Thursday's Child: Helsinki Cathedral

Thursday, December 6, 2012



This month I’ll be writing about some of the beautiful places of worship we’ve seen, and I’ll start with Finland’s iconic Helsinki Cathedral.  Known in Finnish as Tuomiokirkko, the cathedral began its life in the mid-19th century as an Orthodox church. 

When Finland was annexed by Russia in 1808, much of Helsinki was destroyed in a fire.  The Russians took on the job of rebuilding it, and a major part of that reconstruction was this church, built as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.  As a result it was known as St. Nicholas’ Church, until Finland gained independence in 1917.  It has since been renovated and renamed Helsinki Cathedral, and is now a Lutheran church.


Although the church has some interesting historical significance, it really is its beauty that makes it a standout.  As we cruised into the Helsinki harbour, the elevated cathedral was the first thing we saw.  And it’s the first place most people visit in Helsinki.  These photos are completely unretouched – the sky really was that blue, and the church really is that white.

Helsinki was a city that I knew almost nothing about before I started planning the trip, and it was one of the loveliest surprises I’ve had in my travels.  I’ve written about Helsinki’s Rock Church and Sibelius Park, both of which were breathtaking and utterly unique.  But it was the beautiful Helsinki Cathedral that first welcomed us to the city.


17 comments:

Claire Davis said...

Wow what a beautiful day and a gorgeous cathedral...!

Valerie said...

I'm fascinated with all of the Nordic countries! Unfortunately, I don't know very much at all about Finland. Thanks for the gorgeous slice of history! :D

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

There's something so calming about places of worship. I was not familiar with the Helsinki Cathedral before this post. I can't wait to see the other places you profiles!

Carol said...

What a beautiful Cathedral! So majestic!

yummychunklet said...

What great photos!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow what a beautiful church

Guru Uru said...

This cathedral looks heaven-built :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Belinda said...

Beautiful! Norway is definitely one of those underrated stunning places.

Barbara said...

That's a lovely church, Beth. Thanks for taking us along!

Elaine said...

The cathedral is so striking against the blue sky!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

wonderful photos, thanks, so pretty! that sky is just stunning as is the Creator of the sky!

bakewithjill.com said...

I don't know anything about Helsinki, but the cathedral is beautiful!

Food Gal said...

A breathtaking structure. It really stands out against that blue, blue sky.

Joanne said...

It looks almost Greek! So majestic.

Rita Huneault said...

What a great post educating me today; love it Beth,
Rita

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, great post and what stunning pictures of Helsinki Cathedral! I had no idea that it was previously known as St. Nicholas` Church (nice name, my son is called Nicolas, so we always celebrate his Saint´s Day on December 6).
Have a very lovely weekend!

Kathy said...

Beth, So enjoyed this post. So informative. Such a gorgeous church…and your photos are beautiful! While in college, my daughter did a summer study program in Finland, studying Architecture.

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