Sunday, June 24, 2007

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral ...
... the interior simple, tranquil, awash with light.
A fine place to sit and do needle point (as Jolene did) ...
... or read and experiment with interior photography (as Case did).
Our batteries recharged, we headed out with our trusty guide book to see a little more of the town.
We attended the afternoon international (English) service at Helsinki's Temppeliaukio (Rock Church). Unfortunately, the regular congregation and their minister were away on the mid-summer's weekend retreat, so it was a sparser group of primarily visitors and tourists who gathered for the service.

The church is much visited by tourists because it is built into solid rock. According to the story we heard, two brothers wanted to build a new non-denominational church in Helsinki and petitioned the city for land. Initially, they were told that Helsinki had enough churches and were turned away. They persisted, however, and finally, they were permitted to build on a large rock formation in the middle of a multistory apartment complex. The brothers blasted into the rock to create structure, turning the site's most discouraging feature into the sanctuary's central motif.

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