Helsinki Cathedral is part of the Empire-style centre of Helsinki designed by architect Carl Ludvig Engel and the town planner Johan Albrecht Ehrenström. The Neoclassical church was designed by Engel, whose work was continued after his death by architect Ernst Bernhard Lohrmann.
The first drawings of the future Cathedral had been made by 1818, but it was 1852 before the church itself was consecrated. It was named the Nicholas Church for Nicholas I, the Russian tsar who had started the building project, as well as for St Nicholas. After independence, the name was changed to the Great Church (Suurkirkko in Finnish). In 1959, when the Diocese of Helsinki was formed, the name was changed to Helsinki Cathedral.
Helsinki Cathedral is the principal church of both the Helsinki Diocese and the Helsinki Cathedral Parish. The Cathedral is in active use for worship and concerts every day of the week.
Admission fee at Helsinki Cathedral is 5 €. The admission is voluntary and valid only during the visiting hours. Church visitors can pay the admission independently at the self-service checkout. All the proceeds of the admission go to the congregation.