Swedish St. Michael's Church

Tallinn, Estonia

This small church on Rüütli street has been the spiritual home for generations of Estonian Swedes, an ethnic group that's been present in Tallinn since the Middle Ages. The location had originally been an almshouse for the city's poor, but in 1733 the tsarist government gave it to the Swedish congregation, which been left without its own church since the Great Northern War.

During Soviet times the building was converted into a sports hall and fell into disrepair, but was renovated and reconsecrated in 2002. It now has a congregation of around 200, and continues to hold services in Swedish. In addition to its Baroque altar by Joachim Armbrust and a Baroque pulpit, the church has a unique baptistery created by famed sculptor Christian Ackermann in 1680.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Rüütli 9, Tallinn, Estonia
See all sites in Tallinn

Details

Founded: 1733
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Estonia)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Aleksandr Boltyshev (2 years ago)
Шведская церковь Святого Михаила (эст. Rootsi-Mihkli kirik, швед. Svenska S:t Mikaelskyrkan) — церковь, находящаяся в историческом центре Таллина, улица Рюйтли, д. 9. Памятник средневековой архитектуры. В настоящее время принадлежит лютеранскому приходу, входящему в ЭЕЛЦ. История В 1249 году в Таллине был основан женский монастырь ордена цистерцианцев. В конце XIV или начале XV века монастырская капелла Святого Венцеля была основательно расширена. В 1631 году имущество (в том числе строения) монастыря были секуляризированы: в части зданий расположилась мужская гимназия (ныне — гимназия Густава Адольфа), в другой части — типография, а церковь стала собственностью шведского гарнизона. В 1716 году по приказу Меншикова церковь была реорганизована в русскую гарнизонную церковь (в 1732 году освящена как православная Преображенская церковь). Шведы были вынуждены собираться в другом здании — в госпитале иоаннитов. Но и это здание у шведов отобрали после Второй мировой войны — здесь расположилась спортшкола. После визита в 1992 году в Эстонию короля Швеции здание вновь передали Церкви. В 2002 году отремонтированное и реконструированное здание было освящено.
Nadine G (3 years ago)
Very old historical place in the heart of Vanalinn. Worth taking a shall if intended to stay for longer. Cold in winter, but makes you feel like 300 years old times.
Jeremy Swartz (3 years ago)
Beautiful church located in Old Town. It is another church that had been well preserved.
Kirill Ivanov (4 years ago)
Super
Federico Robello (4 years ago)
Nice place to sightseeing going in the center direction
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.