According the legend the church of St. Olav in Vormsi was originally built in 1219 in the guidance of Valdemar II, the King of Denmark. Although, the oldest parts of the church has been dated to the year 1400 (approximately). It has been renovated and reconstructed several times, at least in 1632, 1772 and 1929. The St. Olav’s church is unique for the fact that it has no belfry; the bell hangs above the door under the high ridge.

In the churchyard you can see several old tombs of the Swedish inhabitants, who lived in the Vormsi island until World War II. A bit furthrer is an old graveyard with the largest collection of wheel crosses in Estonia. The oldest cross dates back to 1743, the freshest one to 1923. All crosses are handmade by the peasants. Many of the wheel crosses bear clear writings but many of the crosses are of primitive treatment and have many grammatical errors. The crosses often bear the village names, sometimes also farm names, but almost always family marks. The wheel crosses often bear several dates which all show dates of death. Death dates were probably marked on an old family cross when the wooden cross on the grave decomposed. In 1977, Ministry of Arts started the inventory of wheel crosses.

References:
  • Vormsi.ee
  • Tapio Mäkeläinen 2005. Viro - kartanoiden, kirkkojen ja kukkaketojen maa. Tammi, Helsinki, Finland

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Address

Hullo küla, Vormsi, Estonia
See all sites in Vormsi

Details

Founded: ca. 1400
Category: Religious sites in Estonia
Historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (Estonia)

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