Helsinki is famed for its architects, but it was a German, Carl Ludvig Engel, who laid out Senate Square and designed the Lutheran Cathedral. After a fire destroyed most of Helsinki during its annexation by the Russians, the new city square was inaugurated as part of the 19th-century reconstruction of Helsinki under Russian administration. The Tuomiokirkko was built to replace a smaller church on the site dating from 1727. Construction of the Lutheran Cathedral was overseen by Engel from 1830 until his death in 1840, when it was taken over by Ernst Lohrmann. Lohrmann added the zinc statues of the twelve apostles on the roof, a bell tower, and a side chapel to Engel's design. The church was completed in 1852.
Helsinki es famosa por sus arquitectos, pero fue un alemán, Carl Ludvig Engel, quien expuso la Plaza del Senado y diseñó la Catedral luterana. Después de un incendio que destruyó la mayor parte de Helsinki durante su anexión por los rusos, la nueva plaza de la ciudad fue inaugurada como parte de la reconstrucción de Helsinki bajo administración rusa.
La catedral fue construida para reemplazar una iglesia más pequeña en el sitio que data de 1727. La construcción de la Catedral Luterana fue supervisada por Engel desde 1830 hasta su muerte en 1840, cuando pasó a manos de Ernst Lohrmann. Lohrmann añadió las estatuas de zinc de los doce apóstoles en el tejado, un campanario y una capilla lateral de diseño de Engel. La iglesia fue terminada en 1852.
Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral, Tuomiokirkko in Finnish, dominates Helsinki's sky line. It was designed by a German architect, Carl Ludvig Engel. He also designed the adjacent Senate Square. The cathedral was finished in 1852. It was built in honour of Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia, and was originally called St. Nicholas' Church. Its name was changed when Finland got independence in 1917. It is a beautiful building, but I've not forgotten that when I was a penniless au pair in Finland I got thrown out of here for reading a book.
Senate Square is lovely. On May 1st people used to dance here after the Labour Day Parade. Perhaps they still do.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.