Churches in Tampere
There are 16 Lutheran churches in Tampere. The oldest one is the mediaeval Messukylä church and the most recently built is the Aitolahti church, consecrated in September 2001.
The church in AitolahtiThe church in Aitolahti is new - it was consecrated in September 2001.
The most dominating element in the church is the massive redbrick wall, which gave the church its name protective wall. The wall is like the hand of God sheltering the congregation.
The Aitolahti church houses examples of modern church art. The main altar is shaped like a boat and the glass panel on the altar is decorated with traditional Christian symbols. The altarpiece, also made of glass, is called Peace unto you and depicts the face of the resurrected Christ. The side altar is adorned with a 2-metre high crucifix cast in bronze.
The church has 200 permanent seats, but can accommodate 220 additional seats.
Aitolahti old churchThe Aitolahti old church, situated in beautiful surroundings, is very popular for various ceremonies.
It was consecrated at midsummer 1928.
The church accommodates XXX people.
The church built in mediaeval style is a fine example of stone masonry.
The church underwent a complete interior renovation during the winter of 1996-97.
The church is accompanied by a nearby cemetery.
Alexander churchAlexander church was built in the neo-Gothic style influenced by various other styles.
The church was named Alexander church to honour the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Czar Alexander II, as its foundation stone was laid on the anniversary date, 2nd of March 1880. The church was consecrated in December 1881.
In addition to divine services and church ceremonies, located at the end of Hämeenkatu street, Alexander church attracts people to attend church concerts and St. Thomas masses.
The church accommodates 1,300 people.
Finlayson churchFinlayson church is unique among the churches in Tampere. It is a standing monument to the spiritual enlightenment of two industrialists, James Finlayson and Wilhelm von Nottbeck, who made their mark in the history Tampere. Their cotton mill was given the right to hire its own parson and the redbrick sanctuary was built by the factory gate in 1879.
In 1981 the church and the land it was built on were donated to the Evangelical Lutheran parishes in Tampere.
Finlayson has become popular as a venue for small occasions and concerts. In recent years it has competed with the Tampere Cathedral for the title of the city's most popular wedding church.
In summer and around church holidays the church acts as a so-called Children's cathedral, where biblical stories are illustrated with the help of miniature models.
Finlayson church has approximately 280 seats.
Hervanta churchThe Hervanta leisure centre was inaugurated in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the City of Tampere in autumn 1979. The building, constructed jointly by the city and the local parish, also houses a church.
When designing the interior of the church, considerable attention was paid to the versatility of parish activities. As a result, the size of the church room can be modified with movable walls according to needs.
Hervanta church was designed by famous architects Reima and Raili Pietilä.
Härmälä churchHärmälä church, located in the middle of a residential area, was built in two stages: the parsonage and parish hall were built in 1949, and the church was completed in August 1972.
The pillared bell tower next to the church building is a landmark visible from a distance.
Thanks to its versatile interior design, the church is well suited for divine services and other parish activities alike. The parish hall can be joined with the church room, and thus accommodate a large number of people.
Kaleva churchThe Kaleva parish was founded in 1953, but had to wait for 13 years before receiving a church of its own.
The city wanted to build a monumental church on the Liisankallio knoll. Kaleva church, consecrated in August 1966, is characterised by loftiness, light, arched pillars, vertical lines, the colour of unbleached linen and wooden surfaces. The church was designed by architects Reima and Raili Pietilä.
The large concrete church accommodates approximately 1,120 people. The pews and other woodwork in the church are made of Finnish pine.
Lielahti churchLielahti was part of the Ylöjärvi municipality until 1950. After Lielahti joined Harju, a parish hall was built on the plot acquired from the Enqvist plant. Charmed with the light and beauty of the parish hall, bishop Gulin consecrated the hall as a church in April 1961.
The redbrick church building fits the surrounding nature very well. In 1991, the church room accommodating 160 people was complemented with a small organ, which for its part helped regularise divine services in Lielahti.
Messukylä churchThe main church of the Messukylä parish was built in 1879. The redbrick church represents the neo-Gothic style typical of the era.
Messukylä church has been repaired and renovated several times. The unrest caused by the 1918 civil war damaged both churches in Messukylä. The latest renovation took place before the church's 100th anniversary, providing the church with its blue roof.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary, the parish ordered a complete set of church textiles including chasubles from architect Seppo Rihlama.
Messukylä church and the surrounding cemetery is a quiet landmark at the crossroads of several busy streets.
Old Messukylä churchOld Messukylä church, built during the Roman Catholic Middle Ages, is the oldest building in Tampere. It represents the typical style of Finnish mediaeval churches.
The old church has witnessed several periods of glory. In the 17th century, for example, its walls were decorated with mural paintings, which have been preserved to this day.
After the new church was built, the old church was forgotten for decades, and at some point, was used as a granary. Over the past decades, however, the old church has undergone several conservational renovations.
The old stone church is still used, although it is only open in summer since it has no heating. The church is very popular for weddings, and tourists also enjoy the old spirit of the church.
Pispala churchAfter the destruction of the Pispala wooden church by fire in 1968, a decision was made to build a new church in conjunction with the parish hall built in 1949.
The design of the present church room was the result of cooperation between many people, and the church was consecrated in August 1971.
The interior of Pispala church is dominated by a wooden mediaeval crucifix and a pulpit decorated with beautiful woodcarvings with the date 1660.
Pispala church accommodates 330 seats.
The Old ChurchTampere's first church, nowadays known as the Old Church, was consecrated in April 1825.
The construction of the cruciform neo-Classicist church was delayed by disputes related to the location and material of the church as well as the general lack of funds among the inhabitants of the city.
The belfry, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, was built in 1828-1829. The altarpiece by R. W. Ekman depicts Christ in Gethsemane.
Today, the Old Church is the home of Tampere's Swedish-speaking congregation and the place of worship for immigrants living in Tampere. The church bells toll for anyone wishing to attend the English-language mass on Sundays at 16. Like all churches in central Tampere, the Old Church is very popular for weddings. The Old Church has 310 seats.
Tampere CathedralThe church of St. John was built north of the Tammerkoski rapids in 1902-1907. Its name was changed to Tampere cathedral after the bishop's seat was moved to Tampere in 1923.
The grey-granite, tile-roofed church was built on the basis of designs by architect Lars Sonck. The artwork is by painters Hugo Simberg and Magnus Enckell.
Tampere Cathedral is considered to be the chief monument of Finnish national romantic architectural style as well as a magnificent specimen of the skills of builders and craftsmen of the time.
The cathedral is extremely popular for concerts and weddings. Today, the cathedral accommodates almost 2,000 people.
Teisko churchTeisko church is the most significant achievement of the famous church builder Matti Åkerblom in Tampere. The wooden, cruciform church was consecrated in August 1787.
The pulpit from the previous church in Teisko, dating back to mid 17th century, is on display in the church. The upper part of the altarpiece, painted by Pehr Sundberg in 1801-02, depicts the Saviour in Gethsemane. The lower part, nowadays kept in the vestry, represents the Holy Communion.
A grandfather clock donated back to the church is on display inside the church, and a wooden pauper, typical to churches of the period, still begs for alms for the poor on the outside wall of the church.
Teisko church is situated by Lake Kirkkojärvi and surrounded by a cemetery. Together the church and the cemetery form a magnificent example of vernacular architecture and Finnish cultural landscape.
Tesoma church was consecrated at Whitsuntide 1978. With the inauguration of the new church, the scattered Harju parish received a versatile activity centre in the middle of the Tesoma suburb.
The redbrick church is built on a pine-dominated heath, close to nature. Nature is also present inside the church, through a large scenic window viewing the forest patch.
The relief altarpiece by sculptor Laila Pullinen depicts the suffering Christ.
Tesoma church is a multi-purpose hall. The actual church accommodates approximately 100 people, but by connecting adjoining rooms to the actual church, as many as 350 people may attend divine services in the church.
Viinikka churchBishop Jaakko Gummerus consecrated Viinikka church in May 1932. He referred to the church as an everyday church, since it was the first church building in Finland to house the actual church with a parsonage and meeting rooms for young people.
Although the style of Viinikka church refers to the classicism of the 1920's, it has certain functionalist features. The oblong single-nave church adorned with a beautiful sleek spire rises magnificently among the residential buildings surrounding it.
A large gilded wooden carving depicting Christ dominates the nave of the church. The ceiling is decorated with images of the four evangelists with their emblems.
In recent years, Viinikka church has served as a road church, providing travellers with a quiet haven for a moment's rest.