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24.07.2020

Kallio Church, Helsinki

Callio Church is a Lutheran church in Callio Helsinki, Finland. It was designed by Lars Sonck and represents national romanticism with Art Nouveau influences. The national romantic style is manifested in the use of traditional Finnish materials and in the massive church building, as well as in colours and decorative motifs inspired by nature. The gray granite church, built in 1912, is one of the most easily recognizable sights in Helsinki.

Kallio Church is a popular venue for concerts, especially organ music, thanks to its acoustics.

Kallio Church was built between 1908 and 1912. The foundation stone of the church was laid on 13 July 1908, and on 1 September 1912 Bishop Hermann Reberg inaugurated the church.

In 1917, at the very moment when Finland gained independence, the Tolstoyan movement took the church as its foundation and preached its message of peace there. During World War II, an aerial reconnaissance station was located in the church tower. Until the 1970s, the tower served as a trigger point for land surveying.

The height of the church is 65 metres and the cross is 94 metres above sea level. The coastline of Estonia can be seen from the tower. The church is located on a hill and forms the northern endpoint of a 2.5-kilometre street axis consisting of three streets: Kopernikuksenkatu, Siltasaaarenkatu and Unioninkatu.

The Church of Callio is an entrance hall with a transept. The supporting walls are made of red brick and lined with Finnish granite. The church can accommodate 1,100 believers.

The interior of the church is decorated with Christian symbols - roses, lilies, palm branches, laurel wreaths and pearls to convey the message of the Gospel. Inside the church there are also art nouveau frescoes. The altar painting is a wooden relief "Tulkaa minun tyköni" ("Come to me, you are all tired and burdened") by Hannes Auther, carved in 1956. In the hallway of the church and organ galleries there are four plaster reliefs from the five-part Ihmissielun kehitys series ("Development of the human soul") by Sigrid af Forselles. In the sacristy there is a painting by Werner Thomas depicting Jesus healing the blind.

Paavo Teinell designed massive brass lamps in 1932. The church textiles currently in use are designed by Raya Rastas.

The granite tower of the church has seven German bronze bells. Every day at noon and at 6 p.m. the four bells are played by a chorale (op.65b) by Jean Sibelius, composed especially for Callio Church. The three largest bells ring to announce the divine services.

Kallio Church is the only church in Finland that has both a baroque organ and a French organ from the Romantic period. The French organ of Swedish organ builder Åkerman & Lund was produced in 1995 and serves as the main organ of the church. The small baroque organ was built in Kangasala (Finland) in 1987.

In 1991, the construction of the columbarium under the church was completed. At the same time the columbarium has about 2500 urns, which can be stored for a certain period of time. After that they can be hidden in a tomb, also under the church. The columbarium can only be visited when the urn is delivered there.

Visitors can bring flowers or light candles at the memorial to the deceased, which is located on the back wall of the church, near the main entrance.

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