Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

Our last destination to the half-day Helsinki city tour was to Temppeliaukio Church (Finnish: Temppeliaukion kirkko), or simply Church in the Rock, since the Finnish name definitely test your linguistic skills. 😛  It is a wonderful work of modern architecture in Helsinki completed in 1969, designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.

As the name implies, the church was built out of the suburban bedrock with the walls being simply the unfinished rough rock walls.  It’s pretty easy to mistake the church as a emergency shelter or underground tunnel, as the entrance really doesn’t look like one of a typical church. 😉

The only tell-tale sign that this is a church is the cross on top

As you step into this architecture wonder, you will notice that the church is circular and enclosed by walls of bare rock.  The ceiling is a giant disc made of copper wires.  The interior is lit by natural light streaming through 180 vertical window panes that connect the dome and the rock wall.

As the Temppeliaukio often hosts classical concerts, you can see a large copper pipe organ here

There's another level to house more visitors to the Temppeliaukio too

This is one church any visitor to Helsinki should not miss just because you may think it’s “just another church” like in many other parts of Europe.  Its unusual design and stunning architectural use of natural light and rock will be stuck in your memory even after memories of other churches have faded. 😉


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