Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Tallinn, Estonia

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 Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea where the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg is said to have been buried according to a legend (there are many such legendary burial places of him in Estonia). The cathedral was built during the period of late 19th century Russification and was so disliked by many Estonians as a symbol of oppression that the Estonian authorities scheduled the cathedral for demolition in 1924, but the decision was never implemented due to lack of funds and the building's massive construction. As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this cathedral were left to decline. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Details

Founded: 1894-1900
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Estonia)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Janet For Heaven's Cakes - 4hcakes (2 months ago)
Beautiful building. It's worth the fairly steep walk up to it.
Andrea Hardy (2 months ago)
It's an old church. If you've seen one, you've basically seen 90% of any other church. On our tour, we learned it's actually a newer church for the area. You cannot take any pictures inside. It does have a gift shop.
Rahul Kumar (2 months ago)
Nice quiet tourist place. The outside and inside of the Cathedral is quite beautiful and you also have a castle nearby. Overall nice place to relax. Walk and visit
Markus Oberer (4 months ago)
Nice onion-domed, Russian Orthodox Church. A fix stop on every tourist city loop. But be aware. The place is for worship, so photos are prohibited.
George On tour (5 months ago)
The large and richly decorated Russian Orthodox church, designed in a mixed historicist style, was completed on Toompea Hill in 1900, when Estonia was part of the Czarist Empire. The well-maintained cathedral is one of the most monumental examples of Orthodox sacral architecture in Tallinn. Tallinn’s most powerful ensemble of church bells is located in the church towers. It comprises 11 bells, including Tallinn’s largest bell, which weighs 15 tonnes. Carillons by the entire ensemble can be heard before services. The interior, which is decorated with mosaics and icons, is worth a visit.
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Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.