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Helsinki Cathedral (in Finnish Helsingin tuomiokirkko or Suurkirkko, in Swedish Helsingfors domkyrka or Storkyrkan) is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built as a tribute to the Grand Duke, Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia and until the independence of Finland in 1917, it was called St. Nicholas' Church.

A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Helsinki, with a tall green dome surrounded by four smaller domes, the church was built in 1830-1852, in neoclassical style. It was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, to form the climax of the whole Senate Square laid out by Engel, surrounded by a number of buildings all designed by him. The building has a Greek-cross plan (i.e. a square central mass and four arms of equal length), and is symmetrical in each of the four cardinal directions, each marked by a colonnade and pediment. Engel had intended to place a further row of columns on the west end to mark the main entrance (opposite the altar at the east end), but this was never realised. The building was later altered by his successor Ernst Lohrmann, whose four small domes make the architectural connection to the cathedral's model, Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, even clearer. Lohrmann also erected two separately standing bell towers and zinc statues of the Twelve Apostles at apexes and corners of the roofline.

Helsinki

Helsinki, the capital of the Republic of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea. In 2000 Helsinki was an official European City of Culture while celebrating its 450th anniversary. Helsinki together with the neighbouring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa forms the Helsinki metropolitan area with more than a million inhabitants.

Capital where Eastern and Western cultures meet

Helsinki is unique among Northern European cities. The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people. Helsinki’s identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West. The archipelago that surrounds Helsinki with hundreds of tiny islands creates an idyllic environment for cruises, for example.
Over 450 years of history, several architectural layers and the impact of different periods can be clearly seen in Helsinki. Finnish design has also made the country’s capital city world famous. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly together with high-tech achievements, while old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends. The city centre has many beautiful parks, and the nearby forests offer an ideal setting for peaceful and quiet walks.(Source: Helsinki.fi & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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