Temppeliaukio Church (known among tourists simply as the rock church) is an unusual Lutheran church that was created inside a rock. You can’t really tell what it is from the outside, you get inside only to be surprised of the glass ceiling of the impressive copper dome that allows natural light to get inside.
Designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen it opened in 1969 with no bells outside, you can here the bells through the loudspeakers though :)
Sometimes there’s live music played here, the acoustics are great due to the unworked rock walls. Hard to feel any serenity here with hordes of tourists screaming and taking pictures non stop but it was expected, I knew this is one of the most popular attractions in Helsinki. We didn’t stay more than 15’ but worth the visit. Unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice, you have to be there to admire the structure. On our way out we saw people climbing the rock and walking around the copper roof!
There’s no entrance fee
Quarried out of the natural bedrock, the church was designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and completed in 1969. Today it is one of the most popular toursit attractions and we were fortunate to have a classical piano recital welcoming us.
Free admission but closed during religeous services. When you visit do not forget to look up and admire the spiral ceiling
One of the most famous sights in Helsinki is the Temppeliaukio Kirkko or Rock Church. This very untraditional Lutheran church was constructed between 1968 & 1969 and is one circular dome design, and hewn out of solid rock reaching down far below ground level. Temppeliaukion is somewhat of an engineering marvel earlier considered controversial by many because of its "spaceship-looking" design. The concave glass and copper roof appears to be emerging from the ground and that is virtually the only part of the building that can be viewed from the outside. The landscape around the outside of the church is stark and lunar in appearance. Our tour guide told us that 2 young architects, brothers Timo & Tuomo Suomalainen, won a competition for its design and I feel pretty certain you will never see anything like it anywhere else in the world that I can think of.
Inside, the acoustics are said to be superb which obviously is why it is said to be a marvelous place for concerts, even though it is still a functioning place of worship. The inside design lines are clean and unadorned---there is no altar, pews are made of light birch wood, and of course, the walls are jagged rock. Glass panels perfectly placed in the copper roof allow for extremely good natural lighting on sunny, clear days.
Our tour allowed us to view this church from the outside only so much of this information has been gleaned from information given to us by our tour guide.
Admission is free.
The church is open Mondays & Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays, Sundays and Holidays from 10:00am - 8:00pm; Wednesday 10am to 6pm; Saturdays 10am - 6pm
Helsinki is built on rocky grounds and it is still common to hear explosions in the city when some rocks need to be blown away for a new construction project. The „rock church“ goes a different way. Here, the church was built into the rock. This exception made it one of the most popular sights in Helsinki. Inside, have a look at the copper wire ceiling which seems to form a never-ending spiral. Natural light comes in through the roof. Temppeliaukio is known for its acoustics, therefore it is often chosen as a classic concert venue. The church was designed by the brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and completed in 1969. Probably not the most beuatiful church, but surely one of the most intersting. On two of the three times I've been there, the rock into which the church is built was a popular spot for teenagers to get drunk....
At the end of our tour, we stopped at Temppeliaukio Church (i.e. Church of the Rock). Apparently it was originally planned to blast out a place in the rock for a church. But the winning architects (brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen) had a better idea. They put the church inside of the rock. The ceiling was a coil of copper tubing which we were told made the acoustics perfect and and it is a popular venue for music concerts. It was consecrated in 1969 and is one of Helsinki’s most popular tourist attractions with over 500,000 annual visitors.
The church was built inside a massive block of natural granite. The walls of the building were blasted from the inside and topped with a large copper dome (which when I showed photos of it to people one of the comments was that they were lucky that the copper had not been stolen). The structure is barely visible from outside, with only the copper dome poking out of the rock. Natural light floods the interior through 180 vertical glass window panes that connect the dome and granite wall.
Built by the brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1968-1969, Temppelaukio is one of the city's better-known attractions. The church is naturally lit through its ring of glass between the dome and the wall. The copper roof is also quite special, especially from the inside. While you look at it, consider that 22 km of stripping was needed to make it.
Even though, from the outside, it looks like a spaceship that has just landed, Temppelaukio is a wonder of modern architecture. It also has great acoustics and therefore is home to regular concerts.
What once was solid rock has since been hollowed out to create a rather modern church.
For me the most striking element of this church was the roof which has a copper roof with a diameter of 24m. Apparently the copper strips that make the roof, if laid out, would stretch for 22km! That IS a lot of copper!
Free to visit. It is a working church.
Although difficult to find (since it doesn't stand out and you can't see it from across town like many other famous buildings), the Temppeliaukio Church is one of the more interesting buildings in Helsinki. It's a small little church built inside a huge rock left over from glaciers that passed through here a long time ago.
It's a fairly recent creation too (or at least much more recent than the massive cathedrals), having opened in 1969 - although it was originally scheduled to be built during the 1930s, but World War II delayed that plan.
The church is free to enter when it is open, but it is only open for a few hours each day (if it is open at all). I lucked out and stumbled upon it and read the sign out front that said it was open for just one hour, from 16:00-17:00... a quick glance at my watch and I saw that it was 16:24, what timing!
It's a very interesting layout, with the rock walls being very prominent and then the unique ceiling designed to let light in from above. You can actually go outside and climb to the top of the massive rock that the building is carved into, and as I walked by one evening I noticed that it seemed to be a popular spot to watch the sunset from.
So try to find out when this is open and stop by. It's definitely worth checking out!
The Rock Church, is a Lutheran Church completed in 1969. It really is something different to see in Helsinki.
The Finnish name is Temppeliaukio Church, named after Temppeliaukio Square, the location selected in the 1930's for it to be built.
Once again, a competition was held for the best designed Church. Unfortunately, this was interrupted when World War II began in 1939, so after the War, another competition was held.
The Church is bathed in natural light entering through the glazed dome.
Leaving the interior surfaces of the church exposed was not something that was in the original plans for the church, to me, it adds a nice touch!
No bells at the church, a problem....NO, a recording of bells is played via loudspeakers on the exterior wall.
I was told the acoustic's are very good inside the Church.
English services on Sundays at 2PM, open to the public.
This church is probably the most beautiful and original church in Finland, and quite possibly in all of the Nordic countries. The copper ceiling is particularly beautiful, and, as in most churches, the acoustics in the Rock church is absolutely amazing, which is also the reason why many musical events take place here. What makes it special, however, is that when you look at it from the outside, you have no idea what is inside, as the church has been built into the rock, and looks mostly like a mound.
Despite being located in the middle of busy Helsinki, this church provides a tranquil haven, perfect for a brief rest between sights or a moment of quiet contemplation.
The Temppeliaukio (Rock) Church was designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1969. They decided to leave the mound of rock that they found, and rather than just take parts of the rock to build a church elsewhere, they chose to quarry into the rock, excavating it. The ceiling is made of copper wire and has a skylight (to let in natural light) circling the wire. If stretched out, the copper wire would run for 22km. Due to it's copper ceiling and the shape of the room, it makes for great acoustics and the church often holds concerts.
From the outside it is hard to tell that there is a church, or really any kind of structure there at all. But this is one place you shouldn't miss while you're in Helsinki, whether you are religious or not. It is a beautiful church and if you can get there away from the crowds it is peaceful as well.
The churches in Helsinki are really fantastic, and the Rock Church is nothing else than that too. From the outside you’ll just see the green roof, and if you don’t know what it is you’ll never guess there is a church inside the rock. Lucky for me I had my own guide with me.
Inside it’s amazing to see how it’s really built into the rock, where the walls being just as they were when they “smashed” the rock. Still it’s very light inside, since the window goes around the whole church, and give you an even better feeling once you're inside the church.
When I was there it was some kind of concert, with older ladies singing, so it was maybe even better than normal. My advice for you is to go there, sit down and feel the atmosphere, light a candle, think of someone you care of, and then feel the atmosphere again. A m a z i n g…
On the outside, to the right, is a picture of the church as it was proposed: a classical design. The actual building is radically different and amazing. The roof consists of one long (Finnish) copper cable, 180 windows, beautiful walls. A must see.
Temppeliaukio Church is one of the most beautiful and unusual churches in Helsinki. It was built into the rocks and has a circular glass roof. Viewed from the outside it looks like a UFO. Inside it is like a cave. It's famous for having excellent acoustics so concerts are sometimes held here.
The church was built in 1968-1969. It was designed by two famous architect brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.
Very beautiful and peaceful.
The Temppeliaukio Kirkko is the Rock Church, one of Helsinki’s top landmarks and a wonder of modern architecture. It was built under a granite outcrop of the city, carved into bare rock but topped with a man-made spaceship-like copper dome. It was was designed by the brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and was built in a year between 1968 and 1969. The church, inside, is circular and lit by natural light - and a great acoustic, therefore concerts are often held there.
The Temppeliaukio Kirkko is a Lutheran Church with English-language worship services on Sundays at 2pm. Entrance is free and it’s allowed Mon-Tue - Thu-Fri from 10am to 8pm, Wed from 10am to 6:30pm, ; Sat from 10am to 6pm; Sun from 12am to1:45 pm and from 3:30pm to 6pm. It’s closed on Tuesdays in winter.
No visits are allowed during services and events