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Helsinki Cathedral

Excursions with Helsinki Cathedral

The Lutheran Cathedral, located on the north side, dominates the Square. Engel drafted his first plans for the Cathedral as early as 1818, and he continued working on it until his death. After many complications in the planning process, construction of the church began in 1830 but it was not ready to be consecrated until 1852. Thus, Engel never saw the church completed. The Cathedral (first called the Church of Nicholas) is dominated by a high central dome and Corinthian columns on each side. It has a floor plan in the shape of a Greek cross. Engel was himself quite satisfied with the way he saw the work on the building proceed. In his last letter, written to a German friend on 3rd September 1839, he wrote: «An elegance which is difficult to surpass dominates the exterior of this building.» After Engel's death many changes were made to the church and its environs. His successor, E.B. Lohrmann, added four small side towers and two corner pavilions on the Senate Square side. The statues of the twelve apostles were also added later.

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Sights of Helsinki