Lutherinkatu 3, Helsinki, Finland
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Temppeliaukion kirkko Helsinki Reviews
Rock of Ages? Jun 20, 2016
Temppeliaukio Church is better known as the “Church in the Rock” for very good reason: it was created by burrowing into a granite mound in Helsinki. Seems its entire history was rocky. The site was reserved for a church in the early 1900’s, but nobody got serious about pursuing development until the 1930’s. After several rounds of architectural contests, WWII intervened. The next plea for designs did not happen until 1961, and it was here that a plan to have the sanctuary commingle in surrounding granite prevailed.
This was not a popular idea and the church became the very first site for graffiti in Helsinki when the foundation was spray painted. Persistence prevailed however, and the church was completed in 1969 under budget. It is a lovely concept, nicely executed. The interior is a huge circle, pleasingly illuminated with a vast array of skylights. I cannot claim to have been blown away by the site, but is peaceful, and no charge to enter.
I found a fun aspect of the church is that it was excavated above an air-raid shelter which was capable of harboring 6,000 people. It now serves as parking for church goers.
Part of the Bopping about the Baltics travel blog
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