The Rock Church in Helsinki (or Temppeliaukio to give it its proper name) is a modern church built underground. All that can be seen from the outside is the massive copper dome hidden in a rocky outcrop, but the interior is a harmonious blend of modern and traditional building materials. It is one of the city’s major tourist attractions, as we discovered when we visited.
Arriving ten minutes before opening time we had a wander around the rock and the domed roof that is the only part of the church visible from the outside and then walked around the block while we waited. When we returned the doors had opened and a whole group of people had appeared from nowhere to fill up the church. They were clearly a tour from a cruise ship so I decided to wait until they moved on before taking my photographs. Unfortunately, no sooner were they out of the door than the next group were in, and so on for the whole time we were there! But despite the crowds it was well worth visiting, particularly since there was an impromptu piano recital taking place as we walked around.
Construction of Temppeliaukio
Visiting the Rock Church
Temppeliaukio is open from 10.00-20.00 on weekdays (except Wednesday); 10.00-18.30 on Wednesday; 10.00-18.00 on Saturday; and 12.00-13.45, 15.30-18.00 on Sunday. It is closed on Tuesdays in winter, and during services and events. Other than for events there is no entrance charge.
Details of musical performances are displayed on the noticeboard at the entrance. There is an English language service each Sunday at 14.00.
You may find the church less crowded towards the end of the day.