Saturday, March 29, 2014

St Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Pilistvere

Visited March 27, 2014

It has been a while since I have been able to visit any new churches, so I was really excited that as part of our America Days in Viljandi, I was able to visit St Andrew's Lutheran Church in Pilistvere.

Luckier still, we got a tour given by the pastor. Unluckily, I forgot my camera so my iPhone had to do.

The congregation here dates to 1222, just three years after the first Christians came to the area. People had been living in Pilistvere for at least 2000 years, so the pastor thinks the area was already special to people.

Construction started on the church in the late 1200s and it was completed by the mid-1300s. The tower was restored recently (late 90s).

The pulpit with spiral pillars and carved statues was done by Thomas Öhman in 1686, and the painting that serves as an altarpiece, ”Christ on the Cross,” was painted by Baltiv-Germanic artist Sally von Kügelen in 1901.


St Francis of Assisi

The church also has a resident cat!

Just beyond the church, we visited the Stones of Sorrow. It is a memorial to all those lost during the brutal deportations and executions during Soviet times. People bring stones to the place and it serves as a gravesite for them to visit if they don't know where their relatives' final resting places are. I wished I had had a stone with me to place at the memorial for my ancestor who was deported to Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears. He didn't survive the trip, and like the Estonians, he has no grave for his descendants to visit.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (or Orthodox Church of St Prince Vladimir...) in Narva-Jõesuu

Visited June 8, 2013

I am not sure I have the name of this church correct. the website I often use to find more information on a church, Wayfarer's Churches 2013, lists the church as Orthodox Church of St Prince Vladimir in Narva-Jõesuu. And as best as I can tell from the picture, this is the church I saw.

However, the sign on the church, as best I can tell, says this is the church of the Mother of God Kaazan Icon.

The website says that the Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God is in Sillamäe. I did visit the church they have pictured as well, but it was built in 1990 and is way too new for this blog.

At an rate, the church I visited in Narva-Jõesuu is definitely the church that was built in 1867 and moved to Narva-Jõesuu from Mereküla in 1948. It is an adorable little church with the beautiful icons you expect of an orthodox church on the inside...

...and the cute wood carved creatures you might expect to find in the Great Smokey Mountains on the outside.

There was a sweet old lady at the church who spoke no English but did speak both Russian and Estonian who let us in and who sold my in-laws, who visited with us, a lovely souvenir to take back to the states.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Käsmu Lutheran Church

Visited May 27, 2013

My wife decided this morning that we should go out to the national forest and do some hiking. We went up to the Käsmu peninsula and of course I found a church.

Käsmu Lutheran Church was built in 1864 and is in the middle of this small village right on the water. The doors were open, so I was able to go inside and see the altar and organ, which was built in 1813 and apparently has some of the oldest parts in Estonia.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bascilica of Jekaterina in Pärnu

Visited May 20, 2013

According to the sign on the church, the orthodox Church of Jekaterina was begun in 1765 and completed in 1768, a century before the majority of orthodox churches here. It was built by order and financed by the Russian Queen Catherine II.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

St. Elizabeth’s Lutheran Church in Pärnu

Visited May 20, 2013

I have visited Pärnu a couple times but have never managed to walk around the old city and take pictures of the churches. Today I grabbed a couple, the first of which is St. Elizabeth’s Lutheran Church.

St. Elizabeth's was built in 1747 according to the door, and is a Baroque church named after the Russian Empress Elizabeth. And of course it was locked.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Uulu Church

Visited May 20, 2013

The Uulu church is not far from the church we visited in Tahkuranna. It appears to be associated with the Uulu Mois, or manor house, and was constructed in 1880 by Baron Reinhold Stael von Holstein, the owner of the manor house.

It is a strange looking church, with stone construction on the sides and a more modern-ish front. The interior is extremely plain. A picture on the door shows that the church once had a steeple, and from the internet, I was able to determine that it reopened in 2007.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Orthodox Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Tahkuranna

Visited May 20, 2013

We made a road trip to Riga this weekend. I did take some church pictures there, but those aren't for this blog.

Instead, I found a few churches I hadn't shot before, including the Orthodox Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Tahkuranna.

This church was built in 1872 and is out in the middle of the woods right by the water. It is the home church of Konstantin Pats, the first president of Estonia.