressed concern for the poor, hungry and sick people in the region and sometimes managed to help them through, for example, food aid.


All the buildings at Rosenlund are open for visitors, carefully repaired and restored. The Pedersöre Local History Museum operates in the stone byre. The Aspegren garden as a whole has been reconstructed according to old documents and plans. In addition to useful and ornamental plants, the garden features medicinal plants typical of the 1700s, which were used in home pharmacies. The garden is surrounded by an old stonewall with gates. 




The story goes that Gabriel Aspegren, born in Kristiinankaupunki in 1708, lived his childhood and youth in poverty. During the Greater Wrath, Gabriel’s family fled to Sweden, where his father Anders Aspegren served as a low-paid teacher and deacon. After the Greater Wrath, the family returned to Kristiinankaupunki, and Gabriel was sent to a trivial school in Pori. In those days, poor schoolboys had to go begging to earn their living by singing and working in farmhouses. (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1936)


They say that Gabriel Aspegren, during his time at the vicarage, was an energetic, determined and educated man. In addition to pastoral counselling, he was interested in farming and gardening. One demonstration of this was the large and versatile garden he established through hard work on the barren and stony Rosenlund hill. Aspegren found the arable area of the garden insufficient, so he tried to acquire additional farming and forestry land elsewhere. However, his expansion efforts were stronly opposed by the bourgeoisie and the city administration, which embittered him. (Söderhjelm: Jakobstads historia)


In spite of his physical weakness and earlier life of poverty, Aspegren was able to achieve the honorary title of rovasti as well as fame and fortune; this is said to have resulted from his strong ambition, tenacious energy and "clear mind". (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1936)


Sigrid Nikula described the Rosenlund area in the early 1930s by saying that the “Aspegren spirit” still lived there, even though many such things had disappeared that Aspegren had proudly nurtured. For instance, plants had covered a large part of the garden paths. (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1934) 




Roselund vicarage


Aspegren garden


Rosenlund stone byre


A guided story walk in the Aspegren garden in summer 2017


A guided story walk in the Aspegren garden in summer 2017


Aspegren garden in the 1930´ (photo library of Rosenlund vicarage)


Rosenlund vicarage yard in 1965 (photo by P.O. Welin / in Suomalaiset pappilat)



Stone byre a long time ago (in Pedersöre storsockens historia I)