Rahu Lutheran Church is in Nõmme, a large
and semi-suburban district immediately to the south of Tallinn but still
within the city's borders. It is a leafy, green, and peaceful town
in its own right. Nõmme's small but tidy Lutheran church dates to the
early years of the twentieth century and is located at Võsu 5,
alongside the main railway line. The date above the door states
1922, but the church was apparently put up in stages in 1913 and
It started life as a factory building, built by
Baltic German landlord Nikolai von Glehn in 1901. It was rebuilt into a church
by architect Friedrich Wendach, and was dedicated as a memorial church to the Tartu Peace Treaty,
signed between post-Revolutionary Soviet Russia and the Republic of Estonia
in 1920 in recognition of the latter's independence (rahu means
peace). The church remains in use today, although Estonia's
sometimes harsh winters have weathered it somewhat.
The Russian Orthodox Church of St John the
Forerunner is also in Nõmme, on Tähe 2, just a little way across
the railway line from Rahu Church. As with its Lutheran opposite
number, it is surrounded by trees. The name, St John the
Forerunner, is a literal translation from Russian provided by the
church itself, but a more everyday translation would be St John the
Baptist. The church was constructed between 1922-1923 on a plot donated by the von Glehni family.
The project was designed by the architect Alexander
Vladovsky, with changes being made by the engineer, Aleksei Golubkov.
Funding was by donation and public collection, which delayed the
completion of the frescoes. The finished building was consecrated
on 21 October 1923 by Metropolitan Alexander (Paulus)
of Tallinn and all Estonia. During the Soviet period, the church was
set on fire twice, in 1970 and 1972, but reconstruction work was
carried out in 2003-2204.
The Orthodox Church of the Icon of
the Mother of God 'Quick to Hearken' (or 'quick to hear') began construction in 2009.
It is located at Lasnamäe-Loopealse, close to Narva mantee and
immediately south of the border with the district of Pirita.
Approval of the church's detailed layout design was given on 12
October 2005, and it comprises the church and a temple complex
alongside it, plus landscaped gardens, three ornate gatehouses, a
surrounding wall and car park.
The Icon of the Mother of God, known as the
'Quick to Hearken' icon, is an ancient image in Dochiarou Monastery
on Mount Athos. According to monastic tradition, it was written in
the tenth century, and is said to grant quick assistance and comfort
to all who come to her in faith. In Russia, copies of the Athonite
icons have always been greatly loved and respected. Many of them
have become renowned for miracles, especially for healing the
diseased or possessed.
Two photos on this page contributed by ˇanna
Razinkova. Additional text by Aljona Kozlova
and Daria Bahtina.