Detailed review by linzeeloulabelle
Nottingham, United Kingdom
The Lutheran Cathedral in Helsinki was not something I even knew about when I visited the city. When my sister and I were walking around, we could see the top of it from the main part of the city so headed towards it so that we could see what it was. As we got closer, we could see that it was a massive cathedral and seeing as I love looking at them, I wanted to get as close as possible.
After the Russians took over control of Helsinki and most of the city was destroyed in a fire, a new town square was made and this became Senate Square, the home of the cathedral. It was not a Russian or Finnish architect that designed this cathedral but German, Carl Ludvig Engel, even though Finland was famous for its architects. The building was completed in 1852 and was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia but once Finland regained power and control it became an Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral.
The cathedral is free to enter and the opening hours are: June-Aug: daily 9am-midnight; Sept-May: Mon-Sat 9-6, Sun noon-6. The cathedral is still used for the purpose it was built so there will be certain times of day where you will not be able to enter and take photos. Also, as this is still used as a church, care should be taken in regards to what you’re wearing etc as you still need to be as respectful as possible. I didn’t actually enter the cathedral because basically, I didn’t know that you could. Some places like this aren’t open to the public and we happened to go past in the early evening so we didn’t think it would be open.
Leading up to the cathedral are a whole lot of granite steps which can be quite the work out just to get up. Standing at the bottom of these steps though gives you quite an amazing view. As you look up from the front, the building looks to have slight Greek influence with the columns but then you look up further and see the Russian domes on the top which are coloured in green. The green domes are a great contrast to the white building but it does look beautiful. The cathedral, due to its Russian influence, looks like a much plainer version of the cathedral in Tallinn but not nearly as beautiful. Around the roof of the building are religious statues.
I loved standing and looking at this cathedral from many different angles and I did so for quite some time. It was lovely to sit on the steps in front of the cathedral and watch people pass by and other tourists being amazed at such a wonderful building. I wish I had known that we could go in though as I would have loved to have seen what the inside was like. I’m glad we happened to come across this cathedral and I would have been quite sad had I missed out on seeing it.