The Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) is a thrilling work of modern architecture in Helsinki. Completed in 1969, it is built entirely underground and has a ceiling made of copper wire.
History of Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)
The Temppeliaukio Kirkko was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Construction began in 1968 and was finished a year later in 1969. The architects chose a rocky outcrop rising about 40 feet above street level, and blasted out the walls from the inside.
The Temppeliaukio is now most commonly known by its English name, the Rock Church or Church in the Rock. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki and frequently full of visitors.
What to See at Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)
The underground Rock Church is built inside of a massive block of natural granite in the middle of an ordinary residential square. From ground level, the shape resembles the ancient tomb at Newgrange, Ireland. But the structure is barely visible from outside, with only the copper dome poking out of the rock. Try to see it from above - it looks like a flying saucer has lodged itself in the ground.
Inside, the church is circular and enclosed by walls of bare rock. The ceiling is a giant disc made of copper wire. The interior is lit by natural light streaming through 180 vertical window panes that connect the dome and the wall.
A solid copper-colored balcony provides a nice view of the church interior from above. The combination of natural and man-made materials in the Rock Church is striking and explains its popularity.
The Temppeliaukio frequently hosts classical concerts, the raw rock walls making for excellent acoustics. Check the noticeboard at the entrance for a schedule of events. English-language worship services are conducted every Sunday at 2pm.
Quick Facts on Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)
|Names:||Church in the Rock · Temppeliaukio Kirkko · Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) · Temppeliaukiokirkko|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||60.173036° N, 24.925404° E|
|Hours:||Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 10am-8pm; Wed 10am-6:30pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun noon-1:45; & 3:30-6|
Closed Tuesdays in winter. No visits during services and events.
|Lodging:||View hotels near Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)|
- The Rough Guide to Scandanavia 7.
- Frommer's Scandinavia, 21st ed.
- Temppeliaukion kirkko - Muuka.com
- Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) - TripAdvisor traveler reviews
- Photos of Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church), Helsinki
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