Temppeliaukio “Rock Church”
Definitely a one-of-a-kind sight, Temppeliaukio Church has been designed to fit in with naturally occurring rock walls, giving it its English nickname, Rock Church. Visitors to Helsinki should not miss out on this beautiful oddity that was quarried out of a gigantic block of granite.
An architectural success
Opening in 1969, the design for the church was made by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, who won a competition for their submitted design. Yet, not everyone was convinced that it was a good idea to carve a church out from the rocks, and the public was generally against the plan. The year after its grand opening, the church had over half a million visitors and it has been featured in more than 200 publications on architecture. So needless to say, it was a great success, and now it is one of Helsinki’s top attractions.
Events at this Helsinki church
From the outside, Temppeliaukio Church can seem quite unassuming, as it just looks like an opening in a wall of piled stone. However, the interior reveals a special place of worship with a unique sense of modern Finnish architecture. Inside, guests will see that the rocky ground itself provides the walls of the Rock Church, and above the massive copper-wire dome. Sunlight pours through the windows separating the rock and the dome, setting the stage for both the services and the classical music concerts regularly held there. The structure has excellent acoustics, making it a popular venue for concerts of other musical genres too, and you can see what’s on at the Visit Helsinki website.
Guests of the modern Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Helsinki can reach the church quickly and easily from their accommodation in the heart of the city. Just a ten-minute walk away, Temppeliaukio should definitely be on the itinerary of any visitor to the Finnish capital.