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Modern Estonia

Gallery: Churches of Tallinn

by Peter Kessler, 15 November 2009

 

 

Part 14: Churches of Nõmme & Lasnamäe

Rahu Lutheran Church, Nõmme

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 1931.

Rahu Lutheran Church, Nõmme

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.

St John the Forerunner, Nõmme

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.

St John the Forerunner, Nõmme

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.

Orthodox Church of the Icon of the Mother of God 'Quick to Hearken'

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.

Orthodox Church of the Icon of the Mother of God 'Quick to Hearken'

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.

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