The old church of Helsinki was designed by famous architect C. L. Engel and completed in 1826. It was originally mentioned to be temporary church for the construction time of new cathedral in Senate Square.

When the old Ulrika Eleonora Church was demolished, the recovered building materials and part of the movables were auctioned but some of the furnishings including the pulpit, benches and chandeliers as well as the organ were relocated to the newly built church. These furnishings were however replaced over the years with the exception of the pulpit. A new 36 stop organ built by Per Larsson Åkermann was installed in 1869.

The altarpiece painted by Robert Wilhelm Ekman was initially commissioned for Helsinki Cathedral, but was instead placed in the Old Church in 1854.

The old park, called also as “the Plague Park” , surrounding the church was originally a cemetery. It’s name cames from the time of Great Wrath (1710), when many victims of plague were buried to the ground. The latest burial was made in 1919. At the northeast corner of park lies the tomb of merchant Johan Sederholm (1722-1805).

At weekends the church is popular place for weddings and other events.

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1826
Category: Religious sites in Finland
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

AD_X (7 months ago)
Noice
Harri Kirjonen (7 months ago)
Nice Old church
Patrick Mwangi (8 months ago)
It's in a nice park and secure for a picnic during summer time, enough space for friends get together.
George On tour (10 months ago)
The Old Church of Helsinki (Finnish: Helsingin vanha kirkko, Swedish: Gamla kyrkan i Helsingfors), designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1826, is an Evangelical Lutheran church in Helsinki. The oldest existing church in central Helsinki, the church was originally planned as a temporary building as the Ulrika Eleonora Church constructed in 1727 had become too small for the congregation and the new church, Helsinki Cathedral, would not be completed until 1852. However, the city's rapid population growth from the early 19th century onwards ensured that the church would remain needed, and also necessitated the construction of many other churches
Kelsi Vaahtojärvi (14 months ago)
One of the oldest churches in the metropolitan area. It's a lovely little wooden empire church finished a few years before the national cathedral in Senate square.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.