Thursday, April 4, 2013

Orthodox Cathedral of St Simeon and the Prophetess Hanna in Tallinn

Visited March 30, 2013

This is a church I have never noticed. It is on a street I have been down, but if I ever saw it, it just didn't jump out.

The Orthodox Cathedral of St Simeon and the Prophetess Hanna was begun in 1752 and completed in 1755.

It is located down near the harbor on the route I usually take to catch the ferry to Helsinki. It is a pretty little wooden church that looks like it came out of a fairy tale. It was build on the initiative of Russian sailors, and it the second Orthodox church to have sprung up as part of the suburban building boom that followed the Great Northern War. The first, as you know, was the Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God (Kazan Icon) that I wrote about yesterday.

The coastline in this area was considerably closer to the city then than it is now, owing to the land being filled it, so this church was practically on the edge of the water, and legend has it that rubble from shipwrecks was used for landfill for the church.

Like most churches in Estonia, the building was seriously damaged during Soviet times, when it was turned into a sports hall. During that time, it lost its bell tower and onion dome, but the church was fortunatley restored after Estonia re-independence. Since 2001, an Estonian Orthodox congregation has been active there, and they have services on Sundays at 10am.

Luckily for me, this church was open, so I was able to get some shots of the beautiful interior as well.

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