History Files


Modern Estonia

Gallery: Churches of Pärnu County

by Peter Kessler, 10 April 2011



Part 2: Churches of Pärnu

Lord Apostolic-Orthodox Church

The Lord Apostolic-Orthodox Church 'Transformation of Our Lord' (Apostliku Õigeusu Issandamuutmise kirik in Estonian) is at Aia 5, on the north-west corner with Kuninga tänav (street) in Pärnu. A large part of south-east Estonia's population, the Setus, had traditionally been Russian Orthodox since they were converted. At the end of the nineteenth century there was a largescale conversion of Lutheran Estonians by many hoping win win the Czar's favour.

Lord Apostolic-Orthodox Church

St Catherine's Church in Pärnu became too small for the city's Orthodox congregation so, in 1904, this new church was constructed and gained its own (Estonian) parish separate from St Catherine's Russian congregation. The church has a brick facade that is typical of the period and a base of granite ashlar work. The campanile is thirty-eight metres (yards) high and the cupola thirty-four metres high. The altar wall holds eleven icons and eleven major wall paintings.

Estonian Evangelical Christian & Baptist Churches of the Pärnu Salt & Light Church

The Estonian Evangelical Christian & Baptist Churches of the Pärnu Salt & Light Church (Eesti Evangeeliumi Kristlaste ja Baptistide Koguduste Liidu Pärnu Sool ja Valgus kogudus) comprises a Seventh-Day Adventist congregation and a Baptist group which both meet at the Salt & Light Church on these premises at Karja 1-4, situated diagonally opposite the Lord Orthodox Church (above). The building is a typical Estonian wooden-fronted house with stone side walls of the 1930s.

Christian Pentecostal Church

The Christian Pentecostal Church (Kristliku Nelipühi Kiriku Pärnu kogudus) is probably a fairly recent Pentecostal meeting in the city. It occupies a section of the building shown here, at Pikk 12, on the northern side of the street (the photo here is taken looking southwards towards the building with Pikk tänav (street) behind it). The roof window towards the righthand side of the building shows where the church meets, while the section on its right houses a sex shop.

Agape (Methodist) Christian Church

Agape (Methodist) Christian Church (AGAPE kogudus) is at Männi 2, on the western side of the street. From 1921, Methodists were meeting in premises at the corner of Karja and Possieti streets, and from 1925 at the corner of Suur-Veski and Liiva streets. Between 1930-1940, the church had premises at 14 Riia street, but these were confiscated by the Soviet authorities, although an alternative location was supplied by the city. The present church was opened in 1992.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses (Jehoova Tunnistajate Pärnu kogudus) is located in a smallish plot on the western side of Pirni street at 14b. This side street is one of fairly standard detached housing, with a road surface which was unmade at the time the photo was taken, while road relaying work was being undertaken in the area. Entire streets at a time in Estonia can be dug up for relaying or improvement, although they are rarely sealed off from public use.

In Depth
In Depth


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