What was once new becomes old – St John’s Church, Helsinki

Finland has done alright in another international ranking list despite the doom and gloom reported on this blog’s last post. One or two other bloggers have been eloquent on the subject, so I can move onto other things.

Friday night we had the chance to hear Bach’s St Matthew Passion the way it should be, performed in a church packed to capacity and performed by an excellent band, great choirs [adults and children] and highly talented soloists. That is, we went to one of the many churches in this southern part of Helsinki, Johanneksen Kirkko or St John’s Church. For some reason the website that most looks like that of the parish provides ads for cheap hotels, so instead I offer you this link, on classical music in the church. Johanneksen kirkko And there’s plenty. Today when I went back to photograph it in the newly autumnal/wintery light of the first day of November, they were again setting up for a concert. Mozart’s Requiem this time.

It’s neo-gothic in a city that has relatively little of that kind of thing. The architect was Adolf Emil Melander and it was completed in 1891. I don’t know whether Signe Brander photographed it, though I’d be surprised if she didn’t. Another great early twentieth-century figure did though, I. K. Inha. IK Inha Johanneksen Kirkko

At the time it was known as the ‘New Church’ to distinguish it from the older one down the road. Down this road in fact, on the right a couple of blocks before you reach the end, now marked by Kamppi’s colossal advertising.Annankatu


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