Photographer's Note

Here you see the interior of the medieval grey granite church of Espoo.

Espoo cathedral is undergoing a renovation, which started 15th of February this year. One big change will be a new organ. The cathedral will be closed till December. The new organ however will not be ready until 2012. I wanted to take a photo of the old organ before the church was closed for renovation and I was just and just managed to do it in the very last day between services. See WS1.

The church has had organs since the end of 18th century, but the present organ is from year 1967, so not very old. It has 36 ranks and 3 manuals and the façade is very simple as you can see from WS1. The new organ will have 44 ranks and a somewhat wider façade.
In WS2 you can see the church exterior in another cold winter day together with the bell tower. Here is another photo taken in summer and from a longer distance.
The medieval grey granite church is the oldest existing building in Espoo. The church's oldest parts date back to the 1480s. The architect was an unknown "Espoo master". Together with the Hattula and Lohja churches, the Espoo church is a significant monument of medieval murals. The church is also the most important single building in Espoo from the point of view of both building history and landscape.

Originally the church had a form of a square with three navels, but it was converted between 1821 and 1823 into a more spacious cruciform church. The vaults and walls of the older parts of the church are decorated with murals, largely painted in the 1510s, that depict both biblical scenes and events in the daily life of the people. The paintings were covered in the 18th century as they were thought to be "crude and superstitious" but uncovered again and conserved during renovations in 1931.

The latest previous renovations were made in 1982. The most visible change was to place the altar in the middle of the pillars (see the photo). Above the altar was placed into its original place the wooden crucifix from the 15th century. As an altarpiece serves a stained glass window of Gunnar Forsström from year 1942 and it depicts Sermon of the Mount. You can see it better here.

The current bell tower of the cathedral was completed in 1767 and its top part was redone between 1868 and 1869.
The church became a cathedral in 2004 after the Diocese of Espoo was split off from the Diocese of Helsinki. Many concerts are held in this church and the most important one is the Organ Night and Aria Festival.

Geocode: 60.209325,24.652140

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Additional Photos by Lasse Lofstrom (ellelloo) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 15 N: 1589] (6572)
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