History Files


Modern Estonia

Gallery: Churches of Harju County

by Peter Kessler, 11 July 2010



Part 2: Churches of Pringi, Rohuneeme & Prangli Island

St James Lutheran Church, Viimsi, Estonia

St James Lutheran Church (Viimsi Püha Jaakobi kogudus in Estonian) is at Nurme tee 3, in Pringi Village, Viimsi, just a few hundred metres north of Viimsi Baptist Church. This is the newest church in the region. Designed by Erkki Ristoja and Martin Aunin, construction started in 2003, making it the only church (to date) within the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church organisation to have been built after the Second World War. Its congregation was formed on 5 March 1994.

St James Lutheran Church, Viimsi, Estonia

The church seats 230, with a bell tower thirteen metres high. Construction was aided by private donations and financial support from the local council, which totalled about seven million Estonian crowns (£390,000). It was consecrated on 25 July 2007 and was erected to honour the memory of those who have perished at sea, as well as to serve local people. The two bells are named Memento Mori and Memento Vivere, and the smaller one rings on the quarter hour.

Chapel of St Laurence

The Chapel of St Laurence (Püha Laurentsiuse kabel) is at Lääneotsa on Prangli Island, which is to the north-east of Tallinn and Viimsi, about ten kilometres off the coast. The cemetery nestles alongside the church, on the southern side of the island. The chapel was built between 1846-1847, by Johan Klamas Rammult Uuetoa and his brother-in-law, Abram S Liljeberg Pirti, who also shipped over houses to build on the island from Sipoo in Finland (on the outskirts of Helsinki).

Chapel of St Laurence

The wooden chapel apparently opened in 1848. A certain amount of renovation work was carried out in 1860, which is when the weather vane on the bell cote was installed, with the date marked upon it. The chapel of ease (to Viimsi parish) serves over one hundred inhabitants on the island, which also boasts a school and a parish hall (or 'village house'). The island has been inhabited since at least the fourteenth century, but the origin of any earlier inhabitants is unknown.

In Depth


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