Friday, April 5, 2013

Kaarli Lutheran Church in Tallinn

Visited March 30, 2013

Charles XI Lutheran Church, or Kaarli Kirik, is Tallinn's grandest 19th-century church, and the only one in Tallinn with twin steeples.

It is a neo-Roman style church built over twenty years from 1862 to 1882 as a long overdue replacement for the original Kaarli Church. That church was founded in 1670 on the order of Sweden's King Charles XI, but like many wooden structures outside the city wall, the first Kaarli Church burned down during the Great Northern War in the early 1700s.

The present limestone church was built by architect Otto Pius Hippius from St. Petersburg using a special arch technique that gives it have a vast, open interior. It can seat 1,500, and I can attest to its wonderful acoustics...I once sat (hid) in the back and could hear perfectly.

According to Tallinn's tourism website, Kaarli Church is home to the first Estonian fresco, “Come to Me,” painted in 1879 by famed Tallinn artist Johann Köler. The church also boasts the country's largest church organ, installed in 1924. Services are still held at Kaarli Church on Sundays at 10am, and in fact, this is actually the only church I have attended services in since coming to Estonia. Well, that is sort of true. I did attend a concert in Niguliste Kirik, but it wasn't a church service and the church is actually a museum now.

But I have been to a Thanksgiving service at Kaarli. All in Estonian. It was beautiful, but challenging.

Sadly, I couldn't get inside Saturday. So I was only able to get exterior pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment