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Finland: Helsinki Churches

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Helsinki Churches | Finland | Europe

[Visited: December 2004]

The first stop on my search for churches was, inevitably, the major Cathedral that seems to sit on the roof of Helsinki. A classical building, with light green cupolas, the main cupolas and four smaller ones that are adorned with golden stars on the roof, white columns, four equal sides, statues on the roof, golden crosses on the cupolas, the Cathedral is easily among the most imposing sights in Helsinki. It is striking that after the colossal appearance outside, the Cathedral is nothing more than a simple house of God, without much decoration inside.

Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki's Cathedral in late afternoon sun

Second most remarkable church is Uspensky Cathedral, the clearly Orthodox church quite close to the city centre. It is built right on the rocks that lie underneath Helsinki. A short climb takes you up to the entrance of this Russian Orthodox cathedral that is consecrated to the eternal sleep of the virgin Mary. The church is adorned with 13 golden cupolas and is the largest Orthodox church in western Europe. From here, a longer walk takes you past the main Cathedral to probably the most peculiar church of the city.

Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: Uspensky Cathedral seen from below

Approaching the Temppeliaukio, or Temple, church - literally, Church in the Rock - is a strange experience. Coming from one of the side streets, you reach a small square, and at first, you think there is a little green defining the square, although in the form of a small hill. Then you see a construction on top of the hill. You can walk over the hill, but it is more interesting to find the entrance to this church. Built in the late 1960s, the Temppeliaukio church still strikes visitors. Inside, the walls are still rough, the copper roof is the shiny crown on the brilliant work of architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. The uniquely formed windows allow sufficient light into this remarkable church.

Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: Temppeliaukio or Temple church roof sticking out of hill
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: interior of Temppeliaukio or Temple church
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: part of roof and wall in Temppeliaukio or Temple church
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: detail of the windows of Temppeliaukio or Temple church
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: reflection of interior of Temppeliaukio or Temple church
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: Kallio church from below
Picture of Helsinki Churches (Finland): Helsinki: Holy Trinity church

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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Helsinki Churches (Finland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Helsinki Churches.
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