Exploring Finland: Churches in Tampere

It’s a great chance for me to visit some nostalgia and golden churches located around this city while doing an internship in populous Tampere city. Although I’m not a Christian, I have admiration in discovering all the historical church attractions when having free time. Now, let’s start a church tour around the city!

Linh Nguyen, a Vietnamese student, studying Business Management in Finland

Tampere Cathedral – Tuomiokirkko

tuomikirkko - Tampere cathedral External View
External view

The cathedral has the previous name called The Church of St. John. Moreover, it was built in the quarter of Kyttälä from 1902 to 1907 with natural stone materials. Because the bishop’s seat was moved to Tampere in 1923, therefore, it has the name Tampere Cathedral.

Tampere Cathedral is one of the most remarkable monuments in the National Romantic style in Finland. Besides being organised for concerts, it’s also one of the most popular wedding churches in Tampere.

The large altarpiece is called "Resurrection"
The large altarpiece is called “Resurrection”

The large altarpiece is called “Resurrection”, which is created by Magnus Enckell (1870 – 1925). He was a Finnish symbolist painter. In addition, this fresco is over 10 meters wide and 4 meters high, showing in subdued colours. It depicts the resurrection of people of all races in a simple manner.


Finlayson Church – Finlaysonin Kirkko

finlayson church's architecture
External view

The Finlayson church is the second oldest church in Tampere, just after Vänhä Kirkko – The Old Church. This church is considered one-of-a-kind church among other churches in its city. Moreover, it was built as the church of the Finlayson cotton factory in 1879 with the aim of Finlayson workers practising religion.

The church’s facade is used red bricks as main materials. Also, the church’s architecture was following the Gothic style, which was very popular in Europe during the Medieval Period. ( Finlayson church’s architecture )

Finlayson Church has been also a place for children’s playing and knowing about Bible stories since 1996. Nowadays, the charming church is also served for wedding and concert church because of its ideal location and size. The stone board was written as suomen evankelis luterilainen pyhäkouluyhdistys perustettiin tampereella finlaysonin tehtaan juhlahuonestossa, english words are Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School Association founded in Tampere at Finlayson Mill. Finlayson church’s architecture is remarkable. Note: Pointed arches inside the church

Kaleva Church – Kalevan Kirkko

external view of Kavele church
External view

Kavela Church was built from 1964 to 1966, designed by Reima and Raili Pietilä architectures, who were a couple. Looking into it, we see obviously the modern architectural style that 2 architectures chose to build. The modernist architecture emerged at the end of the 19th century. Moreover, the uses of revolution materials, such as steel, glass and reinforced concrete have been remarkably emphasized and embraced the minimalism and elimination of detailed ornaments. The church altar below is adorned by a huge bruised reed and the wooden cross.

the whole architect building is imitated like a fish shape.
The whole architect building is imitated like the shape of a fish

Messukylän Old Church -Messukylän Vänhä Kirkko

This Church is the oldest building in Tampere. First, this wooden church was built during the Roman Catholic Middle Ages, in the 15th century, perhaps at 1434. Moreover, the stone church we see now was built, probably between 1510-1530, to replace the previous wooden one. Its architecture embodies the typical style of Finnish medieval churches.

Inside the church, there is the decoration of mural paintings on the wall, which has been preserved until now. Because the church has no heating system, it just opens in the summer holiday. Besides, it’s very popular for wedding service and sight-seeing of tourists.

Surrounding the church, there are a football playground and a small park for all people.

Messukylän Kirkko

According to the Finnish tourist guide’s speech, he said the reason why new Messukylän church was built is that the people at this time were afraid that the oldest one would be collapsed soon. Nevertheless, both the medieval and new churches were not only witnessed and survived from the Civil War in 1918, but also two of them still present nowadays and welcome all people. You can see easily on the wall door of the church, there are some bullet holes which are the historical marks of the Civil War.


More Finnish culture blogs: 10 Ways to Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture While Studying Abroad

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