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Modern Estonia

Gallery: Churches of Harju County

by Peter Kessler, 11 July 2010

 

 

Part 3: Churches of Randvere, Muuga & Maardu

St Peter's Church, Randvere

St Peter's Church (Püha Peetri kirik in Estonian) is at the village of Randvere, to the immediate east of Viimsi. The church was built between 1848-1852 as a chapel of ease, although the cemetery alongside it had existed since 1803. It is of simple whitewashed brick with a red slate rood and small bell turret. The church gained its independence within the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in 1932. Its 'teacher' or pastor in 2009 was Aare Kimmel.

Chapel of the Seafarers Centre at the Port of Muuga

The Chapel of the Seafarers Centre at the Port of Muuga (Sadama meremeeste misjon kabel) is at Lasti tee 4, at the entrance to the port. It was built in 2000 in a building donated by the ITF. Newly renovated in 2009-2010 it now contains a new limestone altar which weighs over two tons and which was taken from the seabed. The building also contains stained glass windows by Dolores Hoffmann and icons by Tiina Veisserik, plus a ceiling painting depicting the starry sky.

Russian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael, Maardu-Kallavere, Estonia

The Russian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael is in Kallavere in the 'city' of Maardu, within the parish of Jõelahtme, immediately to the east of Tallinn itself (and Muuga). The first historical mention of Maardu is as a minor village in 1241. It was recorded for tax purposes by the new Danish conquerors of North Estonia not long after their first arrival. The village was part of the manor of Maarthe, along with nearby Kallavere.

Russian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael, Maardu-Kallavere, Estonia

The modern city of Maardu was built during the period of Soviet occupation after the Second World War (1944-1991). Both villages, Maardu and Kallavere, were incorporated into the new city by the Soviet authorities, who wanted to make use of important local phosphorate deposits and required a workforce for the resulting chemical research facility. However, Maardu and Kallavere remained without any kind of church until 1992 and independence from the Soviets.

Russian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael, Maardu-Kallavere, Estonia

The church was built for the Archangel Michael in the period in which Archbishop Cornelius of the Orthodox Patriarch was in office in Tallinn. The site was blessed on 10 May 1992, and the first stone was laid on 13 September 1992. Designed by architect Alexander Victorovich Vlassov, the completed church building was blessed on 3 September 1994 for the Russian population of Maardu, which still forms a high percentage of the total number of residents.

Maardu Jehovah's Witnesses

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses (Jehoova tunnistajad) is Maardu's second new religious building. The deportation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Soviet Estonia took place in 1951, the last of several such episodes, when the members of forbidden religious sects were deported from the Baltic States, Moldavia, West Ukraine and Belarus. Estonia lost 259 persons. In 2000, membership was back up to 151, revealing the success of the organisation's recovery.

Additional text on this page by Alesja Pozlevitš.

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