Exquisite altarpieces, medieval burial slabs and other works of religious art can be seen in this 1230-era church-turned-museum. Saints, dancing skeletons and silver – not to mention the occasional organ concert – are the main attractions here.
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A statue of Alexander II (1894) stands in the middle of the Senate Square. Helsinki Cathedral is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building. The oldest stone building in Helsinki is the Sederholm House located on the southeast corner of the square. Today the building hosts the Helsinki City Museum. The Esplanade park and the Market Square are just a block away. The Senate Square also hosts a sound installation called the Sound of the Senate Square. It is a modern version of the European glockenspiel and can be heard every day at 17:49 as it travels from one building to the next. The composition runs for 5 minutes 18 seconds and is composed by Harri Viitanen and Jyrki Alakuijala.
Completed in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is carved right from the bedrock in the center of Helsinki.
The underground house of worship, called Temppeliaukion kirkko in Finnish, was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in the charmingly named Töölö neighborhood. On all sides of the circular church are roughly hewn stone, where sometimes water still seeps in to create miniature waterfalls. A dome coated with copper covers the rock church, with a skylight open in a belt below it to make the dome appear to hover. Even further below the church is a Cold War-era air raid shelter, which now serves as parking.
Despite its cave-like appearance, Temppeliaukio Church actually has marvelous acoustics, where the sound beautifully bounces from the craggy stone.
The Finnish Orthodox Church in Tapiola, Finland is dedicated to St. Herman of Alaska. Herman was a monk from the Valaam Monastery who, in 1793, left for missionary duty in the Alaskan archipelago. During the 40 years he spent in the Alaska region, he became an important spiritual teacher and defender of the local population.
Ridala Church is one of the most valuable churches in Läänemaa from the artistic point of view. It has been dedicated to Mary Magdalene whose figure in the church is one of the oldest sculptured figures in Estonia.
This archaic sanctuary lacks a belfry. Be sure to take a look at the medieval paintings. The altar, the triumphal arch group and pulpit are also remarkable. In the churchyard the most valuable things are the trapezoid gravestones dating back to the 13th century with sun cross and arbour vitae motifs. The two massive stone crosses near the main entrance of the church are very old. Interesting facts: According to a folk tale the church was built by a giant maiden as a dwelling house.
In 1874, the Häädemeeste Lutheran Church, which was built around the same time as an orthodox church, received a smaller but architecturally worthy opponent. The church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and is celebrated on the 29th of September in the year of celebration.
Eliisabet's Church, inaugurated in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. The beautiful church in the centre of Pärnu invites you to step in and look around to see a pulpit in the Neo-Gothic style from the middle of the 19th century, the altar and the altarpiece “Resurrection”. One of the best organs in Estonia is in Eliisabet's Church and the place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers.
Interesting to know! The church got its name from Russian Empress Jelizaveta thanks to whom the congregation got a Lutheran church.
The oldest church in Viljandi is the St. John's Church, which was built near the castle in the years 1466-1472. A triangular home church, made of limestones and brick, was first prepared for the Franciscan monastery.
Tartu Cathedral, located on the beautiful Toomemägi Hill, is one of the largest churches in Estonia. It is also the only mediaeval church with two towers in Estonia. The construction of the church started in the 13th century and the church was fully completed in the beginning of the 16th century. The church towers were the last things to be finished. During the Livonian War, the church was destroyed and since then, it has not operated as a church. The ruins of the Tartu Cathedral are one of the most prominent examples of brick-Gothic buildings in Old Livonia.
The University of Tartu Museum, which introduces the history of science and university education, operates there. In addition to the museum, there is also the Toompood store, and visitors can also go to the cathedral’s towers, which offer beautiful views.
St. Henry's Ecumenical Art Chapel on the island of Hirvensalo is also a pilgrimage for lovers of architecture.
The mystical landscape sculpture was completed on the fringe of the archipelago nature in 2005. In addition to the ecclesiastical events the chapel also holds art exhibitions, tours and a variety of events from concerts to special celebrations.
The church together with the gates from dolomite and surrounding wall is under protection as architectural memory. The church built in 1790 is three-naved in low-key late classicistic style. Interesting is built at the same time three-part gate.
Alexander Church, built by Theodor Decker in 1880-1881, is one of the more beautiful churches in Tampere, and a fine example of the Neo-Gothic style, although there are also some elements of other architectural styles. During reconstruction in 1937, the church was badly damaged by fire, and in 1980 it underwent another major renovation. The magnificent altarpiece, “The Glorification of the Saviour”, is by Aleksandra Saltin, the motifs on the chancel walls are by Antti Salmenlinnan, the crucifix is by Ipi and Pekka Pyhältö, and the textiles throughout the church were designed by Anja Savolainen.
The church was named Alexander Church to honour the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Czar Alexander II, as its foundation stone was laid on the anniversary date, 2nd of March 1880. The church was consecrated in December 1881.
Situated in the heart of Lappeenranta, St. Mary’s Church of Lappee is a double cruciform wooden church that was originally built in 1794. The current church was built by Juhana Salonen, from Savitaipale, although it has undergone restoration work over the years. The altarpiece, representing Christ’s Ascension, was painted by Aleksandra Frosterus-Såltin in 1887, and there are many other paintings in the church by unknown artists.
The Church of the Virgin Mary is the oldest orthodox church in Finland and is situated in Linnoitus, otherwise known as the Fortress of Lappeenranta. There was a wooden church on the site as far back as 1742, the present church was completed in 1785. The most valuable icon here is the 200-year-old Communion of the Holy, found in the middle of the north wall.
Saint George’s church in Mariehamn is the only Åland mother church without a medieval background. It lies in the crossing of the Northern and Western Esplanades, facing north, thereby adversing from normal liturgical praxis.
One of Pori’s most popular sights. Jusélius Mausoleum is located at the Käppärä Cemetery. It is one of Pori’s most popular sights and part of the Pori National Urban Park.
The mausoleum was commissioned by local industrialist Fritz Arthur Jusélius for his daughter Sigrid, who died of tuberculosis, to be her last place of rest. Sigrid and Fritz Arthur Jusélius’ sarcophagi are on display in the mausoleum. Sigrid’s mother and sister are buried in the family grave close to the small chapel. The grave of Jusélius’ second wife is also close to the small chapel, and his third wife is buried next to the mausoleum.
The Gothic Revival mausoleum was designed by the renowned church architect Josef Stenbäck. The ground slab of the mausoleum was cast in the beginning of the 20th century. Originally, the mausoleum was decorated with frescoes painted by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. However, the frescos began to deteriorate already in 1903. After the condition of the frescoes in the central hall became very poor, they were replaced one at a time with bronze reliefs by the sculptor Emil Cedercreutz by 1925. The current frescos were painted by artist Jorma Gallen-Kallela during 1933–1939 after drafts by his father, Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
Built in the same location where the previous wooden church burned down in the turmoil of the Civil War.
Ignited by Civil War artillery fire on Easter Saturday, 30 March 1918, the church burned down with its archives and original pauper statue, library in the sacristy and Elin Danielson-Gambog’s altarpiece “Jesus and the sinful woman” (1899), donated by Eva Ahlström.
Due to financial reasons, the construction of the new church did not begin earlier than 15 years after the previous one burned down. With a grant from A. Ahlström Oy, Armas Lindgren drew the church in mediaeval style, and the current church was built in 1931–1933. The church was renovated in 1989 according to plans prepared by the architect Carl-Johan Slotte.
The church built of Noormarkku granite has seating for approximately 500. Built in the mediaeval Finnish style as a single-nave church, the church was listed as a conservation site by the Finnish Heritage Agency in 2002.
Petäjävesi Old Church gained inclusion in Unesco's world heritage list as an prime example of northern wooden architecture in 1994. The church is representative of Scandinavian, Lutheran church architecture and the long tradition of log building.
This Church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was severely wounded and died in March 1881.The church was built from 1883 till 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The Church contains over 7500 square meters of mosaics—according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
Savonlinna Cathedral is the main church of Savonlinna’s Evangelical-Lutheran parish. The name of the church originates from the cathedral, the seat of a bishop, located in Savonlinna from 1897 to 1924.
The church was designed by architect A.H. Dahlström in 1858, and it was consecrated on 2 February 1879. The church was damaged during an air raid in 1940. The reconstruction was designed by architect B. Lilljeqvist. The altar choir ceiling fresco, paintings on the gallery bannisters, and the chandeliers were created by artist Antti Salmenlinna. The altarpiece “Jesus in Gethsemane” is a triptych painted by artist Paavo Leinonen. The church textiles, designed by artist Helena Karvonen, are from 1979.
The church of Kerimäki is the world’s largest Christian wooden church and has the most spacious interior in Finland. It is 45 meters long, 42 meters wide and 27 meters high. The height of the dome is 37 meters.
Uppsala Cathedral (Uppsala domkyrka) is the largest and tallest cathedral in the Nordic countries.
Construction on the cathedral began around 1270, with consecration taking place in 1435. The church towers were added later in the 15th century. The exterior of the medieval cathedral is unknown. The building has undergone several major restorations. Also, the fact that the church of Sweden became Evangelical Lutheran in the 1500s has had an impact on the appearance of the cathedral.
Uppsala is the see of the Church of Sweden’s archbishop since 1164 and the place where bishops of other dioceses are consecrated and priest and deacons of Uppsala diocese are being ordained. Until 1719 many coronations took place in the cathedral. The cathedral is used for services every day all year round.
The cathedral’s attractions include the reliquary of Saint Erik (Sweden’s patron saint), a medieval Saint Anne altarpiece and the 18th century Baroque pulpit. Mary (The Return) by Anders Widoff, the candle trees by Olof Hellström and wooden sculpture tableaux by Eva Spångberg are appreciated examples of modern art in the cathedral.
The Orthodox Church Museum, which was established in Kuopio in 1957, derives from the Collection of Ancient Objects founded at the Monastery of Valamo in 1911. Most of the exhibits, which consist mainly of icons, sacred objects and liturgical textiles, are from the monasteries and congregations of Karelia: a region in southeast Finland that was partially ceded to the Soviet Union in connection with the Second World War. Objects in the museum are mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The museum’s icon collection consists of about 800 icons made in various styles and using a number of different material and techniques. The icons depict things subjects like Christ, the Mother of God and other holy persons and events. The most extensive portion of RIISA’s collections is made up of textile objects, nearly 4000 of them. The oldest of the museum’s textiles date back to the 16th century, though the majority of them is from the 19th century. The museum also has an extensive archive of photographs documenting the history of the Orthodox Church.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum offers yearly seasonal exhibitions. These theme-based exhibitions are aimed to introduce the variety of ecclesiastical art of eastern Christian Church.
Björkö village church was built in 1859 and was named Maria, after the wife of Alexander II. The gallery was built in 1907, and the first organ was purchased a couple of years later. Before the village had its own church, the bible study cottage was used as a chapel.
At the end of the 11th century there was probably a wooden church in Barva. In the 1100s, the construction of a stone church began. During the 15th century, an armory was built on the south-west side of the longhouse. By the middle of the 17th century, the church was extended to its present length and provided with a new sacristy. At the end of the 18th century it was planned to extend the church further. Instead, from 1796 to 1797, cross-arms were erected to the north and the church thus got its present cross-shape. At the same time, the sacristy was enlarged and the armory from the 15th century was demolished. The flat wooden ceiling of the church room was replaced with thin vaulted wood. The current interior is the result of a thorough restoration in 1942.
Eskilstuna's oldest church, Fors church, is located in central Eskilstuna on the western shore of Eskilstunaån and was erected during the middle of the 11th century on the initiative of the monk S: t Eskil.
The old wooden church was replaced by a Romanesque stone church as early as the 11th century. Parts of the old wooden church remain in the north and west walls.
The armoury was built during the 17th century when it took its present form. If you are visiting the church, please stay in the armoury and raise your eyes to the classic ship hanging from the ceiling.
Fors church got its name after its beautiful location along the river. It belongs to the Eskilstuna parish in Strängnäs diocese. It has probably been the foundation church for an area consisting of western Södermanland, southern Västmanland and eastern Närke.
For almost 800 years people have been coming to worship and pray at Linköping Cathedral. Work on the Cathedral was started in 1230, with the main building works being completed in 1520. The belfry and the west façade were added in 1885. Linköping Cathedral is the most impressive and expensive Swedish church building of the Middle Ages.
The Kajaani Evangelical Lutheran Church, built in 1897, represents the most decorative Neo-Gothic style of the late 19th century. The wooden church with its rich decorations was designed by Jacob Ahrenberg. The so-called carpenter-style was used on the inner structures and the roof trusses were influenced by the ones in the Westminster Hall in London. The placement of the church tower on the middle axis of the chamber is of German influence. The slender tower also has a touch of Italian Renaissance and Baroque styles.