In a previous post, we have talked about the Uspenski or Orthodox Cathedral of Helsinki, because now it is the turn of the Lutheran of evangelical worship, and although it may surprise its construction it was also promoted and carried out during the period of Russian rule in the city and throughout the territory of Finland.
Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral
Specifically, this temple was built as a tribute to Grand Duke Nicholas I, Tsar of Russia, which is why it was known as the Church of Saint Nicholas, until the country became independent from the Russians in 1917, after the triumph of the Bolshevik revolution.
The initial construction of the church took place between 1830 and 1852, at a time when the predominant style throughout Europe for this type of building was neoclassical art, and obviously the Helsinki Cathedral corresponds to those forms.
Its design was carried out by the German architect Carl Engel, who conceived it as the great cherry on top of his entire urban transformation project in this area of Helsinki, which used to be a hill and is now the monumental Senate Square, where several buildings of the same style and by this author were designed.
However, among all these works, without a doubt, the Cathedral stands out, a temple with a Greek cross plan, whose spacemain, the center is covered by a huge green dome, which in turn is surrounded by four other smaller domes, also green, crowning as many turrets.
In addition, the grandiose entrance to the temple stands out, with a long staircase that crosses the slope of the old hill, until reaching a porch of clear classical inspiration, with its columns and triangular pediment. In short, all quite ostentatious and pro-government, although Engel's total project was even more so, since he had planned a colonnade to highlight that entrance even more.
And regarding the interior, it must be said that it has all the spirit of sobriety of the churches of this religion, where ornamental nudity usually predominates. However, several elements stand out here: the gold-colored pulpit, the great organ and two statues of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, the first, the great character of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century in Europe, and the second, less known but a friend of Luther and also a key figure in the emergence of that new religion.