I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Within this rock I will build my church

The Temppeliaukio church was not something I was particularly excited about seeing, though as every tour in Helsinki went there, there wasn't any way to avoid it. It sounded like a gimmick -- Let's take a big rock and carve a church into it! -- more like something on the level of the ice bar in Stockholm than anything actually worth visiting.

And the exterior is unspectacular: concrete wall, dome, big rock. It doesn't prepare you at all for what's inside, how the light coming in through the ceiling plays over the rock walls, how the simplicity of the design creates such a powerful sense of serenity that you're willing to convert to any religion that would allow you to regularly spend time there. You sit cradled in the earth, and you look up to the sky. What could be simpler?

What could be more like what a church is supposed to be?

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