Exploring the insides of the Helsinki Cathedral

The Cathedral is the most iconic building in Helsinki. The cathedral was designed by C.L. Engel and built in the 1830’s and 1840’s. It stands proud on a hill overlooking the Senate Square and the busy streets of downtown Helsinki. The cathedral layout was originally the shape of a Greek cross, making it very slender and tall-looking. Architects in Engel’s time would joke about the thin church and make bets about it falling over in the wind. After Engel’s death the towers in the intermediate directions were built, to make sure the cathedral would be strong enough. Also the 12 apostle statues, made of zinc, were added at this point.

The church benches were upholstered in the 1960’s and the material is still in mint condition: no fading, no wearing out and no signs of the 50+ years of being sat on. What is this magic fabric made of? It is made of the hair of Polish horses! The look and feel resemble vinyl or a safety belt.

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Apostles Bartholomew, John and Matthew looking at the Senate Square. The four sides of the Senate Square represent different groups of the society: the church on the norther side, the state in the east, merchants in the south and the university in the west. The pattern on the square tiles shows where the previous church, the Church of Ulrika Eleonora (1724-1827), was located.
One of the apostles guarding the Senate Square
One of the apostles guarding the Senate Square
View toward St. John's church. If it weren't for Nordea bank's headquarter building, built in 1936, in the corner of Unioninkatu and Aleksanterinkatu, the Senate Square together with its surrounding buildings, would be a Unesco World Heritage site.
View toward St. John’s church. If it weren’t for Nordea bank’s headquarters, built in 1936, in the corner of Unioninkatu and Aleksanterinkatu, the Senate Square together with its surrounding buildings, would be a Unesco World Heritage site.
This bell has a 30 second echo
This bell has a 30 second echo
Looking up
Looking down
Looking down
View towards Merihaka
View towards Merihaka
A cross on the clock tower floor
A cross on the clock tower floor
They were also here
They were also here
Drawings on the wall
Drawings on the wall

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Bank of Finland
The National Library

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Parts of the former facade
Parts of the former facade
The insides of the clock that faces Senate Square
The insides of the clock that faces Senate Square
View toward the Sky Wheel and Katajanokka
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