St. Elizabeth's Lutheran Church

Pärnu, Estonia

The Lutheran church named after Empress Elizabethis one of the most significant Baroque-style churches in Estonia. It was built betweenn 1744-1747 under the guidance of J. H. Güterbock from Riga.

The neo-gothic pulpit and altar were made in 1850; the altarpiece (“Resurrection”) dating from 1854 was completed in Van der Kann’s workshop in Rotterdam. In 1893, the wooden building of the oldest theatre of the town (Küün) in the southern part of the plot was demolished and the southern wing was erected (designed by R. Häusermann, a construction master from Riga). The organ, built in 1929 by H. Kolbe of Riga, is among the best in Estonia. In 1995 the extension with offices was completed (architect R. Luhse).

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Address

Nikolai 22, Pärnu, Estonia
See all sites in Pärnu

Details

Founded: 1744-1747
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Estonia)

More Information

www.tourism360.net

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marek Laanisto (4 months ago)
Ok
Baston Baston (8 months ago)
Full of light,nice church that making perfomans/concerts some times.
George On tour (8 months ago)
The first large church in Pärnu was completed in the present Old-Pärnu cemetery : the Cathedral carrying the name of St. Toomas, which was destroyed in the war. From the middle ages, Nikolai ( Niguliste , the sailor's protector Nikolause ), on the shores of the Pärnu River, has been the longest in history ever since. The only one after the 16th century was the wars left, it became the main church . From 1526 to 1582 Lutheran worship was held there. During the repression , the church was given to the Catholics . From the 17th century , the saint belonged to the German Lutherans, including the Swedes and several times to the Estonian congregations when needed. The church of Nikolai burned in September 1944 and was finally destroyed after the Second World War .
Johanna Blom (10 months ago)
The lady at the entrance was very friendly. Sad that the church looks like it's deteriorating from the outside but the inside is still OK shape.
Rüüt Kaljula (3 years ago)
The oldest preserved protestant church in Pärnu, situated in the town centre. It was built in the year 1747.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.