Orthodox churches in Estonia

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in Tallinn. It is built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Pe ...
Founded: 1894-1900 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

St. Alexander's Orthodox Church

A two-storey Orthodox church was built between 1914-1917. It is designed by the architect V. Lunski. Cupolas are inspired by the Old Russian church architecture. The church was reconsecrated in summer 2003. Reference: Visit Tartu
Founded: 1914-1917 | Location: Tartu, Estonia

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

The church, with its twin bell towers and copper dome, was designed by St. Petersburg court architect Luigi Rusca and built in 1820-27. The main iconostasis is from the 19th century and the older ones in aisles from the turn of 17th and 18th centuries. Today the church is used by the Russian Orthodox Parish of Tallinn.
Founded: 1820-1827 | Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Valga Orthodox Church

The Orthodox church of Saint Isidore was built between 1897-1898 and it was designed by V. J. Lunski. The church has five octagonal cupolas and represents the neo-classicism style.
Founded: 1897-1898 | Location: Valga, Estonia

Orthodox Resurrection of the Christ Cathedral

The Orthodox cathedral was built in 1890-1898 by the Kreenholm manufacture for its Orthodox labour. It was designed by architect Pavel Alisch. The great cathedral is made of brick and Finnish granite and has seats for 2000 people. The most prominent feature of its interior is the wooden crucifix (Architect Astafjev). The icons were painted by Michail Dickarev (Palech School).
Founded: 1890-1898 | Location: Narva, Estonia

Räpina Orthodox Church

St Zachariah’s and St Elizabeth’s Orthodox Church in Räpina was built in 1829-1833 to replace the previous one destroyed by fire in 1813. It represents a simple neo-Classical style. The iconostasis is made by old Russian masters, icons from Pihkva and Petseri.
Founded: 1829-1833 | Location: Räpina, Estonia

Hellamaa Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul was built in 1864-1866. The limestone church was built according the template design. Inside the church is is a memorial plate for Herman Aavi, the first arch bishop of Orthodox church in Finland.
Founded: 1864-1866 | Location: Muhu, Estonia

Uspensky Orthodox Church

Uspensky Church, which forms a uniform complex with a long priest house on the northern side, was built in 1783 and belongs to the early classical period. Uspensky Church is located in the same place as the St. Mary- Magdalena's Church of a Dominican monastery founded before 1300. The details of the building are typical of Russian early classicism. The interior of the church is relatively modest in terms of architect ...
Founded: 1783 | Location: Tartu, Estonia

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

The Church of St. Nicholas with its two cupolas represents the late Classicism building style. It was completed in 1790 to replace the earlier wooden church. Interior is very bare with iconostasis made in 1700-1800s.
Founded: 1790 | Location: Kuressaare, Estonia

Värska Orthodox Church

There has been a church in Värska since 16th century. The present St. George’s Orthodox Church was completed in 1904. The neo-Historical Orthodox church with a crossing cupola has a beautiful contrast between stones and brick cornices. The images of the iconostasis date from the time when the church was built. The famous Seto folk singer Anne Vabarna and the captain of the steamship Aurora Ivan Fjodorov have ...
Founded: 1904 | Location: Värska, Estonia

Mustvee Orthodox Church

The Orthodox church of St. Nicholas was built between 1861-1864 and inaugurated in 1866. It was designed by A. Edelson. The interior is covered with mural paintings and icons from the end of 19th century.
Founded: 1861-1864 | Location: Mustvee, Estonia

St. George Orthodox Church

The Orthodox church of St George in Paldiski is a typical example of sacral structures of its era - a stone church with classicist baroque roots, it was built between 1784 and 1787 and was consecrated at the end of that year. However, its history dates back even further: the Paldiski Apostolic Orthodox congregation is considered to have been founded in 1721, when a simple church was constructed here for the soldiers and w ...
Founded: 1784-1787 | Location: Paldiski, Estonia

Paadrema Orthodox Church

The Orthodox church of Holy Trinity in Paadrema was designed by K. Niiman. Construction of the redbrick and unhewn stone church completed in 1889.
Founded: 1889 | Location: Varbla, Estonia

Angerja Orthodox Church

The Russian-style Apostolic-Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Our Lord in Angerja (Kohila) was completed in 1901. It is designed by V. I. Lunski.
Founded: 1901 | Location: Kohila, Estonia

Saatse Orthodox Church

The stone church of Great Martyr Paraskeva was completed in 1801 and it is the oldest Orthodox church in Estonia countryside. The wooden bell tower was erected in 1839 and the church was enlarged in 1884. The iconostasis was brought from the another church in 1869.
Founded: 1801 | Location: Värska, Estonia

Tahkuranna Orthodox Church

The Apostolic Orthodox Church of Dormition of Mother of God of Tahkuranna, completed in 1872, is, from the architectural point of view, rather rare in the Estonian context. For construction, red bricks are used without field stones, although in case of Orthodox churches they have traditionally been used together. In Tahkuranna Church was baptized the first Estonian President Konstantin Päts. Reference: Romantiline R ...
Founded: 1872 | Location: Tahkuranna, Estonia

Rakvere Birth of the Holy Mother Orthodox Church

The church of the Birth of the Holy Mother was built between 1898-1900 in the Old Russian style. The church contains the holy remains of the martyred priest Sergei Florinski, which are the only public holy remains in Estonia. The church is place for pilgrimage in the Russian Orthodox Church. Reference: Visit Estonia
Founded: 1898-1900 | Location: Rakvere, Estonia

Velise Apostolic Orthodox church

The Orthodox church of Velise was completed in 1889. The red-brick church is designed by the government architect Ervin Bernhardt. The richness of decoration which is characteristic of the Russian art of construction was toned down to fit in with the Estonian culture through the skilled use of colour contrast between bricks and fieldstones.
Founded: 1889 | Location: Märjamaa, Estonia

Lümanda Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Lümanda was completed in 1867. The single-nave church with two towers is made of limestone. Nearby is a parsonage, which functions nowadays as a restaurant of traditional menu.
Founded: 1867 | Location: Kihelkonna, Saaremaa, Estonia

Pühtitsa Convent

The Pühtitsa convent is located on a site known as Pühitsetud ("blessed" in Estonian) since ancient times. According to a 16th century legend, near the local village, Kuremäe, a shepherd witnessed a divine revelation near a spring of water to this day venerated as holy. Later, locals found an ancient icon of Dormition of the Mother of God under a huge oak tree. The icon still belongs to the convent. A smal ...
Founded: 1891 | Location: Illuka, Estonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.