06.07. Onneksi olkoon: Esa, Esaias | Palaute
Töölön seurakunta

Temppeliaukio Church to celebrate its 50-year anniversary during two festive weeks

24.09.2019, 11:27 /  päivitetty 11.12.2019, 16:04
Temppeliaukio Church offers concerts, panel debates and even puppet theatre for everyone interested in music and culture to celebrate its first fifty years.
Kuva: Juha Martinmaa

For a week and a half between 24.9.-4.10. there will be celebrations in Temppeliaukio Church to commemorate the half a century of its existence. The official birthday will be celebrated on Michaelmas 29th September when the church will host a high mass with live coverage by Finland´s national public service broadcasting company YLE.

The actual birthday will culminate in a gala concert with artists such as Lapland String Quartet, baritone Jorma Hynninen, pianist Jason Hu and cellist Lukas Stasevskij.

– The church hall excavated into solid rock tells of the longing for sanctity, freedom and security. We are happy to be able to celebrate the fifty-year history of Temppeliaukio Church, says Hannu Ronimus, the Vicar of Töölö Parish.

With around ten various events offered during the festive weeks there is something for everyone in all,ages interested in music and culture. The first event to take place is the book release for Temppeliaukio 50 vuotta (Temppeliaukio 50 years – for the time being only in Finnish), where the editor Utu Förbom introduces the process and content.

The music performed during the festive weeks consists of both old and new classical music and strings of popular music. Sing-along events have also been included. Composers, such as Leif Segerstam, tell of their life in music. Puppet theatre is offered for the young ones by Nukketeatteri Ofelia together with a concert for the whole family. The festive weeks are rounded off with a concert by baritone Esa Ruuttunen and organist Tapio Tiitu.

– The musical feel of the festive weeks depicts the space of the church grown out of the rock, the rugged surface of the surrounding walls and the warm tones of the copper ceiling. The church itself is just like a colourful musical mosaic, says Leena Tiitu, the artistic director of Temppeliaukio Church festive weeks and the leading cantor of Töölö Parish.

There is also room for talks from a social perspective. October begins with a panel discussion on the activities of the parish and the church in general, with panel members Teemu Laajasalo, the Bishop of Helsinki and Hannu Ronimus, the Vicar of Töölö Parish. The discussion is moderated by Olli Seppälä.

– As the Bishop puts it: the church needs to follow its time, stick to its message and keep together. What was good practice five years ago, doesn´t necessarily function the same way anymore, says Ronimus.

Through difficulties to a much loved church

The unique church when it comes to architecture – also from an international point of view – was designed by the architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Temppeliaukio Church, excavated into the bedrock, was inaugurated in 1969. The site had been reserved for a church building already in the very first town plan for the area of Etu-Töölö in Helsinki in 1906, hence the names Temppelikatu (Temple Street) and Temppeliaukio (Temple Square).

Radical in its shape compared to more traditional church architecture, it also opened up for resistance in the 1960s. Today Temppeliaukio Church is one of Finland´s most well known buildings and also the most frequented church.

Due to its excellent acoustics Temppeliaukio Church is a very popular concert venue with hundreds of concerts held annually. Temppeliaukio Church is one of the churches belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Töölö and hence a centre for active parish life.

Temppeliaukio Church located in the residential area of Etu-Töölö in Helsinki is the most visited indoor sight in Finland. In 2018 almost 850 000 people from all corners of the world visited the church.

For more information:

  • Hannu Ronimus

Vicar, Töölö Parish

Tel. +358 9 2340 4723


  • Leena Tiitu

Leading Cantor, Töölö Parish

Tel.+358 50 3801 684


  • Niina Kellinsalmi

Web Communication Secretary, Töölö Parish

Tel. +358 9 2340 6317


Program for Temppeliaukio Church 50 years festive weeks:

24.9. at 18.00
Book release for ”Temppeliaukio 50 vuotta”

Editor Utu Förbom introduces the book.

25.9. at 18.00
Concert with Gospel Gentlemen

Jaakko Löytty, Pekka Simojoki and Petri Laaksonen.

27.9. at 18.00
Concert: Kuopijon hilipakkaat iänjkerrat

Children´s choir and youth vocal group from Kallavesi Parish (cond. Mari Vuola-Tanila). Song: Ella Pohjolainen, organ: Anu Pulkkinen, drums: Joona Kujanpää. Presenter: Heikki Tanila.

29.9. at 10.00
High mass in honour of Temppeliaukio Church 50 years

Michaelmas (Feast of the Archangels) The Messengers of Christ.

YLE (The Finnish public broadcasting company) covers the event live on television. We kindly ask the public to arrive at 9.45 the latest. After the service church coffee will be served in the Parish hall.

Liturgy: Otto Alanen, sermon: Hannu Ronimus. Festive Choir, Lapland String Quartet, piano: Petri Kangas, organ: Henri Hersta, musical lead: Leena Tiitu.

29.9. at 18.00
Gala Concert

Lapland String Quartet (violin: Linda Suolahti, Emma Mali, viola: Riina Piirilä, cello: Lukas Stasevskij). Violin: Lumikki Heikkilä, piano: Jussi-Pekka Heikkilä, piano: Jason Hu, soprano: Johanna Tuomi, baritone: Jorma Hynninen, organ: Tapio Tiitu. Presenter: Leena Tiitu.

30.9. at 18.00
Sing-along with hymns and solemn music

Presenter: Reijo Pajamo. Cantors and organists of Töölö Parish.

1.10. at 11.00
Puppet theatre ”Tuuliin tähystäjä”

Puppet theatre for the whole family by Nukketeatteri Ofelia. Duration 35 min.

1.10. at 18.00
Questions and talks on faith and life – on the activities in the parish and the role of the church.

Featured are panelists Teemu Laajasalo, the Bishop of Helsinki and Hannu Ronimus, the Vicar of Töölö Parish. Presenter: Olli Seppälä. Music: Kari Peitsamo.

2.10. at 18.00
Concert: O vos omnes

Laulu-Miehet Choir (cond. Matti Hyökki), organ: Tapio Tiitu.

3.10. at 18.00
Three composers on their life and work.

Leif Segerstam, Olli Kortekangas, Kari Tikka. Presenter: Leena Tiitu.

4.10. at 18.00
Concert: Tälle kalliolle... – säveliä Temppeliaukiolta (Onto this rock… -melodies from Temppeliaukio)

Baritone: Esa Ruuttunen, organ: Tapio Tiitu.