Religious sites in Estonia

Ridala Church

The oldest parts of the Ridala church were built in the late 13th century. It was expanded in the 15th century when the tower was built on the southern side. Ridala Church is one of the most valuable churches in Läänemaa from the artistic point of view. It has been dedicated to Mary Magdalene whose figure in the church is one of the oldest sculptured figures in Estonia. The medieval paintings, altar, triumphal ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ridala, Estonia

Viru-Nigula Church

The construction of Lutheran Church of Viru-Nigula was started originally in the late 13th century and continued until 15th century. The Baroque-style pillars were added in the 17th century. The church was badly damaged by fire in 1941 and the restoration was started right after World War II. Reference: Tapio Mäkeläinen 2005. Viro - kartanoiden, kirkkojen ja kukkaketojen maa. Tammi, Helsinki, Finland.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Viru-Nigula, Estonia

Haljala Church

Haljala church was built originally between 1430-1440, replacing a wooden church from the previous century. The octogonal tower was completed in the end of 15th century. Haljala church was damaged in 1558 during the Livonian war and in 1703 during the Great Northern War when it was burnt down by Russian troops. In 1831 it was damaged again when the tower and roof burnt down. The tower was rebuilt in 1865 at which time it ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Haljala, Estonia

Lüganuse Church

The Lüganuse Lutheran church was built in the beginning of 14th century. It was enlarged as a two-nave church in the 15th century. The round tower is unique in Estonian medieval architecture. The church was badly damaged during the Second World War and restoration began in 1951.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lüganuse, Estonia

Otepää Church

The Otepää Maarja Lutheran Church was built in 1890 and represents the Gothic revival style. On 4th June 1884 the blue-black-white flag of the Estonian Students’ Society was consecrated in the church, which later on became the flag of the nation and in 1992 the official national flag of Estonia. The bas-reliefs of the flag, the author of which is sculptor Voldemar Mellik, were opened on the church wall in ...
Founded: 1890 | Location: Otepää, Estonia

Urvaste Church

The first record Urvaste Church date back to 1413 and it is considered to be one of the oldest churches in Võrumaa. This church, dedicated to Saint Urban, was built in the form of a basilica in the Gothic style, the only such rural church in Estonia. It was mainly destroyed in Livonian War (1558), but reconstructed in 1620. The Altar painting dates from 1885 and the painter is C. Walther. The Organ is a masterpiec ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Võrumaa, Estonia

Jämaja Church

The first known church in Jämaja was built in the 13th century. The wooden church was destroyed by fire and the current one was completed in 1864. The Renaissance style pulpit from the 17th century.
Founded: 1864 | Location: Torgu, Estonia

Kose Church

The first church in Kose was built probably around 1220 and it was inaugurated to St. Nicholas. The present stone church date back to the mid-14th century, although it was mainly renovated to the Neo-Gothic shape in the 19th century. The interior consists a tomb from the 1400’s, pulpit made in 1639 and baroque-style altarpiece (1774).
Founded: 1350 | Location: Kose, Estonia

Järva-Jaani Church

The Church of St. John in Järva-Jaani was built around 1300 as a single-nave fortress church. The Neo-gothic tower was erected in 1881. There are some interesting historical artefacts in the church like Baroque-style pulpit made by Fr. Hoppenstätt in 1648.
Founded: 1300 | Location: Järva-Jaani Parish, Estonia

St. Mary's Church

The current building of Pöide Church is believed to be built on the remains of a chapel built in 13th century. After the conquest of Saaremaa in 1227, the eastern part of Saaremaa belonged to the Livonian Order, who built a fortress at Pöide as their headquarters during the second half of the 13th century. This fortress was destroyed by the Saaremaa natives during the wave of uprisings against the occupying forc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Saaremaa, Estonia

St. Martin's Church

The three-naved Türi hall-church was built at the end of 13th century and dedicated to St. Martin. A chapel with the Baranoff family coat of arms is located in the churchyard, where the memorial signs include a Güldenband coat of arms from the 17th century. The posts of yellowish dolomite in the southern gate of the churchyard are eye-catching, as are the chapel’s 19th-century door frames, cornice, and scu ...
Founded: ca. 1300 | Location: Türi, Estonia

Kaarma Church

The medieval church of Saint Peter and Paul in Kaarma is one of the most interesting sights in Saaremaa island. The building was probably started right after the uprising of Saaremaa inhabitants in 1261. It was a typical church of the Osilia Bishophric - a simple nave with a slightly narrower choir. The steeple was added in the 15th century and thus Kaarma became the first church with a steeple on Saaremaa. The church is ...
Founded: ca. 1261 | Location: Saaremaa, 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, Estonia

Kodavere Church

Kodavere Church dates from 1342. The present St. Michael’s Church is the fourth church on the site. This stone building was completed in 1777 and it represents the early classicism style with Orthodox influence. On the western façade there is a triangular pediment and a cylinder-shaped tower with an onion-shaped spire. Reference: Jõgeva County Tourism
Founded: 1777 | Location: Kodavere, Lümati, Estonia

Mustvee Lutheran Church

The Lutheran church of Mustvee was completed in 1880. The Neo-gothic church was designed by J. Maasi. The original interior was destroyed by fire in 1939.
Founded: 1880 | Location: Mustvee, 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

Mihkli Church

The medieval church of Mihkli (St. Michael) was originally known as Soontagana church. It was built already in the end of 13th century. The present stone-made bell tower was added in 1779-1787. The interior is mainly from the 19th century with the exception of medieval font pedestal and bell made in Stockholm in 1684.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Koonga, Estonia

Varbla Church

The Lutheran church of Varbla was completed in 1861 to replace the earlier wooden church made in 1638. It its dedicated to St. Urbanus. The simple single-nave church represents the neo-Gothic style. Three old altar paintings and a church bell originate from the 17th century.
Founded: 1860-1861 | Location: Varbla, Estonia

Pootsi-Kõpu Church

The imposing Pootsi-Kõpu Holy Trinity Apostolic Orthodox Church is made of natural stone and decorated with large domes. It was built in 1873. The church has a baroque atmosphere and it is rather unique in Pärnu County in architectural terms as there is no bell tower above the main entrance. Reference: Visit Estonia
Founded: 1872-1873 | Location: Tõstamaa, Estonia

Saarde Church

The present church of Saarde was built between 1858-1859 to replace the earlier one built in 1684. The eastern wall still remains from the previous church. The neo-Gothic church is made of stone, but the small bell tower is wooden.
Founded: 1858-1859 | Location: Saarde, Estonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.