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Why you MUST visit Helsinki Cathedral!

Updated: Jan 2

Helsinki Cathedral is a beautiful and iconic landmark located in the heart of the Finnish capital. With its distinctive neoclassical architecture, stunning white façade, and towering green domes, the cathedral has become a symbol of Helsinki and a must-see destination for visitors from around the world. But there's much more to this remarkable building than meets the eye.

Let's take a closer look at the history and fun facts of Helsinki Cathedral.

History of Helsinki Cathedral:

The construction of Helsinki Cathedral began in 1830 under the direction of architect Carl Ludvig Engel. It was designed to serve as the main Lutheran church of the Grand Duchy of Finland, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Engel's vision was to create a grand and imposing structure that would reflect the power and prestige of the Russian imperial court, while also incorporating elements of traditional Finnish design.

The building was completed in 1852, and it quickly became one of the most important landmarks of Helsinki. Over the years, it has undergone several renovations and restorations, but its basic design and layout have remained largely unchanged.

Fun facts about Helsinki Cathedral:

  1. The cathedral was originally named St. Nicholas' Church, in honor of the patron saint of the Russian Imperial family. However, after Finland gained independence in 1917, the name was changed to Helsinki Cathedral.

  2. The cathedral's distinctive green domes were not part of Engel's original design. They were added later, in the 1840s, as a way to give the building a more Finnish look.

  3. The cathedral's façade is made of white Carrara marble, which was imported from Italy. The marble was chosen for its durability and resistance to weathering.

  4. The cathedral's interior is just as impressive as its exterior. It features a large central nave, a number of side chapels, and a beautiful altar area. The walls and ceilings are adorned with intricate frescoes and murals, and the floors are made of polished granite.

  5. The cathedral is located on Senate Square, which is also home to several other important landmarks, including the University of Helsinki and the Government Palace. The square is a popular gathering place for tourists and locals alike, and it hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year.

  6. The cathedral is also famous for its massive pipe organ, which was built by the Finnish company Kangasala in 1967. The organ has 4,000 pipes and is one of the largest in Scandinavia.

  7. Helsinki Cathedral has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, including the popular Finnish crime drama "Bordertown" and the Hollywood blockbuster "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." In the latter, the cathedral is featured in a thrilling chase scene that sees Tom Cruise scaling its façade.

Visiting Helsinki Cathedral:

If you're planning a trip to Helsinki, a visit to Helsinki Cathedral should be at the top of your list. The cathedral is open to visitors daily, and admission is free. You can take a guided tour of the building, or simply explore on your own. Be sure to take some time to admire the intricate details of the façade, and don't miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the dome for a spectacular view of the city.

In conclusion, Helsinki Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and an important part of Finnish history and culture. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just someone looking for a fun and interesting place to visit, Helsinki Cathedral is definitely worth a visit. So pack your bags and head to Helsinki today to see this remarkable landmark for yourself!


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