Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski © Lassi Kurkijärvi
Uspenski © Lassi Kurkijärvi

Many have compared Helsinki to the beautiful Russian city of St Petersburg (a close neighbour across a strait of water), and the exotic red-brick Orthodox cathedral Uspenski, designed by Aleksei Gornostayev of St Petersburg in the mid-1800s, cements the Russian connection. The cathedral sits atop a rocky outcrop on the Katajanokka peninsula opposite the fish market, fronted by a statue of Tsar Alexander II, as a memento of Russia's occupation of Finland until 1919.

The magnificent Byzantine edifice is topped with a characteristic golden onion dome, and the interior is opulently decorated with valuable icons. The cathedral is beautifully situated and very eye-catching as it can be seen from many places in the city. There are wonderful views of Helsinki from the hill. Parts of the church are off-limits when there is not a service being conducted but there is still plenty to see in this ornate cathedral. Flash photography is not allowed inside.

Address: Pormestarinrinne 1, Katajanokka

Telephone: (098) 564 6200

Admission: Free