One of Carl Ludvig Engel’s finest creations, the chalk-white neoclassical Lutheran cathedral presides over Senaatintori (Senate Sq). Created to serve as a reminder of God’s supremacy, its high flight of stairs is now a popular meeting place. Zinc statues of the 12 Apostles guard the city from the roof of the church. The spartan, almost mausoleum-like interior has little ornamentation under the lofty dome, apart from an altar painting and three stern statues of Reformation heroes Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and Mikael Agricola.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Helsinki attractions

1. Senaatintori

0.06 MILES

From the kauppatori walk up the cobbled Sofiankatu to Senaatintori, Helsinki's majestic central square. Surrounded by early 19th-century buildings, the…

2. Helsingin Kaupunginmuseo

0.09 MILES

This museum complex spreads over five buildings from different eras, including Sederholmin talo, Helsinki’s oldest central building (dating from 1757 and…

3. Havis Amanda

0.19 MILES

Near the kauppatori, this bronze statue is the symbol of the city. Sculpted by Ville Vallgren in 1906 in Paris, and installed here in 1908, the nude…

4. Kauppatori


The heart of central Helsinki is the harbourside kauppatori (market square), where cruises and ferries leave for archipelago islands. It's completely…

5. Presidentinlinna


Overlooking the kauppatori, the striking neoclassical Presidentinlinna was designed by CL Engel and is one of the head of state's official residences. The…

6. Johan Ludvig Runeberg Statue

0.25 MILES

Finland's national poet and composer of the Finnish national anthem, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, is commemorated by a statue in the city's central Esplanadin…

7. Esplanadin Puisto

0.25 MILES

Locally known as 'Espa', oblong-shaped Esplanadi stretches for four blocks between the squares Erottaja to the west and the kauppatori to the east…

8. Ateneum

0.29 MILES

Occupying a palatial 1887 neo-Renaissance building, Finland’s premier art gallery offers a crash course in the nation’s art. It houses Finnish paintings…