Tuomiokirkko (The Lutheran Cathedral), Helsinki

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    Lutheral Cathedral
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    Lutheral Cathedral
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    Lutheral Cathedral
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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Lutheran Church

    by easterntrekker Written Nov 25, 2013

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    Lutheran Cathedral
    It is worth to walk to Senate Square just to see this Cathedral . Finished in 1852 ,It's green dome and 12 apostles look over the square. it is quite simple inside , unlike the Catholic chase deals we are more familiar with. We are sure to take pictures from every side.

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  • Luckell's Profile Photo

    The adorable White Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki!

    by Luckell Updated Nov 21, 2013

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    The Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki (Tuomiokirkko)
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    It is always a great pleasure to see this White Cathedral of Helsinki (Tuomiokirkko). It is beautiful, elegant, powerful, stunning, huge, admirable and a lot more. The most famous landmark of Helsinki. It is definitely worth seeing!

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Helsinki Lutheral Cathedral

    by mindcrime Written Aug 20, 2013

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    Lutheral Cathedral
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    The Lutheran cathedral (Tuomiokirkko) is an impressive building in neoclassical style, standing on top of high bank of steps at Senate square, the view is nice up there from the steep steps, it feels like you are standing on a cliff edge…

    The cathedral was built on the site of Ulrika Eleonora church between 1830 and 1852 designed by Carl Ludvig Engel. It used to be called church of St.Nicholas (it was built as tribune to Russian Czar, Nicolas I) but this was changed after Finland’s independence in 1917.

    The cathedral has a greek cross shape, the exterior is beautiful with its shining white, we took some time checking the details, the colonnade on each façade, the statues of apostles on top etc Above all its tall green dome dominates Helsinki cityscape.

    The interior is a bit Spartan, so you may a bit disappointed with it as there are not much chances for impressive pics but the organ is beautiful, what’s more I guess it will be nice been inside the cathedral during a concert, usually places like this have great accoustics.

    The capacity of the cathedral is up to 1,300 people (!) but during our visit there were only 20-25 tourists :)

    Finally, don’t miss the crypt (entry on the rear side), it is usually used for art exhibitions (pic 5), I was surprised to see this, there’s a also a café but it was crowded so we skipped this.
    The café is open Monday to Saturday 11.00-17.00, Sundays noon to 17.00

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    Helsinki Cathedral

    by antistar Updated Jun 5, 2013

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    Helsinki Cathedral
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    When I thought of Helsinki before going, it was this iconic building that came to mind. Standing tall above the harbour buildings, its stark white walls and copper green dome can be seen clearly even out on the islands.

    It's one of the oldest buildings in the city, dating back to the early part of the 19th century, and like much of Helsinki is built in the neoclassical style. And also like much of Helsinki it looks very similar to its equivalent in St. Petersburg, the St. Isaac Cathedral.

    The Cathedral sits on a high bank of steps above the Senate Square and is very popular with tourists. The whole square and cathedral can be very busy through much of the year, except on midsummer's weekend when I visited. Then it was almost completely empty.

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  • starship's Profile Photo

    Tuomiokirkko ~ The Lutheran Cathedral

    by starship Updated Apr 27, 2013

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    Helsinki Cathedral

    With its prominent placement on Senate Square, and its colorful green domes, no one can mistake the Tuomiokirkko. The domes are considered the city's highest structures, and the church can be seen for miles at sea. Designed by the eminent architect, Carl Ludvig Engel, this famous Lutheran Church took 2 decades to complete and finally opened in 1852. It has a Greek cruciform shape and neoclassical design. It was originally named the "Church of St. Nicholas" until Finland gained independence in 1917, and from thereafter was called the Helsinki Cathedral or Lutheran Cathedral.

    As compared to the Russian, architecturally-styled cathedral, you will find the interior to be starkly spartan, and simplistic with white walls, simple wooden pews, and clean lines. The main "altar" is quite nice and there are some statues which honor earlier Lutheran leaders and these are featured prominently. Also, there is a memorial to Mikael Agricola, who was the first to create a set of grammatical rules for the written Finnish language. The interior of the church reminded me of some other place I've visited, but I couldn't quite remember where.

    The exterior architecture is more exceptional than the interior I thought. With dentil molding, ornately capped columns, and wonderful statues of the apostles, the roofline is quite beautiful. The striking and beautiful green domes are topped with golden crosses, but the pediments and colums and exterior walls are white; detailed windows, and ornamentation add to striking edifice. The church is said to have excellent acoustics making it a venue for all types of concerts and state functions. The church is surrounded by Finnish government buildings and the university, all of which form Senate Square.

    Since 85% of the Finnish people practice the Lutheran faith, the Lutheran Cathedral is a major sight in Helsinki and camparable to St. Peter's in Rome, and St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

    The cascading stone steps all around and leading up to the cathedral make for an excellent photo op, or a great place to take a breather!!

    Admission is free and be prepared for lines of people to visit this site. There is a small, but clean bathroom available inside.

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Tuomiokirkko (Dome Church)

    by Airpunk Written Apr 20, 2013

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    Tuomiokirkko seen from A. Uspenski Cathedral
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    Built between 1830 and 1852, it was finished too late for architect C.L. Engel to see its completion. Tuomiokirkko (Dome church) was dedicated to St. Nicholas and is the most dominant building at neoclassic Senate Square. In 1917, the dedication to St. Nicholas was dropped and in 1959, it became the Lutheran cathedral. It has a greek cross shape with a large dome in the middle and smaller one at each end of the cross. From the steps of the church, it is possible to get a good view over central Helsinki and some parts of the water. They are also a good place just to sit down and enjoy the scene of the city. The pediments above each of the entrances depict the 12 apostles, 3 above each. They are believed to be the largest zinc sculptures in the world. Inside, you will see two of the main figures behind the reformation, Luther and Melanchthon, together with Mikael Agricola who is known for having translated the bible into the Finnish language. The rest of the interior is mostly kept in protestantly sober white. The crypt (entry on the rear side) is often used for concerts and as a café.

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  • FinElina's Profile Photo

    The most beautiful church in city

    by FinElina Updated Apr 20, 2013

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    The square in front of the church is full of tourists in summer and empty and silent in winter. Whenever you visit it, the beauty of the chuch doesn't go away! The small boutiques around the alleys near the square are attractive, maybe a bit expensive but good places to buy souvenirs!

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    The Helsinki Cathedral

    by kris-t Written Mar 30, 2013

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    Tuomiokirkko

    This neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral was built in 1830-1852.

    Interesting that statues of the Apostles made of zinc on the roof are the biggest unique set of zinc sculptures in the world.

    The church was called St. Nicholas church until the independence of Finland in 1917.

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  • annase's Profile Photo

    One of the most beautiful buildings in Helsinki

    by annase Updated Feb 28, 2013

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    Sunset at the cathedral
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    This church is one of my favourite buildings in Helsinki. It was renovated in the late 1990s and looks absolutely stunning on top of a hill and stairs leading to it.

    It has had several names during its existence. It is currently known as the Helsinki Cathedral. It was also called St Nicolas’s Church, after the ruler of the Russian empire, Nicolas I. The name was in use until the independence of Finland in 1917 and was changed because it reminded the newly independent country of its time under the rule of the mighty Russia.

    Since the cathedral was built as a tribute to the emperor, he insisted on making several significant changes to the original design. It took over 20 years to finish the built as it proved extremely challenging. The emperor kept ordering new changes to be made even to the almost finalised building in order to reflect the latest design trends at the time.

    The cathedral has a Greek-cross plan and is symmetrical in each of the 4 cardinal directions, each marked by a colonnade and pediment. The exterior is dominated by the central tower and statues portraying the 12 apostles, forming the largest uniform collection of zinc sculptures in the world. It was renovated in the late 1990s, and it is now pure white.

    The interior is very simplified and stripped off all ornaments. There are three statues of prominent protestant reformers including Mikael Agricola (a clergyman and the founder of written Finnish) and Martin Luther (a key leader of the Lutheran and Protestant reformations in Germany). The painting that was originally intended for the altar portrayed the Christ blessing children. It was painted Robert Ekman and had delightful colours. The emperor did not however like the painting, so he decided to replace it with the one painted by a Russian artist T. K. von Neffin. It is rather dark and gloomy and it depicts the Christ being taken down from the cross.

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  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    Tuomiokirkko - Lutheran Cathedral

    by akkipaa Updated Dec 14, 2012

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    This is the best know building in Finland and Helsinki and the main sign of Helsinki's east based feeling. It's located in the very centre and surrounded by other buildings from same architect, Carl Ludvig Engel. The church is in our hearths we have printed millions of post cards and many stamps from it, three of them present here in picture.

    We Finns are young civilization and most of our famous countrymen are Sweden, Germany or Russian based. The civilization came from west and Sweden (the Lutherans) or from east and Russia (the Orthodox). Still we original Finns suffer from this old trauma: all better Finns are Swedes :) For example, our national hymn is composed by a German (Pacius) and lyrics are from Swede (Runeberg). The same here Carl Ludvig Engel was a German who moved to Finland 1815.

    Engel had worked in Berlin, Tallinn and Saint Petersburg in Russia before he got this job to design the centre of Helsinki with National Library, Helsinki University main building, Government Palace and this cathedral in the middle of Senate Square.

    The church of Nikolai was the original name, according to Emperor of Russia, Nicolas the first and it was finalized year 1840. The building is neoclassical type and I think it has some influence from orthodox architecture. If you compare this with Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg you realize that it has been, at least partially, the model for the Church.

    Engel adopted a lot from Orthodox traditions, one example is that he planned huge altar reconstruction to the church: a huge golden cross, with golden halo and two praying angels, the cross and altar stand was decorated with Bible based paintings. Unfortunately Engel died and followers implemented only the angels, now standing around altar.

    One part of important Finnish and Senate Square history, Eugen Schauman, a Finnish nationalist, shot Governor-General of Finland Nikolai Bobrikov in the stairway of the Government Palace in 1904. Eugen Schuman became kind of icon of the resistance to Imperial Russia and he is still one of our heroes behind our independence.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Lutheran Cathedral

    by travelfrosch Written Nov 17, 2012

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    Me outside the church (Photo by Gil)
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    As Gil showed me around, we marveled at what an absolutely perfect day for photography it was. Among the first stops was the Lutheran Cathedral, the distinctive green-domed building easily viewable from the waterfront. The structure, perhaps the signature of the Helsinki skyline, was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1852. We took lots of photos on the outside (a few shared here, including one Gil took of me using my camera) before we went inside and admired the church itself.

    The church is open for tourists daily from 9 AM - 6 PM, except Sundays, when it's open noon - 6 PM. The church is occasionally open longer hours during summer, and holds free evening organ concerts from time to time.

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Tuomiokirkko Cathedral

    by smirnofforiginal Written Sep 30, 2012

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    This is a Lutheran cathedral. It is white and sits atop a lofty flight of seps. Other than that there is not a great deal more to say except that is makes a beautiful centrepiece to Senate Square.

    The area surrounding the cathedral, including its steps, seems to be a good place to hang out and meet up with friends,,, at least in the summer when that Baltic breeze is a little more gentle!

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Helsingin Tuomiokirkko

    by MM212 Updated Aug 23, 2012

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    The Majestic White Cathedral, June 2012
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    This white Neoclassical beauty is the prime architectural symbol of Helsinki. It is a Luthern Cathedral, known as the White Cathedral, and it dominates the Senate Square (Senaatintori). Its green domes and white exterior have a majestic presence and can be seen from all the high points around the city. It was completed in 1852 by the German architect, Carl Ludvig Engel, during the 100+ year Russian occupation, and was initially called St Nicholas' Church. After the departure of the Russians in 1917, it was renamed the White Cathedral.

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Helsingin Tuomiokirkko - Interior

    by MM212 Updated Aug 23, 2012

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    White interior of the White Cathedral, June 2012
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    The interior of the White Cathedral (Helsingin Tuomiokirkko) follows the same architectural style as its exterior, emphasising its whiteness and Neoclassicism. It has a cruciform plan with a central dome resting on four large arches. The walls and ceilings in their entirety, including the dome and the four half domes covering each arm in the cruciform shape, are painted in plain white. Ornamentation is also almost as minimal as colour, making the interior ...er ... a bit of a letdown, I'm afraid, especially given the magnificent presence the exterior of the Cathedral has in the city. Only the altar and the interesting round pulpit offer some colour. I couldn't help but wonder what this interior would look like if it had been a Catholic church in Italy as artists surely would have covered the domes with colourful frescoes and sheathed the walls and floors in polychrome marble!

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  • ZeekLTK's Profile Photo

    The Crown of Helsinki

    by ZeekLTK Updated May 22, 2012

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    Tuomiokirkko (the Lutheran Cathedral) is, in my opinion, one of the coolest things about Helsinki. The building looks awesome from both up close and far away - and due to it's position atop Senate Square you can see it from many, many different parts of town (and even Suomenlinna).

    There isn't really much to do at the Cathedral besides take some great photos. It is open to look around inside every day from 9AM to 6PM for free too.

    This impressive structure was built in 1852 as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I, and was called St. Nicholas' Church until Finland's independence in 1917.

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