Last Wednesday I was in heaven! It was the most beautiful spring morning, sun was shining and I started my day with a cup of excellent coffee and enchanting book. But what lifted me almost literally into heaven, was that I had a unique opportunity to visit Helsinki Cathedral tower that is not in generally open to public. The construction of this symbol of Helsinki was finished in 1852 – twelve years after it’s main architect C. L. Engel ( 1778- 1840) had died. Having an opportunity to climb up to the tower offered the most splendid views, but also the possibility to see parts of the original – yellow! – facade, as the four smaller cupolas were added only afterwards by E. B. Lohrmann as well as the statues of the apostles on the roof top.
On the tower there are also two church bells; a small one from the old Ulrika Eleonora’s church that was demolished in 1827 when the construction of the new cathedral started, and another bigger one that still marks every hour and half. I have to admit that the sound is rather strong – especially when you are just one meter away from the bell – and it resonates for over a minute. In the wooden structures other lucky ones who have been in the tower have carved their names and dates, and the oldest ones date back to 1850’s and are done with beautiful handwriting. This place was so full of history, stories and secrets that I could have spent my whole day exploring it and admiring the magnificent view opening form the three meter tall windows.