Årdal old church (Årdal gamle kirke) is one of the most distinctive and beautiful wooden Renaissance churches from the 17th century. The church was built in three stages, the first stage in 1619. Later, as the church grew too small, one of the short walls was sawn out in order to lengthen the church. This explains its unusual shape. Inside, the church has many beautiful painted decorations of prophets, angels and flowers.
The church was marked by the work of two local artists, the German painter Gottfried Hendtzschel and his student, craftsman Lauritz Snekker. The altarpiece and the pulpit was painted by Hendtzschel. They are made of Snekker who is also responsible for most of the carpentry work. The artistic efforts of Hendtzschel and Snekker within various churches in the vicinity formed a part of the Stranganger Renaissance, the cultural period which peaked in the middle of the 17th century in the area around Stavanger, Norway.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.