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When it came to visiting Helsinki, everywhere we looked kept going on about a church made out of rock so we decided to add this to our list of things to see while we were there.
The church is actually called Temppeliaukio Church and is a Lutheran church. It was designed by Timo Suomalainen and Tuomo Suomalainen and the church opened in 1969 so it really isn't very old. Instead of just being a tourist attraction, this is a working church so you can only visit and certain times if you aren't attending a service. A 15 minute walk from the main train station means that the church isn't very far away but it is a bit of a pain to get to if you don't know Helsinki well at all. My sister and I got quite lost as we went to a museum beforehand and walked the long way around to get to the church. If you go there straight from the train station though and with a map, you should be ok.
As this is a working church, entrance is free although there are places to make donations. Obviously, these donations go towards the upkeep of the church to ensure that it stays as nice as possible with the thousands of people visiting each year. Although we knew this was a tourist attraction, we didn't quite realise how busy it was going to be. Just as we got there, two full buses of Asian tourists pulled up so the queue was massive. It is best to arrive at the church about half an hour before opening times and I will explain why in a minute.
Due to walking to the church a strange way, we climbed over the top of the church to begin with. The entrance is quite hard to find if you don't go down a certain street to begin with so we ended up going over the top and then the whole way around just to find the door. It was quite a maze before we even stepped foot inside! As I walked over the top of a church, I thought it was quite amazing to think that there was a whole building underneath us and that it had been carved out of this hill.
I wasn't sure what I was expecting inside the church but I really wasn't that impressed. All in all, its just a church but it was nice to see how something so lovely can be made out of the ground but there are much better things to see in Helsinki. The interior is nice but there isn't really much to take photos of or any history about the church anywhere. If you are wanting to know anything about the church, you need to look it up like I did. This is unfortunate and considering the church needs donations, this wouldn't be a hard thing to provide for tourists.
The Temppeliaukio Church is an OK place if you're around anyway but not good enough to make a special trip for.