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The Cathedral

Kuopio Diocese central church has 
a place in downtown Kuopio and in the residents’ hearts

The Cathedral of Kuopio is a local landmark that has engraved itself into countless souls over generations. It is the central church of the city and the entire Kuopio diocese, and about 100,000 people from near and far find restful shelter under its eaves every year. The Cathedral is also a popular road church that offers a heavenly rest stop to its visitors every summer in the heart of the city. The Cathedral seats about 1,200 people. The vestry features a chapel that is used for weddings and christenings, among other things.

Map of the old market square of Kuopio town from the year 1806.

Over the Centuries

The Kuopio Cathedral is the fifth church of the parish which was founded in Kuopionniemi in 1552.
Its construction started in 1805 according to the designs made by Per Wilhelm Palmroth in Stockholm.
The construction was overseen by the famous Ostrobothnian church builder Jakob Rijf, whose memorial stone can be found in the main vestibule. Work on the church was interrupted by the Finnish War in 1808. After Jakob Rijf died suddenly, Lieutenant Pehr Grandstedt was employed to oversee the construction. It was completed by the end of 1815, and the Cathedral was consecrated on April 7, 1816.
The Neo-Classic style with some Empire features can be seen especially in the decorations around the altar and the pulpit. Contrary to the liturgic tradition of churches, the altar was built to the west, because it was decided to have the main entrance face the centre of Kuopio, the old market place and harbour.

Fascinating Church Art

The current main organ featuring 52 stops was constructed by the Danish organ builder Bruno Christensen & Sønner in 1986. Evangelist images painted by Urho Lehtinen in mid-1920’s are located at the back wall of the Cathedral. The crucifix from France is located above the intercession table to the right of the main entrance. It was purchased in 1994. The altarpiece was painted by Berndt Abraham Godenhjelm from Finland, and it was donated by Vicar Matthias Ingman in 1843. The liturgic outfits of the clergy were designed by textile artist Dora Jung in 1961, and the antependium of the new altar by textile artist Hanna Korvela in 2003. The crucifix above the altarpiece was crafted in St. Petersburg at the end of the 19th century. The church silver and the cross in the lectern were designed by the academician Bertel Gardberg in 1961. The candelabrum at the north end was designed by sculptor Väinö Lätti in 1995. The painting “Source of Living Water” was created by artist Urho Lehtinen in 1920’s. The 12-stop choir organ was completed in 2004 by the Swedish organ builder Robert Gustavsson. The pieces painted by Petter Bergström in 1741 for the fourth church of Kuopio, ”Crucifixion” and ”Holy Communion,” are located at the south wall of the church choir.

Bishop leading Holy Communion.

Return to the Original Style

An extensive renovation was completed in the Cathedral in 1961. Its objective was to restore the original style of the Cathedral from the renovation of 1920’s, which introduced an abundance of ornamentation.

The latest renovation was completed in 2015. It consisted of treatment of interior and exterior walls, improvements to building service technology, and restoration of the yard. The varnished wooden floor was painted with a coating colour. The interior walls, ceiling and pews were painted and gildings were renewed. The organs were services, and the sound system was modernized. The versatility of space utilization was improved.


  • Mass on Sunday at 10:00
  • Mid-Week Mass on Wednesday at 18:00