Top 3 Churches in Helsinki: Red, White, Rock

Helsinki, the vibrant, artistic and urban capital of Finland. Although it may be a little short on sights to see, there are however 3 churches one should not miss when visiting; And the easy way to remember their respective features? Red, White, Rock

Red – Uspenskin Katedraali


Facing the white Lutheran Cathedral, the eye-catching red brick Uspenski Cathedral stands on nearby Katajanokka island with the 2 buildings facing off high above the city like queens on a theological chessboard. Built as a Russian Orthodox church in 1868, it features classic onion-topped domes and now serves the Finnish Orthodox congregation. The high, square interior (see feature pic) has lavish iconostasis with Evangelists flanking panels depicting the Last Supper and the Ascension

Opening hours: Tue – Fri 9.30am – 4pm/Sat 10am – 3pm/Sun 12noon – 3pm/Mon Closed

White – Tuomiokirkko


One of CL Engel’s finest creations, the chalk-white neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral presides over Senaatintori (senate square). Created to serve as a reminder of God’s supremacy, its high flight of stairs is now a popular meeting place for canoodling couples. The spartan, almost mausoleum-like interior has little ornamentation to speak of, apart from an altar painting and 3 stern statues of famous Reformation heroes Luther, Melanchthon & Mikael Agricola. On the fun side, they look like they just marked your theology exam paper and are having seriously dim views of your future prospects

Opening hours: Daily 9am – 6pm/ June-August to Midnight/Closed during ceremonies.

Rock – Temppeliaukion Kirkko


The Temppeliaukion Church, or more commonly known as the rock church, was designed by Timo & Tuomo Suomalainen in 1969. Hewn into solid stone, it feels close to the Finnish ideal of spirituality in nature. The church could well be mistaken as a rocky glade if not for its stunning 24 meter diameter roof, which is covered in 22km of copper stripping. With its great acoustics, regular concerts can be seen (or heard) being held here. Opening times vary depending on events, so do check its Facebook page for updates before heading there for a visit

Opening hours: Subject to change as per Church Service or other ceremonies, for latest updates see its Facebook page here

* Traveled April 2016


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