Strictly speaking this grand building is not a church but a Cathedral, nor in the grand scheme of things is it that old. Built between 1830/1852 it is the centre piece of Helsinki’s Senate Square. Originally named St. Nicholas Church after Tsar Nicholas I of Russia but after Finland’s Independence in 1917 it became the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral
Externally it is a rather glamourous building, bold but at the same time its clinically clean lines add great style as do the columns at the head of the steps that you must climb to gain access. The green copper domes give that important clue to its Russia design influence.
As is the Lutheran style the interior is very simplistic to the point of being bare, but no less the grand for that. Once inside you can clearly see that the Cathedral layout is based upon the Greek Cross of central square with 4 equilateral arms placed on the compass points. As I understand is it the Lutheran custom the congregation stands during services.
As mentioned the Cathedral is part of the Senate Square. It stands on one side in a commanding position above all other buildings in the square…. the whole creating a great sense of presence and importance to the Square…
I would normally say it is a “must see” on any visit to Helsinki, but to be honest it does not matter how visitors arrive in Finland’s capital city you cannot miss to see this dramatic building and be drawn towards it….enjoy
(C) David Oakes 2016